Ted Stephens III

Looking Ahead

Ted Stephens III
Looking Ahead

The South Dakota Community Foundation has experienced unprecedented growth in the dollars our donors invest in our endowment, and unprecedented impact in the dollars we’ve been able to grant back into organizations—and the people running them—across our state. 

But we’re not about to get comfortable.

With the invaluable support of generous people like you, a team of bright, dedicated staff members, and a forward-thinking Board of Directors, we have spent the last three decades building a philanthropic storehouse that invites every person across this state to give and receive. We hope to bring out the best in people.

Our reach is expansive. We operate with more than $330 million in assets and 925 separate charitable funds. Each year, our board awards over $1 million to local nonprofits through our grant programs, and our fund holders distribute between $15 and $18 million dollars in support of a variety of important causes. Our staff drives thousands of miles a year to personally connect with donors and community members. That’s a lot of money. A lot of funds. And a lot of miles.

And, during our past 30 years, we have executed smart investment decisions, exercised our ability to change with the needs of the state, and celebrated the leadership of those whose generosity has inspired South Dakotans since the inception of this community foundation.

So, what now? Our Board and staff have been asking ourselves that recently. We’ve also asked people like you that too. The answer continues to be simple: We want to keep doing it again, but even better this time. We want to include more people at the table, witness more acts of generosity unfold in rural communities, and see endowments swell as people make the bold and thoughtful decision to leave a legacy that will change the trajectory of our state forever.

So, how will we do that? We will better promote who we are. We don’t want to be South Dakota’s best kept secret (we don’t want to be a secret at all!). Our services are available to every person across this state. We want to be the place where people feel comfortable coming to ask questions, plan their future, make a donation, seek assistance or simply give of their time.

We will also do that by allowing our staff and board members to utilize their creativity and wisdom to lead others as they receive and administer charitable gifts. 

And, we will do that by investing in a wide range of programs that benefit the people of South Dakota. We will be thoughtful in how we spend our resources, knowing that we are trusted with peoples’ most valued assets—their legacies. We will focus specifically on building long-term relationships that strengthen the state.

This is our new mission—bringing philanthropy to life for a stronger South Dakota.

We know that when people like you partner with the South Dakota Community Foundation, they are expressing their commitment to a better South Dakota. One of the best parts of our roles at the Community Foundation is standing face-to-face with a person who has decided that generosity will be a priority in their life. Our hearts swell when we think of the incredible acts of kindness that have played out during the past 30 years. It has been an honor to empower donors to discover the best way they can give to others. We intend to that for the next 30, and the next 30, and the next 30. 

It’s true, we are in a good place right now. But sometimes, in order to grow, you have to let go of the good to get to the great. The future is bright. It’s promising. We invite you to go there with us.

Thank you for your partnership,

 
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Stephanie Judson
President and CEO 

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Jeff Erickson
Board Chairperson