Throughout our history, the Mankato Area Foundation has been working closely with donors, local leaders and hundreds of nonprofit organizations to facilitate projects and programs important to the community. The Foundation provides leadership by financially supporting local nonprofits through initiatives that make a difference in our community.

Greater Mankato Inclusivity Study

Now complete, the Greater Mankato Inclusivity Study (GMIS) report identifies critical themes in community perceptions and experiences surrounding equity, diversity, inclusivity and belonging in this area—including age, gender, ethnicity and abilities in Blue Earth and Nicollet counties. The study was publicly and privately funded and conducted by a national firm, IC Edge.

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Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund

The Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund, a donor advised fund of the Mankato Area Foundation, was established in 2017 by Jonathan and Ginger Zierdt and a guiding coalition of engaged community leaders to build community cancer awareness and support.

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Women’s Giving Circle

The Women’s Giving Circle, a fund of the Mankato Area Foundation, offers an opportunity for women in our community to come together to participate in philanthropy. The Women's Giving Circle fund was established to amplify the power of collective giving by bringing together women through a local network in a purposeful way because when women and children thrive, our community will prosper.

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Quaran–Team Effort

For the Mankato Area Foundation (MAF) and Greater Mankato Area United Way (GMAUW), a shared physical space spawned a partnership that would shape the Mankato area’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Nancy Zallek, MAF President and CEO, recalls, “One morning in mid-March of 2020, I was walking down the hallway of Shared Spaces in search of Barb Kaus, GMAUW CEO, and she was doing the same looking for me,” Zallek said. “We had each been reading the news about the governor’s upcoming announcement of a Stay-at-Home order, and we were both concerned about the dire situations our local nonprofits would soon be facing. We knew we had to do something, and we quickly realized it would be so much more powerful to do it together. Within days, our two organizations co-established the Community Response Fund. Learn More