September 26, 2014
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.
September 16, 2014
As a tribute to Archibald Bush, the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation and Bush Foundation have together pledged $200,000 to support a nonprofit organization that embodies Archie Bush’s legacy of working to strengthen the civic, social and cultural vitality of St. Paul.
To be considered for the Archibald Bush Legacy Grant, nominated organizations must:
- Be a 501(c)(3) public charity
- Have an impact in St. Paul
- Exemplify Archie’s legacy in St. Paul
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman will work with the Foundation to review the nominations and select five finalists. The finalists will be asked how they would use the grant money in a way that is a fitting tribute to Archie’s commitment to St. Paul. The Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation will review the five finalist organizations and their responses to determine the final recipient of the grant.
Nominations close on Friday, Sept. 26, with the recipient to be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 11.
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 15, 2014
That’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!
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!
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!