Northwest Minnesota Foundation Receives a Significant Donation


The most welcome news was relayed to Northwest Minnesota Foundation President Nancy Vyskocil. It was revealed that Charles Swanson, a Red Lake Falls, MN farmer bequeathed a gift of just over $360,000 to NMF. 

Charles Swanson

“We regularly receive donations supporting our 345 component funds,” Vyskocil said, “but it isn’t often that such a large gift is given to support the overall work the foundation does within the region. Growth in our endowment allows us to continue to address changing needs.”

Upon learning of Swanson’s generosity “the development team and I could not contain our delight,” Vyskocil added. “It is gratifying when people choose to help us fulfill our mission to make the region a better place to live and work. We will honor this gift and represent the values and hard work of Charles Swanson.”

Swanson was born in 1926 in Red Lake Falls and attended church and high school in St. Hilaire, MN. He graduated in 1947 from the Northwest School of Agriculture in Crookston, MN, where he participated in basketball, track and band.

He served in the U.S. Army during World War II then returned home to run the Swanson family farm, which bordered Red Lake and Pennington Counties. Swanson raised livestock, small grains, and enjoyed the farm life.

In his spare time, he liked reading, bird-watching and traveling. Long-time Red Lake Falls resident Allen Bertilrud said that Swanson was not well known; he was a quiet, private man who kept mostly to himself.

Swanson’s financial advisor, Pat Thibert of Edward Jones was instrumental in connecting Swanson to NMF after learning of his desire to leave a legacy that would benefit Northwest Minnesota.

Lisa Peterson, NMF senior development officer said the staff is grateful to have good working relationships with professional advisors in the region. “Many people learn about how they can partner with the work done at NMF through our network of accountants, financial institutions and attorneys,” Peterson said. “It’s wonderful when a person like Charles comes forward to help us with such a generous bequest. It will continue to improve the quality of life in our region for years to come.”

NMF works collaboratively with development staff from a range of foundations and nonprofits to educate professional advisors, including investment managers, accountants, financial planners, insurance brokers and attorneys. Low-cost workshops are held around the 12-County region that feature speakers who have proven expertise in common gifting methods along with knowledge about the latest legal and tax implications for charitable giving. Oftentimes, professional continuing education credits are also available to benefit the participants by providing inexpensive and time saving training that fills their requirements.

It is a worthwhile investment when a financial planner like Thibert puts the pieces together for a very meaningful gift that meets his client’s bequest objectives.



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