Bringing Philanthropy to Life for a Stronger South Dakota

Learn how South Dakota is growing for good.

Bernard Christenson Headshot

Together we mourn the passing of our founding Executive Director, friend, and mentor, Bernie Christenson. Bernie passed late Friday, January 31st at his home in Pierre.

He was a true legend in his law enforcement, aviation and political careers; but working with Governor George S. Mickelson and other leaders throughout the state to establish the South Dakota Community Foundation was the capstone to a life dedicated to public service. During his tenure spanning from 1987-2003, Bernie was instrumental in raising over $40 million in endowed assets, established the Foundation's Community Savings Account program, and built the framework that has allowed individuals, communities and nonprofits to invest over $350 million for the betterment of South Dakota.

The family is establishing a fund at the Foundation that will provide financial support to programs addressing child hunger in the Pierre – Fort Pierre communities. 

We believe in our state

Since 1987, the South Dakota Community Foundation has helped people reach their philanthropic goals and strengthen communities by making your charitable donations do more. Every day we work to simplify the process and grow charitable donations through careful investment—so these donations can go further and do more good throughout the state of South Dakota.

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South Dakota Community Foundation
1714 North Lincoln Ave
Box 296
Pierre, SD 57501

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