$100,000 Awarded to Mazaska… | South Dakota Community Foundation

$100,000 Awarded to Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, Inc.

December 5, 2023 // Grants, Beyond Idea Grant Program

South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) recently presented Mazaska Oweso Otipi Financial, Inc., $100,000 from the Beyond Idea Grant (BIG) program. Offered in partnership with the Bush Foundation, the BIG program supports community-based problem-solving efforts in South Dakota.

Colleen Steele, Executive Director at Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial, Inc., says, “We are excited to see what impact the Community Support Network brings and extend our thanks to the South Dakota Community Foundation for their investment in our aspiring homeowners and community.”

Photo left to right: Crystal Ortbahn, Grant Program Coordinator, SDCF; Stephanie Provost, Director of Lending Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial Inc. ; Colleen Steele, Executive Director, Mazaska Owecaso Otipi Financial Inc. ; Ginger Niemann, Senior Program Officer, SDCF; and Dawn Gordon, Grant Program Assistant, SDCF.

With funding from the BIG program, they will continue to support homebuyers through community coaching, homebuyer readiness classes, and talking circles, all in continuation of the “relationship lending” model. Mazaska will test their idea with the use of a Community Support Network (CSN) to help connect aspiring homeowners on the Pine Ridge Reservation with individuals and entities that can assist them towards their homeownership goals. The CSN will be composed of Community Coaches who have already made the homeownership journey and can share their experience. These coaches will have expertise across the various homeownership options available on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

“There are many steps in gaining the necessary knowledge in all areas of homeownership,” says Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “We’re glad to support their idea to address homeownership on the Pine Ridge Reservation."

SDCF has awarded nearly $1.2 million dollars from the Beyond Idea Grant program in 2023. SDCF will award $1.2 million from the BIG program in 2024 as well. Interested organizations can visit SDCommunityFoundation.org/BIG to review the grant guidelines, deadlines and application instructions. In order to qualify, a nonprofit must be IRS Publication 78 verified or have a fiscal sponsor.

SDCF is a public non-profit organization established in 1987. SDCF, with offices in Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls and Aberdeen administers 1,200 funds benefiting hundreds of charitable organizations annually. The Foundation distributed nearly $30 million in grants in 2022 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit https://sdcommunityfoundation.org/giving to learn more or call 1-800-888-1842.

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth, the Foundation encourages individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.