Resources on Funding Civil Legal Aid

August 4, 2015

A member post from Bridget Gernander of the Minnesota Supreme Court Legal Services Advisory Committee on their grantmaking field of expertise.

Last year, the Minnesota Supreme Court Legal Services Advisory Committee (LSAC) became the first government grantmaker to join MCF.  LSAC’s focus is on funding civil legal aid statewide, with grants to twenty-six nonprofits that assist low-income people in meeting their legal needs.

LSAC hosted a member briefing back in April about the impact of funding civil legal aid.  If you were unable to attend the member briefing or want to learn more about the subject, video of the event is now available:

  • Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Wilhelmina Wright (34 minute video with an overview of how access to justice for people who can’t afford an attorney is critical to our legal system)
  • Bridget Gernander, LSAC Program Director (37 minute video focusing on the work of LSAC and civil legal aid statistics)
  • Randi Ilyse Roth, LSAC Committee Member (29 minute video describing the return on investment of civil legal aid)

For those who prefer written materials to videos, the Minnesota State Bar Association has done a civil legal aid by the numbers infographic below (click to enlarge), and there are national resources about the impact of funding civil legal aid.



MCF Seeks Our Next Program Manager

July 30, 2015

help Are you or someone you know MCF’s next Program Manager? This highly-visible and member-facing role is perfect for someone with a passion for connecting groups of people to opportunity, link participants to resources and energy to grow and expand a well established set of program activities.

The Program Manager will manage the day-to-activities of the Council’s 20+ active member networks and growing web-based learning programs. This role will collaborate closely with other department program directors on the development of interactive and informative programmatic content relevant to MCF’s 176+ grantmaker members.

Core responsibilities include a leadership role in:

  • Member networks
  • E-learning / webinars
  • Briefings and programmatic opportunities
  • Program design and delivery

See the full job description on our website, and help us spread the word! Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with the hope of a candidate joining the team late in August.

Photo cc Matt Wetzler

MCF Welcomes Leah Lundquist as Program Manager — Leadership Development

June 23, 2015

Leah-LundquistWe are excited to announce Leah Lundquist is joining MCF as our new program manager — leadership development.

Leah comes to us from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where she served as director of the Hubert Project. She previously held positions at the Center for Integrative Leadership, Northwest Area Foundation and the Kellogg Action Lab. She received her Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School in 2012.

Leah will serve as lead trainer on MCF initiatives like Grantmaking for the 21st Century, the Policy Connections Institute and other cohort learning programs. She will begin her work here in mid-July.

Welcome, Leah!

MCF Seeks Program Manager – Leadership Development

April 28, 2015

helpMCF is adding to its Program Strategy Team! We are seeking a dynamic trainer/facilitator who is passionate about leadership development, cohort-based learning and promoting effective philanthropy.

The Program Manager – Leadership Development will manage the day-to-day activities of several Council cohort-learning programs and the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows program. This person will be responsible for researching and implementing best practice in training, facilitation and adult learning in concert with grantmaking best practices.

Responsibilities include:

Cohort-Based Training/Facilitation

  • Manage the day-to-day activities and budgets of Council cohort learning programs including Grantmaking for the 21st Century, Policy Connections Institute (including meetings with elected officials and staff as part of field work activities).
  • Develop and manage relationships with MCF members and non-member grantmakers that drive recruitment of program participants to meet attendance and associated revenue goals.

Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows Program

  • Develop and manage relationships and activities that drive recruitment of participants; coordinate the application process to ensure smooth process and successful placement.
  • Support potential, incoming, and actively enrolled Fellows through regular correspondence and individual support that sets expectations, enables accountability, and demonstrates engagement.

All-team/all-staff Program Design and Delivery

  • Support materials development.
  • Collaborate with team members to develop/strengthen/expand partnerships with partner organizations.
  • Partner with all team members on the production of major Council events such as Annual Conference, Annual Meeting and Annual Summer Celebration.

See the full description on our website, and share it widely with your network! Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with the hope of a candidate joining the team in early June.

Photo cc Matt Wetzler

Make Your Nominations for the 2015 Facing Race Ambassador Award

October 30, 2014

stpf1Do you know someone working tirelessly to end racism? Nominate that person for the Facing Race Ambassador Award!

The Ambassador Award is an annual award made by The Saint Paul Foundation that celebrates and honors the leadership of individuals working toward racial equity.

In 2015, the foundation will name:

  • One award recipient for work focused in the East Metro (Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties).
  • One award recipient for work focused anywhere in Minnesota.
  • Up to three honorable mentions for work focused anywhere in Minnesota.

Head to The Saint Paul Foundation’s website to access the Request for Nominations and online submission form. Nominations are due December 12.

The foundation is also hosting an informational webinar on November 18, where you can learn more about the nomination process. Register for that webinar online.

Fast Forward: Chris Cardona on Accessible Philanthropy

October 7, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 12.09.07 PMThe newest episode of MCF’s Fast Forward podcast featuring big thinkers in philanthropy is up!

In this episode, Alfonso Wenker sits down with Chris Cardona of TCC Group. They kick off their discussion with the three levels of accessible philanthropy Chris has seen grantmakers employ:

  1. Consult stakeholders about their decisions
  2. Integrate these communities into the decision-making process
  3. Get community involvement in the initial design process
Chris Cardona

Chris Cardona

The two go on to discuss the best entry point into this culture of accessibility, getting buy-in from leadership, and why equity and inclusion are such important concepts in discussions about diversity.

Listen to the podcast now! Then subscribe on iTunes or plug the RSS feed into the program of your choice.

Grantmakers, if you like what you hear, be sure to join us October 31 for Today’s Realities | Tomorrow’s Opportunities, MCF’s annual conference. Chris Cardona is one of the several prominent local and national speakers you’ll interact with throughout the day!

Are We Really Working Together to Solve Problems?

September 9, 2014

4025619497_cc11ffd64a_zWe’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!


Photo cc edlabdesigner


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