Frequently Asked Questions

How to pronounce “Høstfest”? ?
1. What is the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation?
The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established to accept, administer and distribute funds in support of the preservation of Scandinavian heritage, particularly the Norsk Høstfest and Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota. Gifts to HHF are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
2. Why does it exist?
The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation’s five part mission outlines its role as a resource for preserving Scandinavian culture and heritage. The HHF benefits donors by identifying priority areas, creating gift opportunities and being faithful stewards of donors’ generous gifts. The HHF benefits our Scandinavian culture and heritage programs by accepting and administrating charitable gifts for both current and future needs.
3. What has it done?
Since its establishment in 1999, the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation has quietly promoted estate or planned giving resulting in several substantial gifts. In addition, the HHF has administered the Norsk Høstfest Guardian funds which form a significant financial reserve for the annual operations of the festival. With the addition of the Chuck and Madge Westlie estate gift distribution in 2013, the HHF has begun to award grants in furtherance of its mission.
4. What are your goals for the future?
The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation Board of Directors have set forth an action oriented mission statement. The HHF is currently working on establishing itself as a significant resource for Norsk Høstfest, the Scandinavian Heritage Association and our donors. A comprehensive fund development program is being established and annual grants will be awarded for mission related projects. The HHF is fully aware that its capacity requires additional funding and quality stewardship of grants to establish confidence and relationships with our donors.
5. What is the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation working on now?
The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation is working on establishing an annual donor base, developing itself as a planned giving resource for its donors and professional advisors and launching a capital effort to fund its priority initiatives. The HHF is also working on providing the supporting resources for a variety of programs or initiatives related to Scandinavian interests, for example scholarship programs for study at Scandinavian universities and trade programs with Scandinavian countries, that have grown out of Norsk Høstfest and which encourage interest in Scandinavian culture.
6. Does HHF have any assets?
Yes, the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation has discretionary and restricted use funds. It also administers spendable and endowed assets.
7. Where did those assets come from?
The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation has received several gifts over the years. The majority of its assets have come from estate gifts and gifts restricted to Norsk Høstfest for emergency needs or other unforeseen circumstances.
8. Who decides where the money goes?
The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors. This Board reviews all requests and determines if the program, project or activity, directly supports Norsk Høstfest or the Scandinavian Heritage Association or otherwise meets its mission requirements. At this time, the HHF is not accepting outside grant applications. Please see the Board Members section.
9. Is all the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation money going into one big pot?
No. The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation has established several priority related funds to meet its needs and the interest of donors. These funds are discretionary, restricted, spendable and endowed. Please see the Funds section under Your Legacy for information on the HHF Funds.
10. What are discretionary funds?
Discretionary funds provide the Høstfest-Heritage Board with the greatest latitude in using donations and their earnings in a manner that meets the most important need of the HHF at a particular time. This discretion is key for the HHF to be responsive to unknown future needs.
11. What are restricted funds?
Restricted funds are established for specific purposes. Any donation or earnings from those donations may only be used for the stated purpose of the fund. They are established as priorities of the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation or in response to donors’ written wishes. The restricted purpose of a fund may only be changed by the HHF Board upon a determination that the purpose for which the fund was established is no longer necessary or impractical.
12. What are endowment funds?
Endowment funds provide the financial backbone for the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation mission. These funds use only earnings to award grants. They build over time, through new gifts and retained earnings, and allow the HHF Board to not only continue to support priorities year after year, but also to increase its financial support.
13. What have you supported in the past with funds?
The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation has only recently begun to make grants. Please see Grant Stories under the Activities button. In addition to grant awards, the HHF Board and Staff are active in Norsk Høstfest planning and the Scandinavian Heritage Association activities.
14. Isn’t the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation just duplicating Norsk Høstfest and the Scandinavian Heritage Association?
No. The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation does not participate in direct management or administration of either association. The HHF is a partner with each organization for the purpose of accepting, receiving and administering charitable gifts that ultimately benefit each organization. As a foundation, the HHF is a perpetual organization that provides an opportunity for the friends of both operating associations to continue or build their legacy for future generations.
15. How can I give?
Gifts to the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation can be made at any time, for any amount and directed to any existing fund. The HHF Annual Fund (Oarsmen) is a great way to support the HHF with your gift being directed where need is greatest. Click on the Donate button for easy secure on-line giving. For more information contact
16. What will you do with my money/gift?
Your gift will be receipted and allocated to the fund(s) you wish to support. The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation Board will utilize your gift according to the purpose of the fund. Your gift may be used immediately or used at a later date.
17. Why do you need money?
The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation is primarily a funding organization for preserving Scandinavian culture and heritage. Funding is necessary in order to meet that mission goal and to provide leadership and vision for that goal for years to come. The HHF is also a great opportunity for our many friends to give and lend their support to building our Scandinavian legacy.
18. Can I designate what my money is used for?
Yes. Please refer to the Your Legacy section for a list of the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation priority funds. If you wish to make a gift to an area other than one of these funds please contact
19. How do I know my dollars will be well spent?
The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation is committed to being a good steward of all gifts. An annual audit or compiled financial statement is always prepared by a reputable accounting firm to present our financials. In addition, any grants awarded by the HHF will be highlighted in the Activities section of our website.
20. What is HHFLegacy?
HHFLegacy is the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation’s resource center for charitable planned giving. Part of our mission is to assist our friends in perpetuating the legacy of their life and values through thoughtful estate planning that might include charitable gifting. HHFLegacy is an extensive library of information on this subject right at your fingertips. Please click on the HHFLegacy button to learn more.
Learn more at Your Legacy


Visit the official Hostfest site
Visit the Scandinavian Heritage Association site
Visit the Scandinavian Hall of Fame site