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!


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

Meet the New Nexus Community Partners BCLI Cohort

September 8, 2014

nexusToday, MCF member Nexus Community Partners announced the second cohort of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI). The 15 cohort members come from various communities in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding suburbs and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge working in community, nonprofits and the private sector.

The BCLI will train and place these dynamic individuals onto publicly appointed boards and commissions in the Twin Cities. The fellows will have the capacity and community support to advance a regional equity agenda and serve as the next generation of leaders who are representative of, and accountable to, the region’s communities of color and other underrepresented populations.

The fifteen new fellows are:

  • Antrinita Wright, Neighborhood Leadership Program (NLP), Amherst H. Wilder Foundation
  • Carla Kohler, Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES)
  • Chamath Perera, Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA)
  • David Martinez, Wells Fargo Community Development Department
  • David Milton, Mastery Charter Schools / Harvest Education Network
  • Donna Evans, BCLI Alum
  • Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, Navigate MN
  • Falmata Bedasso, Oromo Community of MN
  • Jamez Staples, Community Elder
  • Leila Paye-Baker, Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO), City of Saint Paul
  • Nasser Mussa, Oromo Community of MN
  • Sonya Lewis, AFSCME 3800
  • Suyapa Miranda, BCLI Alum
  • Tescil Mason Kimmons, BCLI Alum
  • Yolonde Adams-Lee, MN Department of Human Services

Learn more about the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute on the Nexus Community Partners website, and meet this new cohort in person at the BCLI launch event on Thursday, October 9.



Subscribe to Fast Forward on iTunes

August 29, 2014

ff1Full, in-depth interviews with big thinkers in philanthropy are now available on the Fast Forward podcast! Subscribe through iTunes or plug the RSS feed into the podcast subscription software of your choosing.

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  • Interested in hearing from Trish Tchume of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network on the work she’s done with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy to address power dynamics in the field? Have a listen.
  • Want to hear from Phil Buchanan of the Center for Effective Philanthropy on the tools grantmakers can use to build and maintain effective practices? Now you can!
  • Ready to know more about the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and its approach to disaster relief? Listen to Mark Lindberg on the foundation’s focus on lower-attention events and its belief in the power of local communities to self-organize.

Once you’re done listening, don’t forget to subscribe so you’ll get every episode as they publish! Next month you’ll hear from Mary Jane Melendez of General Mills Foundation.


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