History of the Martin County Area Foundation

History of the Foundation

Fairmont Area Foundation was started in 1993 by visionary community members along with a matching grant from the Mickelson Foundation. Gifts from individuals, families, businesses, and estates have helped the fund grow to over $2.5 Million and has generated earnings of over $1.4 Million. These earnings have been distributed back to Martin County communities through grants.

In January of 2013 the Fairmont Area Foundation Board of Directors voted to change the name to Martin County Area Foundation to better identify with the entire county and to better connect with all the communities within Martin County.

Below is a list of highlights from the history of our organization throughout the years. We look forward to building on this legacy of growth and achievement for our organization and for the future of Martin County.

2011 - 2020

2020 – Martin County COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund was created with the help of a generous gift from the Schmeeckle Foundation.

2017 – Local group of devoted donors stepped up and pledged an additional $250,000 toward the challenge, MCAF set new goal of $1 million.

2016 – 3 year challenge started with a dollar for dollar matching grant up to $250,000 from Thor Mickelson (Mickelson Media).

2016 – Celebrating 25 year anniversary

2014 – Fund balance reaches $2,000,000.

2013 – Fairmont Area Foundation changed their name to Martin County Area Foundation.

2001 - 2010

2008 – 2nd Annual Fairmont Area Foundation 500 held raising another $18,000 for the endowment fund.

2007 – 1st Annual “Fairmont Area Foundation 500” fundraising event held, raising over $35,000 for the endowment fund.

2006 – Fund balance reaches $1,500,000.

2005 – Fairmont Area Foundation was recognized by the Minnesota Community Foundation for reaching a fund balance of $1,000,000. In honor of this milestone, the Foundation was presented with a tree which was planted at Heritage Acres.

2004 – Vision for the Future campaign initiated. Goal to raise $250,000 in new investments over the next three years, allowing us to reach our goal of exceeding $1,500,000 in total fund balances by December 2006.

1991 - 2000

2000 – Since inception, over 25 people have provided volunteer time on the Board of Directors and over $1,000,000 has been received from donations and investors, helping us toward reaching our goal.

1998 – Total grants of $52,786 were awarded from earnings.

1996 – On April 5th the Circle of Legacy was adopted. The legacy provides the opportunity for planned giving to the Foundation.

1994 – The first grants from earnings were awarded. The Board set a goal of reaching $1,000,000 in assets by the year 2000.

1992 – A Board of Directors was established with assets of $200,000. Work began on local policy and by-laws.

1991 – Local businessmen met to hear details of a proposal for a matching grant of $1 for every $2 from the community. The donations would become part of a $100,000 matching fund drive offered through Mickelson Media Foundation. Just a month after the proposal, an agreement was signed with the Minnesota Community Foundation for administrative assistance and fund management.

Vision for the Future 

Please take a moment to review the list of projects that have received grants since 1994. We believe that you will agree these meaningful projects have made this area a better place to live.

If you have invested in the past, we thank you for your generosity and invite you to consider another gift to the Foundation, perhaps to a higher donor category. If you are a new investor, we thank you for any gift, but encourage you to consider which of the various donor categories best fits your current situation. Please join the other outstanding citizens as together we all strengthen our roots and our quality of life in Martin County. We appreciate your support, it benefits us all.