September 11, 2014
The results of the 2014 Minnesota Nonprofit Awards are in, and the recipient of the award for Responsive Philanthropy goes to PFund Foundation.
MAP for Nonprofits and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits chose to honor PFund for its QReach initiative:
In 2011, PFund convened grantees and partners across the Midwest to learn more about the needs of the communities they aim to serve. As a result of those conversations, PFund created QReach, a community network building and regional assessment project in partnership with LGBT organizations and leaders, donors, funders and allies. It is designed to address the needs identified by LGBT communities in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, and at the same time increase the resources to those LGBT communities by both building up PFund and philanthropic giving to LGBT communities in Minnesota. Through its QReach initiative, PFund is providing an important and needed framework through programming, convenings, media tools and capturing learnings; helping to build a stronger GLBTA community that has a stronger presence to help those that have further to come.
Other 2014 Minnesota Nonprofit Award winners are:
- 5% Campaign: Nonprofit Mission Award in Advocacy
- CLIMB Theatre: Nonprofit Mission Award in Anti-Racism Initiative
- Conflict Resolution Center: Nonprofit Mission Award in Innovation
- CommonBond Communities: Nonprofit Excellence Award
- YouthCARE: Nonprofit Excellence Award
Learn more about the winners by watching the video below, and see them honored in person at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits annual conference in November. Congratulations to all six!
September 8, 2014
Today, MCF member Nexus Community Partners announced the second cohort of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI). The 15 cohort members come from various communities in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge working in community, nonprofits and the private sector.
The BCLI will train and place these dynamic individuals onto publicly appointed boards and commissions in the Twin Cities. The fellows will have the capacity and community support to advance a regional equity agenda and serve as the next generation of leaders who are representative of, and accountable to, the region’s communities of color and other underrepresented populations.
The fifteen new fellows are:
- Antrinita Wright, Neighborhood Leadership Program (NLP), Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
- Carla Kohler, Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES)
- Chamath Perera, Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA)
- David Martinez, Wells Fargo Community Development Department
- David Milton, Mastery Charter Schools / Harvest Education Network
- Donna Evans, BCLI Alum
- Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, Navigate MN
- Falmata Bedasso, Oromo Community of MN
- Jamez Staples, Community Elder
- Leila Paye-Baker, Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO), City of Saint Paul
- Nasser Mussa, Oromo Community of MN
- Sonya Lewis, AFSCME 3800
- Suyapa Miranda, BCLI Alum
- Tescil Mason Kimmons, BCLI Alum
- Yolonde Adams-Lee, MN Department of Human Services
Learn more about the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute on the Nexus Community Partners website, and meet this new cohort in person at the BCLI launch event on Thursday, October 9.
August 19, 2014
Time is very short to pass the America Gives More Act (HR 4719)!
We need you to contact Senators Klobuchar and Franken to ask for their support today — before they return to Washington, D.C., in early September.
The legislation (passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July) promotes giving to all nonprofits by:
- permanently extending tax incentives for donations of IRA rollovers, food and land,
- allowing individuals to get credit for prior-year taxes for charitable contributions up to April 15,
- and streamlining the foundation excise tax, which reduces the administrative work associated with running a private foundation and enables greater giving.
We Need You To:
- Contact Senators Klobuchar and Franken before they return to Washington, D.C.
- Tell them you support the America Gives More Act.
- Focus on one part of the Act – the IRA rollover (for community foundations) or the simplified excise tax (for private foundations).
- Tell a story to illustrate how this will have a positive impact in the community by increasing giving.
- Ask them to urge Sen. Majority Leader Reid to schedule a vote on the bill as soon as the Senate reconvenes in Sept.
- Invite them to follow-up with MCF if they have questions.
Contact the Senators at their primary district office. If writing, copy the district director and tax policy staff person, and include your contact information. If calling, ask to speak with the district director, but speak to whom you are directed.
Do it today!
This is a rare moment in the Congressional process when the opportunity is real and the time for action is clearly defined.
U.S. Senators are in MN now and will return to Washington, D.C. for only a couple of weeks in Sept. before leaving again to campaign for re-election. Senators must pass the America Gives More Act before they leave to take care of personal political interests.
The likelihood of something happening during a lame-duck Congress in December is uncertain. After that we will be starting over with a new Congress.
One More Thing:
Contact Representative Erik Paulsen (MN-3) to thank him for his leadership in advancing legislation to simplify the excise tax and for working to enact this legislation for the past several years.
August 12, 2014
Thursday, August 14 marks United Way Action Day, where Greater Twin Cities United Way has organized volunteer opportunities around Minneapolis and St. Paul to help people make a difference in their communities by spending as little as 15 minutes over lunch hour.
One of the three host sites is MCF member Securian Financial Group. By showing up at its downtown St. Paul headquarters from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, volunteers can help assemble:
- Laundry kits for low-income families
- Dental supplies for children
- Back to school kits
- Healthy snack packs for children
- Warm blankets for homeless people
“On Action Day, it doesn’t take long to do a lot of good,” says Lori Koutsky, manager, community relations and the Securian Foundation. “In 15 minutes you can help assemble dental kits for 15 children, fill laundry packs for 10 low-income families or pack up warm blankets for several homeless children, adults and seniors.”
This year’s other locations include Ecolab Plaza in St. Paul and Xcel Energy on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis.
Visit the United Way Action Day site for details on times, locations and how you can sign up. And bring a friend!
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!
June 19, 2014
I attended the St. Paul stop on Giving USA’s 2014 road show this morning. There, Adam Wilhelm of Campbell & Company updated us on 2013 national giving trends, which can be summarized as good news.
According to Wilhelm and Giving USA 2014, total charitable giving in the U.S. rose 3% (adjusted for inflation) between 2012 and 2013 to $335.17 billion. This is an increase of 12% since the start of the Great Recession, and Wilhelm predicts the U.S. will pass the pre-recession high of $350 billion in charitable giving in a year or two.
Wilhelm says, “Wealthy individuals are feeling good about their accumulated wealth, so it is a good time to talk to them about their giving.”
According to Giving USA, wealthy donors are giving to their favorite charities — including universities, hospitals and arts institutions — so overall giving in those areas is up. Meanwhile, giving to social service and church groups — more dependent on the financially squeezed middle-class — is flat.
- Giving by individuals — the largest slice of the pie at 72% — totaled $240.60 billion, up 2.7% over 2012.
- Giving by foundations — now 15% of total giving — was up 4.2% to $48.96 billion. This increase was driven in part by a 10.5% increase in giving by community foundations.
- Giving by bequest through a will or estate plan — 8% of the total — was up 7.2% to $27.73 billion.
- Only corporate giving — 5% of the total — was down 3.2% to $17.88 billion, the result of a slow rate of growth in pre-tax corporate profits last year. Corporate trends of increased in-kind and global giving continue.
What Organizations are Benefiting?
- Religion was the top recipient of gifts, but total giving to religion continues to slide. It went down slightly in 2013 to 31% of the total or $105.5 billion, which represents the lowest percent given to religion in 40 years.
- Overall giving to Education increased by 7.4% (2013’s largest increase) to $52.07 billion.
- Giving to Human Services was fairly flat, increasing by .7% to $41.51 billion.
- Giving to Health was up by 4.5% to $31.86 billion.
- Giving to Public Affairs/Society Benefit (which includes giving to donor-advised funds) was up 7% to $23.89 billion.
- Giving to Arts, Culture and Humanities was up by 6.3% to $16.66 billion.
- Giving to International Affairs fell to $14.93 billion (due to fewer disasters worldwide in 2013).
- Giving to Animal Welfare and Environment increased to $9.72 billion (due to larger investments in climate change and anti-fracking initiatives).
Takeaways from event panelists included the following:
- Individual giving is a growth market. Giving by other sectors is not growing as quickly.
- More and more often, individual donors are researching charities and want to see the impact of their gifts.
- If your organization is not doing planned giving, it should at least be doing bequests. “It’s easy!”
Visit Giving USA for much more information or to purchase Giving USA 2014.
For more information on Minnesota giving, visit mcf.org/research
- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate
June 12, 2014
Earlier this week, the Minnesota Twins and Major League Baseball announced the seven finalists for the first-ever “All-Star Fans Choose” grant.
Voting is open now through July 10 to help award a $500,000 grant to one of seven Upper Midwest nonprofits. The winning nonprofit will be announced during MLB All-Star Week in July.
The seven finalists and projects are:
- Camp Fire Minnesota in Chanhassen, to improve and expand Camp Tanadoona, a 90-year old rustic summer camp.
- Channel One Regional Food Bank in Rochester, to add more than 20,000 square feet of warehouse space and build a kitchen and classroom to better serve and feed people in need.
- Cookie Cart in Minneapolis, to renovate and reconfigure the current location to double the number of teens who can participate in employment and training programs.
- Hmong American Farmers Association in Vermillion, to construct a farm where Hmong farmers can rent land long-term, learn sustainable agricultural practices, aggregate their produce with other farmers and learn to operate and grow a farming business.
- Madison Claire Foundation in Woodbury, to build a fully accessible, inclusive playground where children with disabilities can play alongside others and disabled parents can play with their children.
- Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge in St. Michael, to renovate a former Girl Scout Camp north of the Twin Cities for a year-round school for teen boys experiencing problems with drug and alcohol abuse.
- People Serving People in Minneapolis, to renovate the kitchen and dining hall at the largest family homeless shelter in Minnesota to improve safety, sanitation, food recycling and meal service processes.
The “All-Star Fans Choose” grant is a part of an extensive legacy giving campaign, including the contribution of more than $8 million toward local projects and national charitable initiatives. The program is a partnership between MLB Charities, the Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Family Foundation.
Learn more about the grant program and the seven finalists at the All-Star Fans Choose webpage. Best of luck to all the finalists!