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Our Beginning

It began with a vision, a generous donor, and a community need.

The Sheyenne Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) was established in 2013. The need for a local Community Foundation had been evident for many years, but two events made creating a community foundation more urgent than ever: a donor with a ties to Valley City had limited options for giving, and the planning stages of a $16 million capital campaign for the construction if a new Wellness Center, a collaborative project between the town of Valley City and Valley City State University.


Both projects required the coordinated efforts of an organization that truly understood the local community, its needs, and how to effectively receive and manage donations. Thus, the SVCF came into being. Since its establishment, the Wellness Center has been successfully built, but the impact of the SVCF has gone beyond the success of that initial major project. Through grant support, the establishment of endowment funds, and assistance to donors in fulfilling their charitable goals, the SVCF has become a driving force in our communities.


We express our heartfelt gratitude to the Gaukler Family Foundation for their generous initial gift that kickstarted the SVCF and for their continued support through our grant cycles. Thanks to your philanthropic vision and generosity, families, individuals, nonprofits, and businesses will create and contribute to permanent charitable funds that will help the Sheyenne River Valley area thrive. ​

Our Purpose

As residents of the Sheyenne Valley, we consider ourselves fortunate to live in a place with vast open spaces and compassionate hearts. The Sheyenne Valley Community Foundation exists to empower residents to build stronger families and businesses together, fostering a thriving community. We proudly serve Barnes, Griggs, and Ransom Counties, and we are the only local organization focused on supporting charitable organizations and acting as a bridge for community giving.

Community Involvement

The Foundation plays a pivotal role beyond merely facilitating the flow of funds from donors to recipients. We are an integral part of the community, and its needs are our own. Every day, we diligently identify the most pressing areas of need in our community and address them using the funds entrusted to us by donors who believe in our ability to solve problems and make a positive impact.

We aspire to become the most trusted philanthropic resource in the Sheyenne Valley. Our dedicated board of directors and staff listen attentively, provide leadership, and forge connections with donors in our community. It is through the selfless contributions of these individuals that tangible and lasting change is cultivated.

For example, the Access for All program, which offers free counseling services to students at Valley City Public Schools, was a donor's solution to address the glaring mental health crisis. The program's success has inspired Barnes County North Public School to replicate it, demonstrating our ability to develop, test, and spread great ideas. To learn more about our impact in the community, please read about our success stories here.

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A Brief Timeline of SVCF

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Board of Directors

Josh Lagein, President
John Deere Seeding Group

Loni Trapp, Vice President
Ivy Real Estate Group

Tyler Marthaler, Director
Dacotah Bank

Tyler van Bruggen, Director
Farmers Union Insurance


Erin Klingenberg, Director
Valley City State University

Tim Eggert, Director
Sheyenne Tooling and Manufacturing
Erik GilbertsonDirector
Moore Engineering

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