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 9, 2014
We’re all working to solve grand challenges – they’re complex, entrenched, systems-level problems that defy typical solutions.
Again and again we hear that the only way we’ll make a difference on these issues is if we collaborate with folks from other sectors who bring perspectives different from our own.
We know that single-sector actions to address them, although well-intentioned, often make the problems worse or spawn additional grand challenges.
So, why don’t we collaborate more often? Sure, it’s hard work and first we have to grapple with all of our different views to create a shared vision for reform. But if we’re not willing to do that, are we really working to solve the problem?
If you struggle with questions such as this, we want to see you at MCF’s program on Thursday, Sept. 18: Funder Collaboratives: The Why and How of Scaling Grantmaker Impact.
- We’ll discuss various structures that grantmakers use for collaborative work,
- consider when it makes sense to join a learning network or funder collaborative and
- determine which model is the best fit for your organization.
You’ll hear from grantmakers involved in successful funder collaboratives — including the Northside Funders Group and the Start Early Funders Coalition for Children & Minnesota’s Future — on what it takes to effectively come together for a common purpose and change the way we work.
This program is intended for grantmakers who are currently engaged in collaborations who can enrich our discussion and funders who are interested in collaboration but have not yet joined a formal network. Register today and we’ll see you next Thursday!
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 29, 2014
Full, in-depth interviews with big thinkers in philanthropy are now available on the Fast Forward podcast! Subscribe through iTunes or plug the RSS feed into the podcast subscription software of your choosing.
- Interested in hearing from Trish Tchume of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network on the work she’s done with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy to address power dynamics in the field? Have a listen.
- Want to hear from Phil Buchanan of the Center for Effective Philanthropy on the tools grantmakers can use to build and maintain effective practices? Now you can!
- Ready to know more about the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and its approach to disaster relief? Listen to Mark Lindberg on the foundation’s focus on lower-attention events and its belief in the power of local communities to self-organize.
Once you’re done listening, don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll get every episode as they publish! Next month you’ll hear from Mary Jane Melendez of General Mills Foundation.
August 20, 2014
Odds are you’ve heard a lot about the need for grantmakers and nonprofit professionals to set aside the power dynamics that hold back their relationships and to come together as peers to address needs in their communities. If you’ve worried that’s just lip service to a never-changing problem, good news! Young people in the sector have taken up that call to forge deep relationships and work closely together.
Earlier this year, the Minnesota chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and the Twin Cities chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network unveiled a joint Leadership Institute. The inaugural cohort contains 24 individuals, with an even mix of those who work at nonprofits and foundations, including many MCF members (and staff!).
With a focus on accessibility (no cost to participate) and co-creation (members of the cohort lead sessions), the Institute is a unique opportunity that models best practices we want to see from the sector.
Learn more about it in the article I wrote for the summer issue of Giving Forum!
– Chris Oien, MCF digital communications specialist
August 6, 2014
Don’t miss episode four of Fast Forward, MCF’s series of conversations with big thinkers in philanthropy!
This month features Trish Tchume, executive director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), who was in town for the YNPN National Conference. She talked to our president Trista Harris about the work YNPN has done with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) around the power dynamics in philanthropy, and Trish’s experience in how to develop young leaders effectively.
In this three minute clip, Trish elaborates on the five pillars of leadership development she’s seen young people ask for time and time again (hint: it does not involve credentialing). See how YNPN is working to offer the help emerging professionals fulfill these needs, and think about how you can too:
Then head over to our website to read the interview for more on the work with EPIP!
July 30, 2014
Earlier this week, the Bush Foundation announced it is accepting applications for the Bush Fellowship program now through September 11. This fellowship is both a recognition of extraordinary achievement and a bet on extraordinary potential, with Fellows awarded up to $100,000 to be spent over 12 to 24 months.
The Bush Foundation seeks leaders who are active learners of outstanding character and a record of success, and who could benefit from intensive development through self-designed or academic programs.
There are two ways to use a Bush Fellowship:
- To start, make progress toward or complete an academic degree.
- In a self-designed learning program where the learning experiences including conferences, classes, seminars, etc. are chosen by the Bush Fellow.
The Fellowship is an opportunity for Bush Fellows to increase their capacity for leadership by pursuing learning experiences that will increase their knowledge and develop important leadership skills and attributes, especially in the areas of communications, self-awareness, creativity, cultural competency and cross-sector leadership.
See the details and apply through the Bush Foundation website, and have a look at the 2014 Bush Fellows to see some successful applicants and what they’ve been up to. Semifinalists will be selected in October, with in-person finalist interviews in February and 2015 Fellows announced in March.