The Mining Foundation of the Southwest was incorporated in Arizona in 1982 by combining the Mining Club of the Southwest and the Mining Club of the Southwest Foundation. The purpose of the Foundation is to promote public understanding and education related to mineral resources and the mining industry, both in the U.S and abroad. Toward this goal, MFSW funds educational projects each year in the southwest including Mexico from donations and fundraising activities.
Beginning in 2008, the Foundation embarked on a major fundraising activity for the purpose of developing a MFSW Educational Outreach Program. The Program focuses on educating students and adults about mining and the importance of mineral resources in modern life. In March of 2009, Pamela A.K. Wilkinson was selected to fill the position of Outreach Education Coordinator. The position was originally supported through the Arizona Department of Mining & Mineral Resources and later through the Arizona Geological Survey. Currently the position is supported through the Lowell Institute of Mineral Resources at the University of Arizona.
In addition, a scale model diorama of a modern open-pit copper mine, funded by the Foundation, is now on display at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park in Tempe.
MFSW has published three volumes on the History of Mining in Arizona, which are for sale and cover the early history and development of Arizona's famous mining camps.