Inspiration, Renewed Commitments at the Ambassador Awards

April 10, 2014
The Saint Paul Foundation's Carleen Rhodes with this year's Ambassador Awards honorees.

Minnesota Philanthropy Partners’ Carleen Rhodes with this year’s Ambassador Awards honorees.

On April 7, The Saint Paul Foundation held its annual Facing Race Ambassador Awards. The purpose of this event is to honor “…individuals working to build communities where everyone feels safe, valued and respected.”

This year, over 500 people came out to celebrate and honor this work. It was fantastic to see such a multi-generational crowd. Attendees included youth, elected officials, and those from the nonprofit, philanthropic, education, business, and government sectors.

Carleen Rhodes and Rowzat Shipchandler opened the event with an overview of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners’ renewed commitment to racial equity including the racial equity framework. This framework will promote racial equity through the various roles of the foundation: as community participants, economic entities, funders, employers, fundraisers, and leaders.

People were nominated from all across the state. This year, there were two Ambassador Award recipients, Jada Sherrie Mitchell and Justin Terrell, and three Honorable Mention recipients, Jennifer Godinez, Bukata Hayes and Dr. Cecilia Martinez. The Ambassador Award winners each received a $10,000 grant and the Honorable Mention winners each received a $1,000 grant that they may present to the nonprofit of their choice.

Award winning local photographer, Wing Young Huie, was the keynote speaker. He asked questions such as “How much does society shape ideas of who we are,” “Who gets to say who is a Minnesotan,” “When are we different and when are we the same,” and “Are we aware of our subconscious assumptions?” He demonstrated the power of the media across space and time, showing how some reactions to one photo were strongly influenced by images and assumptions from the Vietnam War many decades earlier.

It was a wonderful night of greeting old friends and meeting new ones, building the beloved community, and renewing personal commitments to advance this work.

- Jennifer Pennington, MCF member services fellow


C.H. Robinson Honored for Workplace Giving

April 7, 2014

chEarlier this month, MCF member C.H. Robinson received the Community Impact Award in the Workplace Giving Campaign category from Minnesota Business magazine. The honor recognizes a successful volunteer or employee-giving campaign benefiting any non-profit or other worthy organization.

This is the second year in a row that Minnesota Business has recognized C.H. Robinson in the Workplace Giving Campaign category in recognition of various employee volunteer campaigns that the company facilitates. This year, C.H. Robinson was presented the award for the company’s 14 years of support and dedication to the MinnDakotas chapter of JDRF, the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes research.

Each year, C.H. Robinson’s employees gather at the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN to participate in the annual Walk to Cure Diabetes. What began as a small group of employees who participated in the Walk in 2001, has now grown to 645 Team Robinson walkers who participated in this year’s walk.

“We are proud of the work our employees do to make C.H. Robinson a great company,” said Angie Freeman, vice president of human resources at C.H. Robinson. “Awards like this are a reminder that giving back is embedded in our company culture and that the same ingenuity and hard work that help us succeed as a company, also help make our communities better places to live and work.”

Learn More About Corporate Giving

Corporate giving often extends beyond giving grants. Noncash charitable contributions include employee volunteer time such as this and donated goods and services. To learn more about Minnesota’s corporate giving landscape, see our January blog post, and our Giving in Minnesota and Grantmaker Rankings research.

Congratulations to C.H. Robinson!


Meet the 2014 Facing Race Ambassador Award Winners

March 25, 2014

raceThe Saint Paul Foundation will honor five anti-­racism advocates at the eighth annual Facing Race Ambassador Awards on April 7. The Facing Race Ambassador Awards program was created in 2007 to recognize anti-­racism leaders and promote the need for productive community-­wide conversations about race.

“Reducing racial disparities is one of the critical challenges facing Minnesota,” says Carleen Rhodes, president and CEO of The Saint Paul Foundation. “We are committed to this cause and honored to celebrate the hard work and dedication of individuals fighting for racial equity.”

This year’s celebration will honor two racial justice advocates with Ambassador Awards:

  • Justin Terrell, Justice 4 All program manager for TakeAction Minnesota, and
  • Jada Sherrie Mitchell, a Tartan High School senior and community youth leadership council member in Oakdale.

Mitchell is the youngest individual to receive an Ambassador Award.

“Jada and Justin have demonstrated tremendous leadership in addressing disparities in education and employment,” says Rhodes. “We are honored to recognize the accomplishments of these courageous community leaders.”

Three additional individuals will receive honorable mention recognition for their efforts to end racial disparities in Minnesota:

  • Jennifer Godinez, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership
  • Bukata Hayes, Greater Mankato Diversity Council
  • Dr. Cecilia Martinez, Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy

There’s still time to register to attend the event! Tickets are free; RSVPs are required by March 28. The awards celebration also features a keynote address by photographer Wing Young Huie whose award winning work has included “The University Avenue Project” and “Looking for Asian America”.

For all the details on the celebration, visit The Saint Paul Foundation’s website.

Congratulations to the honorees!


Cargill Honored for Anti-poverty Work

February 25, 2014

na31147002CECP, a coalition of 150 CEOs who believe that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance, recently announced that Cargill (an MCF member) and the PG&E Corporation are recipients of the 14th Annual Excellence Awards.

These companies were chosen by an independent jury as global leaders in corporate societal investment, exemplifying four rigorous Standards of Excellence: CEO leadership, partnership, dedication to measurement and innovation.

The Chairman’s Award, for companies with revenues of $20 billion and more, was presented to Cargill for its work with CARE on the Rural Development Initiatives, which harnesses the company’s passion for improving livelihoods by empowering smallholder farmers, strengthening agricultural supply chains and alleviating poverty. The selection committee was struck by Cargill’s focus on society’s great challenge — poverty — and its desire to strengthen the communities where the company has a presence.

Launched in October 2008, the partnership with CARE leverages their respective skills and experience – working with business units and local employees within important supply chains. The program has benefited more than 100,000 people in India, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Brazil.

“CARE is a terrific partner and we are honored to be recognized for our collective work to increase incomes, improve nutrition and education, and help farmers become more successful,” said Cargill executive chairman Greg Page (pictured left). “Last fall we renewed and expanded our partnership for another three years with an increased focus on food security.”


Honor Those Committed to Human Service

February 20, 2014

VMBWebImageThe McKnight Foundation recently opened nominations for its 2014 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. Every year, this award honors up to six Minnesotans who have demonstrated an exceptional personal commitment to helping others in their communities but who have received little or no public recognition.

Nominations are welcome to recognize anyone directly involved in providing human services, especially those working to make their communities more responsive to the needs of poor or disadvantaged people in Minnesota. Criteria include:

  • Nominees may be volunteers or service staff working directly with people in Minnesota.
  • Nominees (and the work for which they are being nominated) do not have to be associated with any organization to be eligible.
  • Individuals may not nominate themselves.
  • Nominees may not be past Human Service Award recipients.
  • Nominees must be current residents of Minnesota.
  • Nominees may be any age.
  • Tenure of service will be taken into consideration.

A committee, composed of human service professionals and volunteers from throughout Minnesota, reviews nominations, checks references, and recommends candidates to the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Each awardee receives $10,000 and is honored at a ceremony in late summer.

Know someone worthy of a nomination? Submit it on The McKnight Foundation website!


Nominate Grantmakers Making an Impact

February 13, 2014

NCRP-logo-color-with-tagline-2014The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy is on the lookout for grantmakers to honor with its 2014 NCRP Impact Awards, and wants to hear from you.

Which foundations do you think had the greatest impact and made positive, lasting change in 2013? NCRP is looking for grantmakers maximizing their philanthropy by:

  • Attacking the root causes of social problems
  • Empowering underserved communities
  • Helping improve the sector as a whole through public leadership

There will be one awardee in each of these four categories:

  • Large, Private Foundation (annual giving of $25 million or more)
  • Small/Mid-Sized Private Foundation (annual giving less than $25 million)
  • Corporate Foundation (any size)
  • Grantmaking Public Charity (any size)

Last year’s awardees included grantmakers from California, New York and Illinois. It’s time to get Minnesota on the map!

Nominations are due March 1. The awards reception will take place June 9 in Washington, D.C.

Nominate a worthy grantmaker today, and spread the word on Facebook and Twitter!


Resource-full Nonprofit Revenue Generation

February 3, 2014

resourcefullnesshomebannerToday on the blog we welcome Beth Bird and Kim Hunwardsen of Eide Bailly, to tell us about their organization’s Resourcefullness Award, and the ideas that sprang from it.

What do you get when you offer a $10,000 award for sustainable and creative revenue generation in the nonprofit industry? A flood of inspiring submissions!

Last year, Eide Bailly’s nonprofit services group did something different to encourage conversation and ingenuity around revenue generation – something our clients think about daily. We ended up with 99 submissions for the Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Award, three fantastic winners (video), and a host of creative and sustainable ideas to spark discussion. (Read this article on submission trends.)

Beyond celebrating the winning efforts, we wanted to use the Eide Bailly Resourcefullness Award as a springboard for sharing and collaboration.

The following highlights are from a January seminar that we held in Minneapolis to discuss the best ideas.

Future Trends
Susan Cornell-Wilkes and Brad Brown were judges for the Resourcefullness Award. In January, we asked about the nonprofit revenue generation trends they see gathering strength in the next five years.

- Crowd funding
- Nonprofits creating for-profit entities
- A focus on intergenerational wealth transfer

  • Organizations will be and should be looking for opportunities to involve multiple generations of one family in its endeavors. This will go a long way to creating present buy-in donor stability in the future.

- Moving beyond “Corporate” involvement in campaigns

  • Getting employees involved in the organization, rather than just accepting a corporate donation, will be the key to sustainability in funding from that organization and in growth of individual donors.

- Helping donors “experience” the difference their donations are making

  • Donors, especially younger donors, are looking to “purchase an experience.” They do not just want to hear from nonprofits in letters and email, but rather experience the effects of an organization work.

Our Take-Aways
The Resourcefullness Awards and our January speakers reminded us of two very important things:

  1. Organizations are getting more creative in their approach to revenue generation, but this does not mean an approach must be complex. Sometimes the simplest ideas create the best results.
  2. Well-placed and well-planned partnerships are some of the easiest and most fruitful ventures.

Give To The Max Day Strategies
We also heard from two organizations that employed creative Give to the Max strategies.

Erich Mische, executive director of Spare Key, described its media-grabbing, world-record setting 2012 strategy Pedal to the Max, which had volunteers on a pedal pub for 24 hours. The campaign helped Spare Key reach goals around having fun and grabbing attention while engaging donors, volunteers and partners. Mische said media coverage and social media played a huge role in broadening the reach of the organization’s message. And, Spare Key raised five times its original fundraising goal.

Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery’s development and communications director, Joel Bergstrom, shared its 2013 Give to the Max campaign, which used video and social media to draw attention and generate support. A donation of video production helped the organization create a powerful video that then led to media coverage. The organization used a Facebook contest to draw in visitors and donors, and advocates lobbied hard on social media for donations to Crisis Nursery. As a result, followers of the organization have increased and their messages receive greater exposure.


Wells Fargo Wins Outstanding Philanthropic Organization Award

November 18, 2013

MinnWFHMcoachBoth  MCF and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Minnesota promote giving and organized philanthropy in our state. AFP advances philanthropy by enabling organizations and individuals to practice ethical and effective fundraising while MCF promotes ethical and responsible charitable giving and grantmaking.

In recognition of National Philanthropy Day, every year AFP honors individuals and groups who, through their hard work and dedication, have enhanced philanthropy, their communities and the world.

This year, MCF member Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota will be honored with AFP’s Outstanding Philanthropic Organization award for its exceptional commitment to our state. Other awards will recognize individuals, families and small groups, and all will be presented at AFP’s celebration on Friday, Nov. 22.

$10 Million Plus to Minnesota Nonprofits
In 2012, Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota contributed more than $10 million to 1,200 nonprofits and schools statewide, focusing on core areas of vitality such as community development, education, human services and arts and culture.

In addition to these financial contributions, there is a legacy of direct volunteer engagement by Wells Fargo employees and executives, making their total impact on our community momentous.

Founding Member of Minnesota Keystone Program
A pioneer in the concept that corporations should commit a portion of earnings to the community, Wells Fargo was also one of the founding members of the Minnesota Keystone Program.

Whether through longstanding traditions or new innovations, Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota, under the leadership of Carolyn Roby, has consistently and strategically supported Minnesota nonprofits, substantively engaged its leaders in the community, and continues to enhance its role as a corporate philanthropic leader in the state.

Congratulations Wells Fargo!

- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate


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