Aberdeen Area Community Foundation involved in nearly $290,000 in local area grants

ABERDEEN, S.D. (Press Release) – In the difficult year of 2020, the Aberdeen Area Community Foundation made or recommended more than $286,000 in grants in the Hub City area. In addition to grants the AACF made directly, several were matched by the South Dakota Community Foundation, many came through the Knight COVID-19 Sub-fund in the AACF, and two were made by the the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation on the AACF’s recommendation.

AACF Chair Heath Johnson noted, “It’s been a challenging year, but thanks to our partnerships, the AACF has been able to have an impact in our community. The credit goes to the great organizations who are doing the good work of helping our neighbors in so many ways.”

The AACF made 15 grants totaling $42,412, which addressed general needs as well as the impact of COVID:

Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Inc.                                                                                     $1,000.00

DTOM 22/0 Foundation                                                                                               $1,000.00

Aberdeen Amateur Hockey Association-COVID                                                $5,000.00

Aberdeen Catholic School System                                                                           $5,000.00

Bath Bulldogs                                                                                                                    $1,000.00

Aberdeen Development Corporation                                                                     $5,000.00

GROW South Dakota                                                                                                      $2,000.00

Presentation College-COVID                                                                                       $1,000.00

Northern State University-COVID                                                                           $4,000.00

Salvation Army-COVID                                                                                                 $1,500.00

Boys & Girls Club of Aberdeen Area -COVID                                                       $1,500.00

Aberdeen Area Humane Society                                                                               $5,000.00

Salvation Army                                                                                                                 $3,412.48

Fallout Creative Community                                                                                      $5,000.00

BIG Idea Competition                                                                                                    $1,000.00


The South Dakota Community Foundation fully matched five AACF grants for a total of $13,000. In early 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, the SDCF created the Coronavirus Response Fund, which included matching funds for grants made by local Community Savings Accounts (of which AACF is one) to address COVID impact. The matched grants are indicated with “COVID” in the list above.

The AACF also distributed $19,800 to the K.O. Lee Aberdeen Public Library out of funds remaining from a 2017 Knight Foundation Communities grant.

In March 2020, Knight Foundation committed $225,000 in partnership with the AACF and the SDCF to provide pandemic relief through the Knight COVID 19 Sub-fund in the AACF. In 2020, AACF made 14 grants for $142,813 through the fund, starting with $40,000 for the United Way of Northeastern South Dakota’s COVID-19 Relief Fund.

StartHUB                                                                                                                                $6,000.00

North Highland United Methodist Church                                                              $1,500.00

Boys & Girls Club of Aberdeen Area                                                                           $6,000.00

Northeast South Dakota Area Health Education Center                                    $5,000.00

Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church                                                              $18,600.00

Aberdeen Catholic School System                                                                              $4,400.00

Aberdeen Family YMCA                                                                                                 $18,813.23

Safe Harbor                                                                                                                           $1,000.00

Boys & Girls Club of Aberdeen Area                                                                         $10,000.00

1 Million Cups Aberdeen                                                                                                 $5,000.00

Aberdeen Downtown Association                                                                            $10,000.00

Avera St. Luke’s Hospital                                                                                               $10,000.00

Aberdeen Downtown Association                                                                              $6,500.00

United Way of Northeastern South Dakota                                                          $40,000.00


The AACF recommends grants for Knight Foundation’s Aberdeen Fund in the SDCF. Knight Foundation created the fund through its Knight Cities program to support activities in communities where Knight Newspapers once operated. In 2020, Knight Foundation approved a $50,000 grant for the Aberdeen Development Corporation’s Malchow Plaza project on Main Street as well as $18,300 for a downtown mural.

For more information on all grants reported here, visit  https://aberdeencommunityfoundation.com/community-impact/