The Foundation's 2017, 2016, and 2015 audited financial statements are available for your review. The 2018 audited financial statements will be available in July 2019.

You can also see the Foundation's most recent Form 990-PF, Return of Private Foundation and Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return, for the year ending December 31, 2017. The 2016 Form 990-PF, 2016 Form 990-T, 2015 Form 990-PF and 2015 Form 990-T  are also available. The 2018 Form 990-PF and 2018 Form 990-T will be available in December 2019.

Investment commentary for 2017

Investments and Audit

Global markets have been rising over the recent few years, and notably in 2017, creating better-than-expected returns for most foundations.  

The Foundation’s investment return in 2017 was 13.7%. The three- and five-year investment returns were 7.3% and 9.6%, respectively. The Foundation’s long-term investment objective is to generate a real return in excess of the IRS minimum 5.% payout requirement. The Foundation has maintained sufficient investment liquidity to meet its operating needs. 

The Foundation’s investment program is coordinated by an Investment Committee of the board, a chief investment officer employed by the Foundation and an outside independent investment advisory firm. 

KPMG LLP serves as the independent auditors for the Foundation. The Foundation’s Finance and Audit Committee reviews the results of the audit examination and recommends to the board for approval. The Finance and Audit Committee also reviews the related federal tax filings.

Payout (Qualifying Distributions as defined by IRS)

The Foundation’s payout policy utilizes a multiyear smoothing formula that softens the impact of volatile markets in determining its annual payout targets. Expected actual payout for 2017 is $46.9 million; target payout for 2017 is $47.1 million.  The Foundation’s long term payout strategy is to continue to at least meet the required IRS minimum 5.0% payout over time.

Looking forward

Our aim is to be a highly dependable and effective partner for Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the geography. We expect that our investment and payout policies will provide the steady funding required by our program strategies in 2018 and beyond.