Patrick K. Costello
Attorney at Law

Starting a Charitable Foundation Using the Community Foundation Option - The original concept paper for the retention of farmland by community foundations first presented to the American Agricultural Law Association.

Southwest Initiative Foundation 
Keep It Growing℠ Southwest Minnesota's Farmland Giving Program


Southwest Minnesota attorney, Patrick Costello, saw within his own law practice that many clients were charitably inclined and yet so deeply connected to their farmland and their neighbors that an outright gift of land that would be sold off by the charity was not an attractive option for many.

Pat wondered if charities might consider keeping and managing the farmland, and knew immediately that community foundations would be best positioned for the opportunity, Rather than liquidating the assets like other charities usually do with gifts of real estate, Pat's model allows Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) - a community foundation- to receive remainder interest of donors' life estate, maintain ownership of the land after the donor passes, and if desired, create a donor designated memorial fund that will support the farmer's charitable interests.

Keep It Growing℠ has been a winning combination gaining interest across the region and country. Over the last few years, farmland giving has become a cornerstone of the innovative and flexible giving options Southwest Initiative Foundation offers its rural region.