The History of The Moline Foundation

Philanthropy Grows in Moline

Robert K. Swan had a dream for his hometown of Moline, Illinois.  He wanted to start a fund that would help the poor, hungry, and homeless.  But Mr. Swan also wanted to create a better quality of life for the home he loved.  He knew arts, music, education and health care were important to a growing and vibrant community.

His ancestors were the initial owners and co-founders of Moline Plow Company; a farm implement company which eventually became Minneapolis-Moline, then White Tractor and finally Agco.  The family fortune became the foundation of the most enduring charitable enterprise that has ever been established in Moline.

Upon his death in 1953, he left $4.6 million (in today’s dollars) to start The Moline Foundation.  It was first known as the Moline Community Trust and joined 59 other community trusts in the United States.  Mr. Swan’s initial gift placed The Moline Foundation in the elite top ten of community trusts’ assets. In fact, The Moline Foundation was the largest funded community trust since 1947 when the Pittsburgh fund was established.

Through the years, over $43 million has been distributed to charitable projects and programs in the area, thanks to the growth of endowment designated dollars and many generous donors.