February 24, 2015
Last week, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts released the Creative Minnesota study. This study, made possible with support from The McKnight Foundation, takes a look at the big contributions the nonprofit arts and culture sector makes to Minnesota’s economy.
Among the big findings:
- The arts generate $1.2 billion in total economic impact in Minnesota annually.
- Almost 19 million people attend arts and culture events every year.
- Arts and culture support the equivalent of more than 33,000 full time jobs.
- These jobs generate over $870 million in income to Minnesota residents.
- There are more than 42,000 artists in Minnesota.
The study profiles 11 Minnesota regions, finding significant economic impact in each. Of the 1,269 organizations studied, almost half are located in Greater Minnesota.
It also found significant growth in the sector since the previous study conducted in 2006.
Sheila Smith, executive director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, put it this way: “It is a testament to how much Minnesotans care about arts and culture that, although Minnesota is just now crawling out of the Great Recession, the nonprofit arts and culture sector seems to have shown resilience and even growth in this period.”
Visit the Creative Minnesota website to download the report, read more about the 11 regions profiled, and view several handy infographics that sum up the data in an easily accessible way.
February 17, 2015
In this month’s episode of our Fast Forward podcast, our president Trista Harris speaks with Jenny Harms, network manager for the Midwest at the national Council on Foundations!
They discuss the benefits of infusing regional foundations like MCF with ideas from across the country, and let MCF members know what Jenny will be up to in the coming months and how to get in touch.
We’re looking forward to collaborating with Jenny and COF on many projects in the coming months! Listen to Trista’s interview with her now, and don’t forget to subscribe to Fast Forward to get every episode delivered to you as we publish them.
February 11, 2015
MCF member Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation has released a request for proposals for up to a total of $1 million to further health equity in communities across Minnesota. The new grants program, “Healthy Communities: Health Equity in Action,” offers grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 per year, and applicants can apply for one- or two-year grants.
“The overall goal is to help people reach their full health potential,” said executive director Carolyn Link. “We believe community nonprofits are in the best position to understand and apply what’s already working in communities to make them healthier.”
The Foundation’s mission is to make a healthy difference in communities by advancing health equity and improving conditions where people live, learn, work and play. The Foundation seeks to fund community solutions that help create the following:
- Equitable systems — Systems and resources are equitable and easily navigated. Community members are positioned and supported to fully participate in community life.
- Stable lives — Children, families and individuals are engaged and supported so they can achieve stable, thriving lives and secure healthy futures.
- Social connections — Community members have increased connectedness, confidence, self-efficacy and opportunity to bring about change.
- Vibrant communities — Community institutions and infrastructures are strong, and health considerations are at the forefront of community decision making. Equity assessments are routine practice and core organizations recognize their role in advancing health equity.
Optional workshops will be held in Mankato, St. Paul, Bemidji and Duluth for potential applicants to learn more about the funding opportunity and to talk with foundation staff about project ideas, and a webinar also will be held on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 9:30 a.m. Registration is required for the workshops but not the webinar.
See the detailed RFP on the Foundation’s website. Proposals are due by 4 p.m. on April 20.
January 27, 2015
The Minnesota Council on Foundations elected new board officers and directors at our annual meeting at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on January 22.
Officers elected for 2015 are:
- Brad Kruse, philanthropy director, Hugh J. Andersen Foundation, board chair;
- June Noronha, senior manager, Native Nations Team, Bush Foundation, vice chair;
- JoAnn Birkholz, foundation director, Medica Foundation, secretary; and
- Steve Joul, president, Central Minnesota Community Foundation, treasurer.
New directors elected to three-year terms ending in 2017 are:
- Sarah Duniway, trustee, Gray Plant Mooty Foundation;
- Frank Forsberg, senior vice president of systems change and innovation, Greater Twin Cities United Way;
- Aretha Green-Rupert, program officer, Otto Bremer Foundation; and
- Judson McNeil, president, The Toro Company Giving Program and The Toro Foundation.
Directors elected to second three-year terms ending in 2017 are:
- Brad Kruse, philanthropy director, Hugh J. Andersen Foundation;
- Gary Nan Tie, trustee, Jerome Foundation; and
- Tim Thorpe, trustee, James R. Thorpe Foundation.
Congratulations to all!
January 20, 2015
The 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!