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S.D. residents seek to raise $125,000 for statewide non-profits in celebrate state’s 125th anniversary

By Staff reports

September 04. 2014 10:11AM
A group of Rapid City residents have come together to create The Frontier Fund to celebrate South Dakota’s 125th anniversary of statehood.

The community-driven, all-volunteer initiative seeks to raise $125,000 by Nov. 2, at which point grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to South Dakota-based non-profit organizations that demonstrate a spirit similar to the frontiersmen and women who established the state’s resilient, humble and hard-working ways more than a century ago.

“The Frontier Fund is a wonderful celebration of our 125th year as a state. Even more, it is a fund for innovative civic-minded non-profits who work on the ground in pursuit of a better life for every individual in this state,” said Governor Dennis Daugaard. “It embodies who we are as South Dakotans – people of ingenuity and innovation, coming together, offering time and treasure, to create a thoughtful program that honors the good people and good things that are happening in this great state. I look forward to seeing this community-fostered program flourish.”

The idea for The Frontier Fund came when a group of friends gathered in Downtown Rapid City – residents of the Black Hills region who have grown up, live, and work in the state – and wanted to bring South Dakotans together from every corner of the state to invest in the passionate people and meaningful programs that make South Dakota special.

“When I learned about this project, it reminded me again of how proud I am to be a South Dakotan,” said Elsie M. Meeks, state director of the United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development. “Every day, I get to meet with hard-working South Dakotans who are working in our rural areas and urban centers to provide a better life for themselves, their families and for people they may not even know. To honor these people – and organizations – through this fund is a testament to who we are as a state. It energizes me for the bright years we have ahead.”

Grant applications will be available online beginning Sept. 15, 2014. Funds must be used for projects located in the state. All South Dakota-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for grants, as are qualifying projects that may not be a registered non-profit but apply under a fiscal sponsor registered as a 501(c)(3).

A website was launched this morning at and is now accepting online donations to support the fund. The South Dakota Community Foundation in Pierre, South Dakota, will collect, invest and distribute the funds raised. A group of community members from across the state will evaluate and select recipients of the first grants this fall.

For more information, visit

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