2015 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows Announced

December 16, 2014

Today MCF announced the 2015 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows. The Fellowship, launched as a partnership with the Bush Foundation in 2013, prepares high-potential individuals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy.

Fellows are employed by MCF and placed at participating foundations for three years. This year’s Fellows will join the Bush Foundation, the Headwaters Foundation for Justice or The Minneapolis Foundation, where they will start on January 12, 2015.

“For foundations to remain credible partners, their staff must reflect the shifting diversity of communities,” says Alfonso Wenker, MCF’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion. “These leaders bring strong community relationships that will help position their host sites for the future.”

2015Fellows2Meet the 2015 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows:

  • Allison Johnson (pictured, middle) is a community organizer with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, where she has worked across the Twin Cities to build support for affordable housing and stronger communities. She will join the Headwaters Foundation for Justice.
  • Aya Johnson (right) is currently a community representative in the United States Congress focusing on immigration, foreign affairs, unemployment and outreach to communities of color. She has also served as a domestic violence advocate in St. Cloud and Blaine. She will join the Community Innovation team at the Bush Foundation.
  • Adrian Mack (left) is presently the program and curriculum director of STATURE, a leadership program designed to guide Minneapolis youth toward academic and career success. He also participates in several initiatives to engage the broader African American community. He will join the Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation team.
  • Patrice Relerford (second from right) is now the institutional support coordinator and grantwriter at People Serving People, a family-oriented shelter that provides emergency housing and community services to help homeless families achieve stability and reconnect with the community. She began her career as an education reporter at the Star Tribune and will join the Community Impact team at The Minneapolis Foundation.
  • Avi Viswanathan (second from left) has served as the campaign director for HIRE Minnesota, a campaign working to achieve racial equity in employment. He lives with his family on the East Side of St. Paul where he is engaged in many community activities and has served on the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council. He will join the Leadership Programs team at the Bush Foundation.

“I’ve seen firsthand how poverty and inequality erode communities,” says Fellow Patrice Relerford. “Through this fellowship, I believe I can better understand disparities by asking the tough questions to find solutions. For example, why does our region continue to have such glaring academic achievement, employment and home ownership gaps between whites and people of color?”

About the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship
The Fellowship is dedicated to the late Ron McKinley, a longtime member of the philanthropic and nonprofit communities who embodied justice and equity and worked tirelessly throughout his career to ensure that those from underrepresented communities were afforded equal access, opportunity and the resources necessary to fully participate and be heard.

Applications for the 2016 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship will be open in fall 2015. Learn more at http://www.mcf.org/about/philanthropy-fellowship or contact Alfonso Wenker, MCF’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, with any questions.

Photo credit: Anna Min, Min Enterprises


The McKnight Foundation Seeks Your Input

September 26, 2014
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Kate Wolford of The McKnight Foundation

MCF member The McKnight Foundation is getting ready to revisit and refresh its Strategic Framework for 2015-2017, and is asking for outside perspectives as it charts its course.

In a blog post on its website, McKnight president Kate Wolford outlines the key foundation-wide strategies the foundation used to guide its work in 2012-2014:

  • Bring the foundation’s vantage point as a regional or place-based funder into national networks.
  • Strengthen McKnight’s influence with a knowledge management system.
  • Leveraging converging interests to create multiple bottom-line benefits.
  • Deepen impact and influence through program supportive approaches such as mission-related investing.

She shares that the internal consensus at The McKnight Foundation is not to start from scratch, but to identify trends relevant to McKnight’s that it can incorporate over the coming three years.

Do you have thoughts on what key trends McKnight should consider? Or on what issues the foundation will be particularly well suited to help advance?

Head over to The McKnight Foundation’s website to read more on Kate Wolford’s description of how its current Framework came to be, and to leave the foundation feedback in a comment or by email.



Meet the New Nexus Community Partners BCLI Cohort

September 8, 2014

nexusToday, 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.


Do Social Media Fundraisers Really Work?

August 15, 2014

14929011085_3d3b3d9fd3_mThat’s the question WCCO sat down to answer with MCF President Trista Harris this week.

The ALS #icebucketchallenge is everywhere right now, with thousands dumping ice water on their heads and millions raised for the ALS Association. So how much fundraising comes from social media, and does it work?

“It’s a small percentage, but it’s a growing percentage,” Trista said in the news clip, adding that she’s sure many others have also tried to create their own funny YouTube campaigns that haven’t attracted notice. “Sometimes you catch the tail of the tiger.”

When they do work, Trista said, the visibility they garner is akin to advertising. “You may hear a commercial 35 times and not do anything, but that 36th time you go, maybe I really do want to go to that place.”

Head to WCCO’s site to read and watch the story!

 

Photo cc ucentralarkansas


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