Movin’ On Update

October 15, 2014

1_281536_2014-09-29-14-09-01-738Construction at MCF’s soon-to-be new home is coming along quickly! Things are going so well that we’ve bumped up our move-in date. You’ll find us in the Tractorworks building starting on December 1. (Remember, that’s in the North Loop at 800 Washington Avenue North.)

While the construction crews do their work, we are plotting out how things will look inside. One project includes scanning a bunch of old photos and soliciting new ones from members in order to create a mosaic of Minnesota’s philanthropic community that will greet you when you come in. We can’t wait to show you the finished product!

0_226863_2014-09-26-17-05-11-678We also have several capital project sponsorship opportunities available, that offer members the chance to help us make our space the best it can be. We’re very grateful that these are getting picked up quickly, with two still available:

  • Kitchen Break Room: A  place to start and continue conversations before and after programs or gather for a quick meeting or a casual meal.
  • Huddle Spaces (2 available): Two cozy conversational seating areas will provide the perfect locations for staff and members to easily work together or have a private talk.

If you’re interested in a sponsorship, contact Maria Salas.

Stay tuned for future updates and the grand unveiling!


New RFP Launches to Help Children Succeed

October 8, 2014

unitedwayMCF member Greater Twin Cities United Way has announced it is now accepting proposals in its Helping Children Succeed impact area.

United Way hopes to create a community of nonprofit partners making lasting impact for children and youth in the nine-county metro area by investing almost $13 million in Community Impact grants annually. This group of organizations will work together with community and thought leaders throughout the region to make sure every child in this community is prepared for success in school and in life.

The Request for Proposals is available now and due on Friday, November 7. Over the course of the following months, United Way staff and volunteer experts will review the proposals and conduct site visits to get a deep understanding of each program’s practices, successes, and potential for effective change. Funding decisions will be announced in March of next year with the expectation that each three year grant will begin on July 1, 2015.

Visit United Way’s website for the most up-to-date information about the RFP, including the FAQ.


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!


Advance Early Childhood Nutrition with the Cargill Foundation

September 30, 2014

CargillLogoAre you involved with an organization that seeks to improve early childhood nutrition in the Twin Cities metro area?

The Cargill Foundation is accepting applications for one-time planning grants of up to $25,000 and one-time implementation grants of up to $100,000 for programs that advance early childhood nutrition through parent engagement, staff training initiatives, nutrition curricula, and increasing the availability of low-cost, nutritious food.

Last year, the Cargill Foundation awarded more than $1.5 million in the form of 17 grants to various organizations. The planning grants are an excellent way to explore new and innovative ideas in tackling the issue of early childhood nutrition. The implementation grants will go to support thoroughly planned programs that are ready to make the leap and impact local communities.

Proposals of interest should include one of the two priorities: developing or delivering hands-on nutrition education programs, and retaining or increasing participation among childcare providers in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Check out the Cargill Foundation grant guidelines for full details.

Programs in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties are eligible. The application window is open from Oct. 1 to Nov. 14.


The McKnight Foundation Seeks Your Input

September 26, 2014
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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.



PFund Foundation Wins Responsive Philanthropy Award

September 11, 2014

pfund1The results of the 2014 Minnesota Nonprofit Awards are in, and the recipient of the award for Responsive Philanthropy goes to PFund Foundation.

MAP for Nonprofits and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits chose to honor PFund for its QReach initiative:

In 2011, PFund convened grantees and partners across the Midwest to learn more about the needs of the communities they aim to serve. As a result of those conversations, PFund created QReach, a community network building and regional assessment project in partnership with LGBT organizations and leaders, donors, funders and allies. It is designed to address the needs identified by LGBT communities in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, and at the same time increase the resources to those LGBT communities by both building up PFund and philanthropic giving to LGBT communities in Minnesota. Through its QReach initiative, PFund is providing an important and needed framework through programming, convenings, media tools and capturing learnings; helping to build a stronger GLBTA community that has a stronger presence to help those that have further to come.

Other 2014 Minnesota Nonprofit Award winners are:

  • 5% Campaign: Nonprofit Mission Award in Advocacy
  • CLIMB Theatre: Nonprofit Mission Award in Anti-Racism Initiative
  • Conflict Resolution Center: Nonprofit Mission Award in Innovation
  • CommonBond Communities: Nonprofit Excellence Award
  • YouthCARE: Nonprofit Excellence Award

Learn more about the winners by watching the video below, and see them honored in person at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits annual conference in November. Congratulations to all six!


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