About the Wharf Fund

The Wharf Fund is a million-dollar endowment fund that was designed to give back to Lead, South Dakota and surrounding communities. The Wharf Fund is held within the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF). The fund was developed to help create lasting relationships and bring long term social and economic benefits for all communities and people involved. The Fund is meant to help the cause last longer than the money that is granted.

“Grants from the Fund are intended to support organizations and initiatives that build economic, social and cultural capacity, as well as create a positive social and economic legacy.”

Tony Auld, Wharf Fund Committee Member

In order to assist in the development of sustainable prosperity within Lead and the surrounding communities, the following are the four core funding categories: health, education, arts and culture, and community development. Since its development in 2012, the Fund has granted over $300,000 to local organizations.

The real beauty of the Fund is that the initial million dollars put into the fund at the beginning of its creation will not be touched. How, you ask? The Fund was designed so that the Advisory Committee can spend only five percent of the interest made in a years’ time. To help maintain growth of the monies, Wharf Resources donates the interest amount to the Fund so that the interest can be rolled back into the Fund itself. The goal of Coeur Wharf is to grow the Fund to two million dollars by the close of the mine. Ultimately the Fund will grow indefinitely using only five percent of the earnings each year.

Grant requests will be assessed within the context of the Fund’s mission of sustainable prosperity and the objectives of generating effective partnerships and capacity building within the organization’s community. In addition to the general objectives of the program, proposals will be assessed on the following criteria: 1) Alignment of project with the Fund’s values and principles. 2) Importance of the need and existing services and facilities. 3) The creation of long‐term results sustainable beyond the initial grant. 4) Financial viability and effective management of the project and organization. 5) Term of project and ability to generate effective partnerships.

We encourage your organization to fill out an application and return it in a timely manner to be considered for the most recent quarter’s grants!

Core Values

Community Development

Projects will be assessed based on the community needs, but projects that support a sustainable economy for the community they are located within are encouraged. Building institutional capacity and physical infrastructure are necessary for thriving communities, therefore is a priority.


Educational programs and initiatives should be designed to support childhood, youth, and adult continuing education initiatives. The goal is to strengthen educational opportunities within the local communities.

Arts & Culture

Projects should seek to strengthen the culture and diversity of the local community. Projects and initiatives that preserve local heritage and promote indigenous traditions and practice are encouraged.


Health programs and initiatives should be focused on assisting local communities assess specific health needs and supporting initiatives that address the community’s greatest health needs. Projects should target both the quality of and the access of health care within the community. Preference will be given to programs and initiatives that are able to be sustained beyond the initial funding commitment.