August 25, 2014
In mid-December, we’re relocating the MCF offices to the TractorWorks building in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood. Our new digs are on the 7th floor at 800 Washington Avenue North. We’re excited and we hope you will be too!
Last week we held our first staff meeting in the unfinished space, which gave us all a chance to look around and make heavy use of our imaginations. The space is rough right now, but by move-in day it will be very welcoming and comfortable.
Our new accommodations were designed with our members in mind. The convenient location and easy parking will make a quick stop between meetings possible, while we hope the multiple gathering spaces, drop-in offices, state-of-the-art board room and comfy furnishings will ensure that you stick around.
As construction progresses, we’ll post pictures here to keep you in the loop.
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!
August 12, 2014
Thursday, August 14 marks United Way Action Day, where Greater Twin Cities United Way has organized volunteer opportunities around Minneapolis and St. Paul to help people make a difference in their communities by spending as little as 15 minutes over lunch hour.
One of the three host sites is MCF member Securian Financial Group. By showing up at its downtown St. Paul headquarters from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, volunteers can help assemble:
- Laundry kits for low-income families
- Dental supplies for children
- Back to school kits
- Healthy snack packs for children
- Warm blankets for homeless people
“On Action Day, it doesn’t take long to do a lot of good,” says Lori Koutsky, manager, community relations and the Securian Foundation. “In 15 minutes you can help assemble dental kits for 15 children, fill laundry packs for 10 low-income families or pack up warm blankets for several homeless children, adults and seniors.”
This year’s other locations include Ecolab Plaza in St. Paul and Xcel Energy on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis.
Visit the United Way Action Day site for details on times, locations and how you can sign up. And bring a friend!
August 6, 2014
Don’t miss episode four of Fast Forward, MCF’s series of conversations with big thinkers in philanthropy!
This month features Trish Tchume, executive director of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), who was in town for the YNPN National Conference. She talked to our president Trista Harris about the work YNPN has done with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) around the power dynamics in philanthropy, and Trish’s experience in how to develop young leaders effectively.
In this three minute clip, Trish elaborates on the five pillars of leadership development she’s seen young people ask for time and time again (hint: it does not involve credentialing). See how YNPN is working to offer the help emerging professionals fulfill these needs, and think about how you can too:
Then head over to our website to read the interview for more on the work with EPIP!
July 30, 2014
Earlier this week, the Bush Foundation announced it is accepting applications for the Bush Fellowship program now through September 11. This fellowship is both a recognition of extraordinary achievement and a bet on extraordinary potential, with Fellows awarded up to $100,000 to be spent over 12 to 24 months.
The Bush Foundation seeks leaders who are active learners of outstanding character and a record of success, and who could benefit from intensive development through self-designed or academic programs.
There are two ways to use a Bush Fellowship:
- To start, make progress toward or complete an academic degree.
- In a self-designed learning program where the learning experiences including conferences, classes, seminars, etc. are chosen by the Bush Fellow.
The Fellowship is an opportunity for Bush Fellows to increase their capacity for leadership by pursuing learning experiences that will increase their knowledge and develop important leadership skills and attributes, especially in the areas of communications, self-awareness, creativity, cultural competency and cross-sector leadership.
See the details and apply through the Bush Foundation website, and have a look at the 2014 Bush Fellows to see some successful applicants and what they’ve been up to. Semifinalists will be selected in October, with in-person finalist interviews in February and 2015 Fellows announced in March.