MCF Welcomes Na Eng as Director of Communications

July 10, 2014

Na EngMCF is pleased to welcome Na Eng as our new interim director of communications.

As an award-winning journalist for PBS and CNBC, Na covered a broad range of critical economic and social issues, such as health care, education, immigration and renewable energy. Her hard hitting reporting took her to far-flung destinations all over the world and earned her top industry honors, including an Emmy Award and an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Na also served as a senior communications officer for the international humanitarian organization Mercy Corps where she managed media relations and wrote op-eds, web copy, press releases and other material.

At MCF, Na will direct strategic communications planning for the coming year. Returning to Minnesota after a long career in New York, she is excited for the opportunity to contribute to the state’s vibrant foundation and nonprofit community.

Welcome Na!

 


MCF Welcomes Jennifer Hall as Program Assistant

July 9, 2014

jhallThis week MCF welcomes Jennifer Hall as our new program assistant. Most recently she worked at the Minnesota State College Faculty and prior to that she was at Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia where she worked on revitalizing the Ojibwe language.

Jenn comes to MCF with experience in the nonprofit and legislative sectors. Over 7 years, she has developed a passion for public and customer service. Working for the state legislature helped her appreciate the importance of bringing a variety of perspectives together, while working for a nonprofit inspired her to learn more about the field of philanthropy, especially how to be a transparent, effective organization.

As a student at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, she created her own degree in Heritage Language Stewardship, focusing on the Ojibwe language and anthropology. She was drawn to MCF because of its willingness to engage with all aspects of philanthropy to improve the field as a whole.

In her free time, Jenn enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and training in Muay Thai (Thai boxing).

Welcome Jenn!


Applications Open for the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship

July 8, 2014

Ron-McKinley-Philanthropy_FINAL_outlines_RGB-(2)MCF is pleased to open applications for the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship (formerly the MCF Philanthropy Fellowship).

The fellowship is dedicated to Ron McKinley, a longtime member of the philanthropic and nonprofit communities. He was a mentor to many and an advocate who embodied justice and equity. He worked tirelessly throughout his career to ensure that all those underrepresented in these communities were afforded equal access, opportunity and the resources necessary to fully participate and be heard.

Ron McKinley

Ron McKinley

The fellowship, which was launched as a partnership with MCF and the Bush Foundation in 2013, will prepare individuals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy. But the fellowship is about more than changing the face of leadership in philanthropy; it’s about infusing new ideas and viewpoints into the field.

Fellows will be employed by MCF and placed in full-time positions at host foundations for three-year appointments.

If you know high-potential leaders who will push themselves and their host foundations to think bigger and think differently, encourage them to apply!

We’re also on the lookout for foundations interested in hosting additional Fellows. Information about that can be also be found on our website.


Fast Forward: Gary Cunningham

June 24, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 12.09.07 PMThe third episode of Fast Forward, MCF’s series of conversations with philanthropy’s big thinkers, is out now!

This time, MCF President Trista Harris sits down with Gary Cunningham, vice president of programs for Northwest Area Foundation.

Gary discusses his recent article The Urgency of Now: Foundations’ Role in Ending Racial Inequity and what other grantmakers can take from it. Watch the video below:

In the extended video captured in our transcript, Gary also talks about his role in the African American Leadership Forum and the importance of communities organizing and speaking on their own behalf with a unified voice. Read the transcript on our website.

Catch the whole series on the Fast Forward homepage, and stay tuned for next month, featuring Trish Tchume of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network!



Fast Forward: Phil Buchanan on Effective Practice in Philanthropy

May 27, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 12.09.07 PMThe newest edition of MCF’s Fast Forward series is out!

In this episode, our president Trista Harris speaks with Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP). CEP is a nonprofit that helps foundations assess and improve their effectiveness and performance. Phil identifies the four components to effective practice as:

  • Clear goals
  • Coherent strategies
  • Disciplined implementation
  • Relevant performance indicators

Phil and Trista discuss the challenges foundations face in receiving honest feedback, tools CEP has developed to address those challenges, and his advice to foundations interested in becoming more effective organizations:

Read the transcript of the interview on our website, then stop by the Fast Forward main page to catch last month’s interview with Margaret A. Cargill Foundation’s Mark Lindberg if you missed it!

 

 


MCF Welcomes Naomi Marx as New Executive Assistant

May 22, 2014

Naomi2We are excited to announce that Naomi Marx has joined MCF as assistant to President Trista Harris. Most recently, Naomi worked at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and is also the most recent graduate of the Reatha Clark King Fellowship.

Naomi comes to MCF with a passion and dedication to advance the common good. Driven to help others, she has more than 10 years of professional experience caring for the elderly and for those with development disabilities. She is an active volunteer with the Wilder Foundation’s Caregivers Advisory Council, which advocates for proactive solutions to aging in place and support for community caregivers.

As a graduate student in Public Administration at Hamline University, Naomi has focused her studies on civic engagement, community development and issues of inequality. Naomi was drawn to MCF by its priority of radical hospitality and MCF President Trista Harris’s visionary leadership.

In her free time Naomi enjoys running, gardening, self-study and enjoying nature with her husband Daniel.

Welcome, Naomi!


Engaging Families in Early Childhood Programs and Policies

May 8, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 3.46.24 PMThe Start Early Funders Coalition champions affordable, accessible, high quality care and education for children in Minnesota by leveraging the group’s funding interests to advance public policy and community supports for early childhood education and programs.

Last month the coalition convened community leaders and practitioners to provide information on effectively engaging families in early childhood programs and policies.

The convening focused on two questions:

  • What exactly does “family engagement” mean?
  • How can we implement effective strategies for developing family partnerships, particularly across diverse cultures and varied early childhood programs?”

Family & Community Engagement for Healthy Child Development

Betty Emerita, consultant, Development and Training Inc., and Richard Chase, senior research manager, Wilder Foundation, examined family and community knowledge systems — the informal and formal ways that children learn at home and in their community.

The Family and Community Knowledge Systems Project:

  • Underscores the importance of how programs recognize, interact with and support these important systems in which children are embedded.
  • Aims to expand how we define and support healthy whole-child development and program quality from the perspective of family and community knowledge systems.
  • Highlights and measures ways to strengthen family and community engagement with formal systems to improve early childhood programs, policies, and practices — particularly for low-income children and children of color.

For more on their research, read the resulting publication: Promoting and Measuring Family and Community Engagement for Healthy Early Childhood Development.

Barb Fabre, director of White Earth Reservation child care, and Carolyn Smallwood, executive director, Way to Grow, reflected on their experience using the family and community engagement tool and noted that it increased positive family engagement outcomes and deepened the engagement and understanding of the children and families they served.

Family Engagement Programs and Best Practices

Christine DeGroote, early childhood education specialist, Head Start, presented the organization’s engagement framework for parents, family and community and its success measures. She highlighted the importance of crossing contexts at home, in early childhood programs, school and community to ensure success for children and families.

Mi Yang, parent leadership trainer, Cross-Cultural Leadership Action Program (C-Clap) presented curriculum that her organization used to train community leaders, relatives, parents and providers to educate and empower parents. She encouraged the audience to consider the following:

  1. All parents want their children to succeed
  2. We must believe in parent’s best intentions
  3. Change begins with knowledge

Andre Dukes, family academy director, Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), presented NAZ’s ending multigenerational poverty approach, highlighting the role of the Family Academy’s parent curriculum, which builds upon a family’s existing strengthens and then adds tools to parents’ skill sets to increase positive parenting practices.

Ellen Haefner, early childhood family educator, reviewed Faribault’s Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program structure and highlighted initiatives surrounding parent education and opportunities for children and families.

Cisa Keller, director of government and community relations, New Horizons Academy, noted implications for effective family engagement with regard to public policy, including an increase of early learning scholarships and multiple federal efforts such as, Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships, proposed CCDBG changes and more.

Rae Jean Hansen, senior program officer, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, closed by encouraging attendees to use the research and best practices of the panelists to further work for effective family education and high quality early care.

- Tiffany Wilson-Worsley, MCF public policy and government relations fellow

 


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,497 other followers