Mary Jane Melendez on Best Practices in Corporate Philanthropy

January 20, 2015

ff1The latest episode of Fast Forward features Mary Jane Melendez, now executive director of the General Mills Foundation!

She speaks to MCF President Trista Harris about best practices in corporate philanthropy that the General Mills Foundation is putting to good use, and about the foundation’s partnership with Hunger-Free Minnesota to support our state’s hunger-relief programs.

Hear from Melendez on:

  • How the foundation leverages General Mills employees who live in the communities the foundation serves.
  • The company’s move from traditional volunteerism to leveraging the skills and experiences of its employees.
  • The history of the Box Tops for Education program and what makes it such a big success.
  • What to look for in a successful partnership like the one the foundation has formed with Hunger-Free Minnesota.

Listen to the podcast online now, and subscribe to it through iTunes!


MCF Welcomes Luciano Patiño as Operations Assistant

January 13, 2015

LucianoPatinoPortraitAt MCF we are excited to welcome Luciano Patiño as our new operations assistant. Luciano most recently worked as a customer outreach representative at NorthstarMLS, where he led a training program aimed at helping real estate agents leverage technology.

Luciano comes to MCF with several years of volunteer experience, including three years as a board member at PFund Foundation. He has also helped at other area nonprofits, primarily doing LGBT activist work. He is excited to learn more about the philanthropic community, to help foundations and nonprofits better connect and to make a difference in Minnesota.

Luciano has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Minnesota. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his friends, playing video games and watching TV while covered by his two Cavalier King Charles spaniels.

Help MCF welcome Luciano at our Thursday Open House!



MCF is Having a Party and You’re Invited!

January 6, 2015

photo 5photo 2MCF has moved, and we’re hoping you’ll come and check out our awesome new office space!

Join us for our
Open House on Thursday, Jan. 15, 4 to 6 p.m.

Just drop in; no RSVP necessary.

Stop in to say hello, enjoy a glass of wine, share some yummy hors d’oeuvres and help us break in our new space!

You can find directions to our new North Loop space and parking info here.

Hope to see you here!

 

 

 

 



2015 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows Announced

December 16, 2014

Today MCF announced the 2015 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows. The Fellowship, launched as a partnership with the Bush Foundation in 2013, prepares high-potential individuals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy.

Fellows are employed by MCF and placed at participating foundations for three years. This year’s Fellows will join the Bush Foundation, the Headwaters Foundation for Justice or The Minneapolis Foundation, where they will start on January 12, 2015.

“For foundations to remain credible partners, their staff must reflect the shifting diversity of communities,” says Alfonso Wenker, MCF’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion. “These leaders bring strong community relationships that will help position their host sites for the future.”

2015Fellows2Meet the 2015 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellows:

  • Allison Johnson (pictured, middle) is a community organizer with Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, where she has worked across the Twin Cities to build support for affordable housing and stronger communities. She will join the Headwaters Foundation for Justice.
  • Aya Johnson (right) is currently a community representative in the United States Congress focusing on immigration, foreign affairs, unemployment and outreach to communities of color. She has also served as a domestic violence advocate in St. Cloud and Blaine. She will join the Community Innovation team at the Bush Foundation.
  • Adrian Mack (left) is presently the program and curriculum director of STATURE, a leadership program designed to guide Minneapolis youth toward academic and career success. He also participates in several initiatives to engage the broader African American community. He will join the Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation team.
  • Patrice Relerford (second from right) is now the institutional support coordinator and grantwriter at People Serving People, a family-oriented shelter that provides emergency housing and community services to help homeless families achieve stability and reconnect with the community. She began her career as an education reporter at the Star Tribune and will join the Community Impact team at The Minneapolis Foundation.
  • Avi Viswanathan (second from left) has served as the campaign director for HIRE Minnesota, a campaign working to achieve racial equity in employment. He lives with his family on the East Side of St. Paul where he is engaged in many community activities and has served on the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council. He will join the Leadership Programs team at the Bush Foundation.

“I’ve seen firsthand how poverty and inequality erode communities,” says Fellow Patrice Relerford. “Through this fellowship, I believe I can better understand disparities by asking the tough questions to find solutions. For example, why does our region continue to have such glaring academic achievement, employment and home ownership gaps between whites and people of color?”

About the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship
The Fellowship is dedicated to the late Ron McKinley, a longtime member of the philanthropic and nonprofit communities who embodied justice and equity and worked tirelessly throughout his career to ensure that those from underrepresented communities were afforded equal access, opportunity and the resources necessary to fully participate and be heard.

Applications for the 2016 Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship will be open in fall 2015. Learn more at http://www.mcf.org/about/philanthropy-fellowship or contact Alfonso Wenker, MCF’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, with any questions.

Photo credit: Anna Min, Min Enterprises


Graves Family Foundation Announces Inaugural Grants and Grant Cycles

December 9, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 4.36.39 AMThe John and Denise Graves Foundation, serving the greater Minneapolis area, recently announced its inaugural grants. The foundation chose 14 grant recipients who share the foundation’s education equity goals of:

  • increasing high quality K-12 seats serving disadvantaged youth,
  • researching, advocating, and organizing for high quality schools and school leaders and
  • identifying and addressing systemic issues contributing to educational inequity.

The Graves Family Foundation will be accepting Letters of Inquiry for its education equity grant cycle from February 1st through Feb 27th, 2015. Its second grant cycle, which will focus on foster youth and youth experiencing homelessness, will begin in the summer of 2015. For more information, visit the foundation’s website.

High Quality K-12 Seats

The foundation awarded general operating grants to high performing charter schools and networks in the greater Minneapolis area who are actively working to increase the number of students they are capable of serving or are working to replicate their school’s model:

Policy, Advocacy, and Community Building

It also has awarded general operating grants to organizations that provide policy, advocacy, and community organizing support for high quality schools and school leaders.

System-wide Leadership

And in its other priority for its inaugural grants, the foundation has awarded general operating grants to organizations that identify system-wide issues contributing to educational inequity and work to correct them.

Visit the foundation’s Past Grants page for a full list of recipients.

 


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