September 9, 2014
We’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!
September 8, 2014
Today, 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.
September 3, 2014
Are you a school, city, township, or county that has been innovating to improve services or reduce the cost of local government? If so, share your innovation for a chance to win $5,000 and a professional video highlighting your effort!
The Local Government Innovation Awards—sponsored in partnership between the Humphrey School’s Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, the Association of Minnesota Counties , the League of Minnesota Cities, the Minnesota Association of Townships, and the Minnesota School Board Association—recognize the creative ways counties, cities, townships and schools are making Minnesota better and doing things differently. All types of local government innovation are encouraged to enter. Through a partnership with the University’s Center for Integrative Leadership this year, the Awards are particularly interested in surfacing innovations involving cross-sector or cross-systems collaborations.
This year up to 20 local government entities will be recognized as award winners for their innovative work. The winner in each of the four categories will also receive a professional video highlighting their innovation work and a $5,000 grant from the Bush Foundation to continue local government innovation and redesign work!
Learn more and help spread the word.
August 29, 2014
Full, 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.
- 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.
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.