Take a Virtual Coffee Break!

July 29, 2014

gcftPhilanthropy – we need each other to do it well, and it’s imperative that we make time to share stories, compare notes and answer questions. My favorite way to engage is over coffee or lunch, but that’s not always possible. Sometimes online advice – I call it a virtual coffee break – will do.

I know GrantCraft for their excellent guides, and I’ve used many of them in my work. The site has now been completely reorganized, making lots of great content much easier to locate and use. They’ve also made it easier to find out what other grantmakers have got brewing and to contribute your own lessons learned.

Maybe you’re working on an initiative that’s new to your community but has taken off elsewhere, or you have a burning question that you’d like a lot of people to weigh in on right now. Those are a couple of the reasons I’m hoping that GrantCraft’s new features really take off.

I encourage you to take a fresh look at the site, share your wisdom and comment on the questions asked by others. All of the discussions on the site are searchable and will be archived. Today when I checked, there were funders wondering how others help grantees beyond grants, how grantmakers help grantees find new money, challenges that arise when collaborating with other funders and how your organization structures challenge grants. These are all questions that I know many of our MCF members can help answer for other grantmakers.

Every success I have had in this field has been because of connections I’ve made and people I’ve met. GrantCraft now provides us a virtual opportunity to widen our networks and learn from grantmakers we haven’t yet met. If we take advantage of it, we’ll each improve our own practice, and we’ll better the field of philanthropy together. Let’s use it to stimulate real results!

- Trista Harris, MCF president


Learn About Becoming a Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow

July 28, 2014

Ron-McKinley-Philanthropy_FINAL_outlines_RGB-(2)MCF’s Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship, which we opened applications for earlier this month, will prepare individuals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy. But the fellowship is about more than changing the face of leadership in philanthropy; it’s about infusing new ideas and viewpoints into the field.

Are you interested in applying to be a Ron McKinley Philanthropy fellow? Do you have questions about the application process?

Join Alfonso Wenker, MCF director of diversity, equity and inclusion, for a short informational webinar about the process and the program on Thursday, August 7, at 3 p.m. Alfonso will provide a high-level overview of the program and take questions from participants.

And for a look at what the 2014 Philanthropy Fellows are up to, don’t miss MCF’s new issue of Giving Forum, online and in your mailbox now. We caught up with Venessa Fuentes and Dameun Strange and asked them about their responsibilities and how they’re helping effect positive community change. Read about their experiences, then join our webinar to see what the fellowship would mean for you!


Channel One Regional Food Bank Wins All-Star Grant

July 18, 2014

Baseball’s All-Star Game happened earlier this week in Minneapolis, and with it came the announcement of the nonprofit awarded the Twins “All-Star Fans Choose” grant.

Nearly 75,000 fans voted to help award the $500,000 grant, with Channel One Regional Food Bank ultimately selected. The food bank plans to use the $500,000 grant to add more than 20,000 square feet of warehouse space at its Rochester location and build a kitchen and classroom to better serve and feed people in need. Channel One serves 13 counties in Southeast Minnesota and LaCrosse County in Wisconsin and an average of 100,000 people a year.

Six other finalists were each awarded $50,000:

  • Camp Fire Minnesota in Chanhassen
  • Cookie Cart in Minneapolis
  • Hmong American Farmers Association in Vermillion
  • Madison Claire Foundation inWoodbury
  • Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge in St. Michael
  • People Serving People in Minneapolis

The “All-Star Fans Choose” grant was part of an extensive legacy giving campaign, including the contribution of more than $8 million toward local projects and national charitable initiatives. This was made possible due to a partnership between MLB Charities, the Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Family Foundation.

Congratulations to Channel One Regional Food Bank and all the finalists!


What’s Your Verb?

July 15, 2014
Jennifer Ford Reedy addressing the YNPN National Conference

Jennifer Ford Reedy addressing the YNPN National Conference

A couple of weeks ago, the national conference of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network came to Minneapolis. As a board member of the local chapter, I was thrilled to see so many young leaders from around the country in town and for them to hear Jennifer Ford Reedy of the Bush Foundation during day two’s opening keynote.

One insight from Reedy’s keynote in particular has been sticking with me and others who attended. It came during her description of her career path and how she figured out what her dream job was. A lot of her career, she said, involved doing a good job and seeing what new opportunities emerged, but there was a pivotal moment — involving deep thinking and visualizing her dream job — that got her to where she is today.

That moment came with a question from a CEO she’d been working with. The question wasn’t, “What’s your dream job?” Instead the CEO asked, “Can we fund you to be you and keep doing what you’re doing in the community?” Reedy knew that wasn’t feasible and that she’d need to have a platform and a place to belong. But it did get her thinking, “What do I want to do? Not what job do I want, but what is the verb in my life?”

She thought about what she was good at, what she enjoyed doing and the impact she wanted to have. From there she considered organizations she could be a part of that would allow her to do that. That frame of mind allowed her to make conscious choices that led her to Bush Foundation.

Reedy’s story demonstrated that the familiar question about someone’s dream job might have it backwards. The most important thing to know is what you’ll be happy doing. The best place to do it flows from there, not vice versa. So what about it, what’s your verb?

Watch Reedy’s full keynote and Q&A session from the conference below:

- Chris Oien, MCF digital communications specialist


Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation Announces Community Health Spirit Award

July 11, 2014

FINAL_DD_Logo_bk_w_tagDelta Dental of Minnesota Foundation has launched a leadership award in honor of Ann K. Johnson, former Executive Director of Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation, and Community Affairs Director of Delta Dental of Minnesota. Ann dedicated her career to uplifting the lives of others and encouraging those around her to use their talents towards improved oral health for all Minnesotans.

The Ann K. Johnson Minnesota Community Health Spirit Award will be given to an individual in special recognition of their contributions to improving oral and/or overall health in Minnesota, and to celebrate their visionary leadership.

An award of $2,500 will be presented to honor the recipient for his or her spirited leadership in oral and/or overall health on behalf of underserved communities. Prospective nominees will be considered based on Ann’s leadership qualities:

  • Inspiring and bringing together people to achieve oral health and/or overall health goals
  • Leading by example through a lifelong commitment and dedication to communities
  • Seeking continual growth through listening, learning, and practicing creative leadership
  • Achieving significant accomplishments for community health, especially oral health
  • Promoting a positive work experience – working with a smile in all that is done, and having fun in the work you do
  • Helping others shine and rise to their full potential

Candidates must be nominated by an organization or by an individual with whom they are personally or professionally affiliated. All candidates must have a nomination package submitted by July 31.

Visit the online nomination form to learn more about the award and the process. Good luck to those being nominated!


MCF Welcomes Na Eng as Director of Communications

July 10, 2014

Na EngMCF is pleased to welcome Na Eng as our new interim director of communications.

As an award-winning journalist for PBS and CNBC, Na covered a broad range of critical economic and social issues, such as health care, education, immigration and renewable energy. Her hard hitting reporting took her to far-flung destinations all over the world and earned her top industry honors, including an Emmy Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Na also served as a senior communications officer for the international humanitarian organization Mercy Corps where she managed media relations and wrote op-eds, web copy, press releases and other material.

At MCF, Na will direct strategic communications planning for the coming year. Returning to Minnesota after a long career in New York, she is excited for the opportunity to contribute to the state’s vibrant foundation and nonprofit community.

Welcome Na!

 


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