Milbank Community Foundation

About Us

The Milbank Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that serves the Milbank, South Dakota, area with a mission to provide the opportunity for philanthropic investment in our community; to demonstrate leadership in the areas of education, social and economic development; and to promote the quality of life of the residents of the Milbank area.

Board of Directors
  • Mark Leddy, President                       
  • Gary Lindeman, Vice President
  • Chuck Monson, Secretary                 
  • Camille Reynen, Treasurer
  • Russ Fischer
  • Bill Schuneman                                    
  • Dr. Richard Lentz
  • Jeff Jones                                             
  • Dr. Mark Bierschbach                        
  • Tana Mundwiler                                  
  • Gwen Biersbach

What the Milbank Community Foundation Offers:

  • Continuity:  Gifts can continue to provide community support over a period of years.
  • Simplicity:  One gift may benefit numerous organizations and activities.
  • Perpetuity:  A fund may be established with the assurance that the proceeds will benefit the community well beyond the donor’s lifetime.
  • Security:  A well-established, ongoing foundation that provides a steady fund growth by providing a return rate that follows the prime rate index.
  • Tax Benefits:  Donations are deductible to the extent allowed by the Internal Revenue Service code.
  • Philanthropy:  The Foundation allows others to share one’s good fortune with those less fortunate.


Brief History

The Milbank Community Foundation was created in 1993 as a Section 501(c)(3) organization to receive and accept money and property for charitable or benevolent purposes for the benefit of the residents of the Milbank area.  The Milbank Community Foundation consists of 16 designated funds with assets of over $21 million as of December 2008.  The Foundation also assists local nonprofit organizations with management and fundraising.

Unity Square, a recreational facility, was the first project that the Milbank Community Foundation helped raise funds for in the community; construction of the facility was completed in 1995.   Unity Square was created to provide programs for cultural, health, and recreational enhancement while maintaining an attractive, functional facility.  Unity Square will furnish a gathering place that provides opportunity and programming for all people.  In the interest of our clientele, we will strive to create the best customer service that leaves a feeling of importance and appreciation for all users of Unity Square.  We will provide these services regardless of the ability to pay.  Unity Square consists of a large indoor pool equipped with a 109-foot water slide, a wading pool, a whirlpool, a sauna, racquetball courts, a gymnasium, a walking/jogging track, a nautilus center, a free weight room, and meeting rooms.

The next community project was the development of the Midwest Dairy Institute in 1998. The mission of the Midwest Dairy Institute is to operate a profitable dairy farm using efficient, effective, and practical dairy management.  By doing so, we will be a credible resource for the dairy industry.  We will serve as a demonstration farm, informational clearinghouse, and educational center.  We are committed to helping dairy producers, dairy workers, industry representatives, and consumers better understand modern dairy farming.  In 1999, the Midwest Dairy Institute was milking 320 cows in a double-8 herringbone parlor twice a day.  Currently, we are milking 1,589 cows in a 40-stall carousel parlor three times a day.

The Midwest Dairy Institute began building a plug flow methane digester in 2005.  Construction of the digester was completed in late August 2006.  Today, the Midwest Dairy Institute produces enough methane to heat all the hot water the dairy needs and produces between 300 to 350 KW of electricity per day.

The Milbank Community Foundation currently has operations in three Milbank locations:  Unity Square is located at 904 East Fourth Avenue, the Midwest Dairy Institute is located at 48047 153rd Street, and the Milbank Community Foundation is located at 48051 153rd Street.


Management Philosophy

The Milbank Community Foundation management philosophy is to operate our funds both cost effectively and efficiently while meeting our goals of enhancing the quality of life for the residents of the Milbank area.

Who Benefits?

The citizens of the Milbank area benefit.  The foundation supports funding of activities that promote cultural, educational, civic, wellness, and environmental programs in our area.  Grants will include all elements of the community, all age groups, urban and rural, men and women, and the disadvantaged.

For More Information:

  • Members of the foundation board and staff are available to speak with individuals, groups, and organizations regarding the workings of the foundation.
  • Grant seekers may receive guidance with the grant application process from the foundation staff.  The foundation board oversees the development of the endowment and provides the leadership needed to realize the foundation’s mission.
  • Board members are selected based on their knowledge and commitment to the community, their leadership abilities, their diverse backgrounds and affiliations, and their willingness to work hard to build and direct the foundation.


Gift Giving:

If you would like information on different giving options or making an anonymous gift, please contact the Milbank Community Foundation:

Craig Wellnitz, Finance Director
Milbank Community Foundation
48051 153rd Street
Milbank, SD 57252
(605) 432-9000
(605) 432-9270 (fax)

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