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 19, 2014
Time is very short to pass the America Gives More Act (HR 4719)!
We need you to contact Senators Klobuchar and Franken to ask for their support today — before they return to Washington, D.C., in early September.
The legislation (passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July) promotes giving to all nonprofits by:
- permanently extending tax incentives for donations of IRA rollovers, food and land,
- allowing individuals to get credit for prior-year taxes for charitable contributions up to April 15,
- and streamlining the foundation excise tax, which reduces the administrative work associated with running a private foundation and enables greater giving.
We Need You To:
- Contact Senators Klobuchar and Franken before they return to Washington, D.C.
- Tell them you support the America Gives More Act.
- Focus on one part of the Act – the IRA rollover (for community foundations) or the simplified excise tax (for private foundations).
- Tell a story to illustrate how this will have a positive impact in the community by increasing giving.
- Ask them to urge Sen. Majority Leader Reid to schedule a vote on the bill as soon as the Senate reconvenes in Sept.
- Invite them to follow-up with MCF if they have questions.
Contact the Senators at their primary district office. If writing, copy the district director and tax policy staff person, and include your contact information. If calling, ask to speak with the district director, but speak to whom you are directed.
Do it today!
This is a rare moment in the Congressional process when the opportunity is real and the time for action is clearly defined.
U.S. Senators are in MN now and will return to Washington, D.C. for only a couple of weeks in Sept. before leaving again to campaign for re-election. Senators must pass the America Gives More Act before they leave to take care of personal political interests.
The likelihood of something happening during a lame-duck Congress in December is uncertain. After that we will be starting over with a new Congress.
One More Thing:
Contact Representative Erik Paulsen (MN-3) to thank him for his leadership in advancing legislation to simplify the excise tax and for working to enact this legislation for the past several years.
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!
July 18, 2014
Baseball’s All-Star Game happened earlier this week in Minneapolis, and with it came the announcement of the nonprofit awarded the Twins “All-Star Fans Choose” grant.
Nearly 75,000 fans voted to help award the $500,000 grant, with Channel One Regional Food Bank ultimately selected. The food bank plans to use the $500,000 grant to add more than 20,000 square feet of warehouse space at its Rochester location and build a kitchen and classroom to better serve and feed people in need. Channel One serves 13 counties in Southeast Minnesota and LaCrosse County in Wisconsin and an average of 100,000 people a year.
Six other finalists were each awarded $50,000:
- Camp Fire Minnesota in Chanhassen
- Cookie Cart in Minneapolis
- Hmong American Farmers Association in Vermillion
- Madison Claire Foundation inWoodbury
- Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge in St. Michael
- People Serving People in Minneapolis
The “All-Star Fans Choose” grant was part of an extensive legacy giving campaign, including the contribution of more than $8 million toward local projects and national charitable initiatives. This was made possible due to a partnership between MLB Charities, the Twins Community Fund and the Pohlad Family Foundation.
Congratulations to Channel One Regional Food Bank and all the finalists!
July 15, 2014
Jennifer Ford Reedy addressing the YNPN National Conference
A couple of weeks ago, the national conference of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network came to Minneapolis. As a board member of the local chapter, I was thrilled to see so many young leaders from around the country in town and for them to hear Jennifer Ford Reedy of the Bush Foundation during day two’s opening keynote.
One insight from Reedy’s keynote in particular has been sticking with me and others who attended. It came during her description of her career path and how she figured out what her dream job was. A lot of her career, she said, involved doing a good job and seeing what new opportunities emerged, but there was a pivotal moment — involving deep thinking and visualizing her dream job — that got her to where she is today.
That moment came with a question from a CEO she’d been working with. The question wasn’t, “What’s your dream job?” Instead the CEO asked, “Can we fund you to be you and keep doing what you’re doing in the community?” Reedy knew that wasn’t feasible and that she’d need to have a platform and a place to belong. But it did get her thinking, “What do I want to do? Not what job do I want, but what is the verb in my life?”
She thought about what she was good at, what she enjoyed doing and the impact she wanted to have. From there she considered organizations she could be a part of that would allow her to do that. That frame of mind allowed her to make conscious choices that led her to Bush Foundation.
Reedy’s story demonstrated that the familiar question about someone’s dream job might have it backwards. The most important thing to know is what you’ll be happy doing. The best place to do it flows from there, not vice versa. So what about it, what’s your verb?
Watch Reedy’s full keynote and Q&A session from the conference below:
- Chris Oien, MCF digital communications specialist
July 1, 2014
With near-limitless demand and finite resources, nonprofits have to be inventive and nimble every day to fill the gap and carry out their missions. Now, Eide Bailly is offering you the chance to help recognize those doing the best at undertaking sustainable, creative, and impactful revenue generation initiatives.
Eide Bailly’s Resourcefullness Award will be presented in Minnesota and three other states, with a grand prize winner, runner-up and honorable mention all receiving recognition and an award. Submissions will be evaluated on these criteria:
- Sustainability: How reliable is the initiative in generating continuous revenue for the organization?
- Creativity: How unique, inventive or clever is this initiative in the non-profit industry?
- Implementation: How well was this initiative executed?
- Impact: How great was the financial impact of the initiative?
- Overall Impression: What is your overall impression of this organization’s initiative?
Last year’s grand prize winner in Minnesota was Mankato Symphony Orchestra, for its Music & Brews fundraising event that created unique partnerships with local businesses.
Submissions are due August 29, with winners announced October 8. Visit Eide Bailly’s site for more information and to access the application. Good luck to those applying!
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!