Digital and Social Media Transform Nonprofits

November 17, 2015

Yesterday I received an infographic showing how digital and social media have transformed communications and fundraising in nonprofits across the country. It was nicely done, so I’m sharing.

The infographic examines ways that new channels are quickly, and dramatically, changing how people engage with nonprofit organizations.

According to MDG Advertising, infographic creators, take-aways are:

  1. Nonprofits are all-in on digital — 3 of 4 top engagement channels are digital: websites, email campaigns and social media; the only non-digital channel in the top 4 is in-person events.
  2. Online giving is on the rise — online giving has risen 13% in the past 12 months, with the biggest jump in donations coming from social media fundraising (up +70% compared with last year).
  3. Facebook is the foundation of social success — 81% of nonprofits say Facebook is the most important social network for their organization; Twitter ranks second.
  4. Peer-to-peer fundraising is growing fast — 33% of online donations are made through peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns, which encourage individuals and teams to rally for a cause.
  5. Websites are engagement hubs — traffic to nonprofit websites is up 11% on average since 2013, with most organizations now using their sites as hubs to provide information, accept donations and aggregate social posts.
  6. Email remains a powerful workhorse — nonprofits say email campaigns account for an average of one-third of all revenue raised. Email has the best return on investment of any marketing tactic: $40 for every $1 spent.
  7. Giving days are big — in Minnesota, Give to the Max Day raised more than $18 million in November 2015. Nationally 2014 Giving Tuesday donations spiked by more than a third compared with 2013; 4,300+ organizations raised more than $26.1 million.

2015 Trends: How Digital and Social Media Have Transformed Nonprofits [Infographic]
– Susan Stehling, communications and media specialist

Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship Applications Open for 2016

August 5, 2015

Ron-McKinley-Philanthropy_FINAL_outlines_RGB-(2)MCF is excited to launch the third selection round for the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship – an opportunity which aims to increase the number of people from under-represented communities holding leadership positions in Minnesota philanthropy.

We’re looking for high-potential leaders who will push themselves and Minnesota foundations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in the communities they serve.

In 2016, new fellows will be joining the seven already actively working at Minnesota foundations. These fellows will be employed by MCF and placed in full-time positions at the following five host foundations:

  • Blandin Foundation
  • Bush Foundation
  • F.R. Bigelow Foundation
  • Medtronic Foundation
  • The Minneapolis Foundation

The 2016 fellows will be selected through an application process that opened today and closes at noon on September 9th. For more information on this opportunity and the application, visit our website.

MCF is also hosting an informational webinar about this opportunity on August 26. Registration is open now.

Have a look and help us spread the word about this exciting opportunity!

Preparing for Civic Disasters

May 1, 2015

blacklivesMCF has worked hard to help our members be future focused. There has been great work to help foundations proactively prepare for natural disasters, so that when that tornado or flood hits, the philanthropic community already has a plan to get the community back to normal and in some cases, even better than they were before the disaster.

What we haven’t done is civic disaster preparedness. What does a community do when the trust between officers of the law and the communities they are swore to protect is breached? What do we do when our schools are failing to prepare our next generation of leaders? What do we do when our community is divided into the haves and the have-nots and that line is clearly tied to race? What do we do when our freeways are stopped by people desperate to be heard on those challenges? What do we do when our media, our schools, and our places of commerce become the public square? What do when do when our communities go up in flames (figuratively and literally) because the earlier methods of communications have gone unheard for days, weeks, years, decades, and centuries?

I believe that we need to start answering this questions now. While tensions are simmering but not yet at the full boil that we are seeing in Baltimore and around the country. If this civic disaster was treated like a tornado, sirens would have been going off in our community for the last decade. What can we do today to prepare for it and prevent it? Who do we need to hear, what institutions need to change, and how do we, as Minnesotans, need be different? I think if we start asking these questions now, we could live in a much better community tomorrow.

I want to hear your ideas and actions to help prepare for civic disasters. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

– Trista Harris, MCF President

Steve Joul Supports Endow Minnesota

April 13, 2015

endow-joulSteve Joul, president of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, has lent his voice to support Endow Minnesota legislation currently before the Minnesota House and Senate.

Joul’s foundation hosts many funds doing good work in Central Minnesota, including the Good Samaritan Fund, the Women’s Fund and several area education foundations.

As he explains, “Collectively, the foundation and its affiliate partners today hold more than $110 million of private philanthropic resources dedicated to making our communities better places to live.”

See what Joul has to say about how Endow Minnesota (HF1530 in the Minnesota House and SF1399 and SF1400 in the Senate) would benefit the communities that these partners serve.

His commentary appears in the St. Cloud Times.

Annual Grantmaker Rankings Released

March 24, 2015

numbersMCF today released its annual rankings of the top grantmakers in Minnesota based on cash grants paid in 2013.

The top five Minnesota grantmakers by grants paid in 2013 were:

  • Target Foundation and Corporation ($148.6 million);
  • General Mills Foundation and Corporation ($105.7 million);
  • The McKnight Foundation ($86.4 million);
  • The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation ($65.6 million); and
  • Cargill and The Cargill Foundation ($59.6 million).

This is the third consecutive year that these five organizations are Minnesota’s top grantmakers.

Of the 50 top grantmakers by grants paid in 2013, 47 also appeared on the 2012 list. Cash giving by the top 50 grantmakers totaled more than $1.2 billion.

Grant Dollars Distributed Beyond Minnesota
Almost 60 percent of the cash giving by the top 50 grantmakers was designated to organizations based outside of Minnesota.

Corporations Give More than Cash
In order to ensure that grantmakers are compared consistently, in-kind and other noncash contributions are not included in the rankings, but MCF invites large corporate grantmakers to self-report information about noncash contributions.

MCF’s 2013 annual rankings are based on the amount of cash grants paid by funders during fiscal years ending June 1, 2013, through May 31, 2014.

The annual rankings lists include:

The complete Minnesota Annual Grantmaker Rankings and the methodology used to complete them can be found at

More Charitable Giving Research Online
Late last year, MCF released its Giving in Minnesota, 2014 Edition research, which is a comprehensive analysis of annual giving trends by Minnesota foundations and corporations between June 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013. See for information about grantmaking to specific subject areas, geographies, beneficiaries and more.

– Susan Stehling, communications associate

Photo cc onegoodbumblebee


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