MCF Welcomes Jennifer Hall as Program Assistant

July 9, 2014

jhallThis week MCF welcomes Jennifer Hall as our new program assistant. Most recently she worked at the Minnesota State College Faculty and prior to that she was at Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia where she worked on revitalizing the Ojibwe language.

Jenn comes to MCF with experience in the nonprofit and legislative sectors. Over 7 years, she has developed a passion for public and customer service. Working for the state legislature helped her appreciate the importance of bringing a variety of perspectives together, while working for a nonprofit inspired her to learn more about the field of philanthropy, especially how to be a transparent, effective organization.

As a student at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, she created her own degree in Heritage Language Stewardship, focusing on the Ojibwe language and anthropology. She was drawn to MCF because of its willingness to engage with all aspects of philanthropy to improve the field as a whole.

In her free time, Jenn enjoys reading, spending time with friends and family, and training in Muay Thai (Thai boxing).

Welcome Jenn!


Applications Open for the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship

July 8, 2014

Ron-McKinley-Philanthropy_FINAL_outlines_RGB-(2)MCF is pleased to open applications for the Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship (formerly the MCF Philanthropy Fellowship).

The fellowship is dedicated to Ron McKinley, a longtime member of the philanthropic and nonprofit communities. He was a mentor to many and an advocate who embodied justice and equity. He worked tirelessly throughout his career to ensure that all those underrepresented in these communities were afforded equal access, opportunity and the resources necessary to fully participate and be heard.

Ron McKinley

Ron McKinley

The fellowship, which was launched as a partnership with MCF and the Bush Foundation in 2013, will prepare individuals from underrepresented communities for careers in philanthropy. But the fellowship is about more than changing the face of leadership in philanthropy; it’s about infusing new ideas and viewpoints into the field.

Fellows will be employed by MCF and placed in full-time positions at host foundations for three-year appointments.

If you know high-potential leaders who will push themselves and their host foundations to think bigger and think differently, encourage them to apply!

We’re also on the lookout for foundations interested in hosting additional Fellows. Information about that can be also be found on our website.


Nominate Your Favorite Resource-full Nonprofit

July 1, 2014

rfaWith near-limitless demand and finite resources, nonprofits have to be inventive and nimble every day to fill the gap and carry out their missions. Now, Eide Bailly is offering you the chance to help recognize those doing the best at undertaking sustainable, creative, and impactful revenue generation initiatives.

Eide Bailly’s Resourcefullness Award will be presented in Minnesota and three other states, with a grand prize winner, runner-up and honorable mention all receiving recognition and an award. Submissions will be evaluated on these criteria:

  • Sustainability: How reliable is the initiative in generating continuous revenue for the organization?
  • Creativity: How unique, inventive or clever is this initiative in the non-profit industry?
  • Implementation: How well was this initiative executed?
  • Impact: How great was the financial impact of the initiative?
  • Overall Impression: What is your overall impression of this organization’s initiative?

Last year’s grand prize winner in Minnesota was Mankato Symphony Orchestra, for its Music & Brews fundraising event that created unique partnerships with local businesses.

Submissions are due August 29, with winners announced October 8. Visit Eide Bailly’s site for more information and to access the application. Good luck to those applying!


Helping the Arts Learn, Grow and Thrive

June 25, 2014

artsWith contributions from The McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, and lead supporter the Bush Foundation, Arts Midwest’s ArtsLab program has launched Capacity Building and Resilience, a case study report that investigates how small and mid-sized arts organizations learn, adapt, and grow.

Examining the experiences of eight organizations participating in this leadership and strategy development program, this report identifies four capacities that have helped organizations in Minnesota and North Dakota thrive in the face of operational challenges, staffing and leadership changes, and shifts in funding. Key takeaways offer insights for similar organizations seeking to build their resiliency and for grantmakers supporting the arts and culture sector. The report also outlines key insights for grantmakers supporting the arts and culture sector.

ArtsLab is a training, mentorship, and support program that offers in-depth learning opportunities for community-based arts organizations. Designed to catalyze new ideas and craft tangible paths to strategic change, the program offers highly-participatory retreats, monthly webinars, and access to mentors and financial support. Since its inception in 1999, the program has helped artists, cultural leaders, and their organizations strengthen operations, build cross-sector relationships, develop leadership skills, and deepen their connections to their communities.

“This report helps ensure that the impact of Arts Midwest’s ArtsLab program will reverberate beyond the organizations and individuals it served over the last 15 years. We are proud to support ArtsLab because it is truly a testament to the power of leveraging art to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in our communities,” says Allison Barmann, strategy and learning vice president at Bush Foundation.

Learn more about ArtsLab and its new report to help build capacity in the arts on the Arts Midwest website.

 

 


Fast Forward: Gary Cunningham

June 24, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 12.09.07 PMThe third episode of Fast Forward, MCF’s series of conversations with philanthropy’s big thinkers, is out now!

This time, MCF President Trista Harris sits down with Gary Cunningham, vice president of programs for Northwest Area Foundation.

Gary discusses his recent article The Urgency of Now: Foundations’ Role in Ending Racial Inequity and what other grantmakers can take from it. Watch the video below:

In the extended video captured in our transcript, Gary also talks about his role in the African American Leadership Forum and the importance of communities organizing and speaking on their own behalf with a unified voice. Read the transcript on our website.

Catch the whole series on the Fast Forward homepage, and stay tuned for next month, featuring Trish Tchume of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network!


Giving USA Comes Bearing Good News!

June 19, 2014

gusaI attended the St. Paul stop on Giving USA’s 2014 road show this morning. There, Adam Wilhelm of Campbell & Company updated us on 2013 national giving trends, which can be summarized as good news.

According to Wilhelm and Giving USA 2014, total charitable giving in the U.S. rose 3% (adjusted for inflation) between 2012 and 2013 to $335.17 billion. This is an increase of 12% since the start of the Great Recession, and Wilhelm predicts the U.S. will pass the pre-recession high of $350 billion in charitable giving in a year or two.

Wilhelm says, “Wealthy individuals are feeling good about their accumulated wealth, so it is a good time to talk to them about their giving.”

According to Giving USA, wealthy donors are giving to their favorite charities — including universities, hospitals and arts institutions — so overall giving in those areas is up. Meanwhile, giving to social service and church groups — more dependent on the financially squeezed middle-class — is flat.

In 2013:

  • Giving by individuals — the largest slice of the pie at 72% — totaled $240.60 billion, up 2.7% over 2012.
  • Giving by foundations — now 15% of total giving — was up 4.2% to $48.96 billion. This increase was driven in part by a 10.5% increase in giving by community foundations.
  • Giving by bequest through a will or estate plan — 8% of the total — was up 7.2% to $27.73 billion.
  • Only corporate giving — 5% of the total — was down 3.2% to $17.88 billion, the result of a slow rate of growth in pre-tax corporate profits last year. Corporate trends of increased in-kind and global giving continue.

What Organizations are Benefiting?

  1. Religion was the top recipient of gifts, but total giving to religion continues to slide. It went down slightly in 2013 to 31% of the total or $105.5 billion, which represents the lowest percent given to religion in 40 years.
  2. Overall giving to Education increased by 7.4% (2013’s largest increase) to $52.07 billion.
  3. Giving to Human Services was fairly flat, increasing by .7% to $41.51 billion.
  4. Giving to Health was up by 4.5% to $31.86 billion.
  5. Giving to Public Affairs/Society Benefit (which includes giving to donor-advised funds) was up 7% to $23.89 billion.
  6. Giving to Arts, Culture and Humanities was up by 6.3% to $16.66 billion.
  7. Giving to International Affairs fell to $14.93 billion (due to fewer disasters worldwide in 2013).
  8. Giving to Animal Welfare and Environment increased to $9.72 billion (due to larger investments in climate change and anti-fracking initiatives).

Takeaways from event panelists included the following: 

  • Individual giving is a growth market. Giving by other sectors is not growing as quickly.
  • More and more often, individual donors are researching charities and want to see the impact of their gifts.
  • If your organization is not doing planned giving, it should at least be doing bequests. “It’s easy!”

Visit Giving USA for much more information or to purchase Giving USA 2014.

For more information on Minnesota giving, visit mcf.org/research

- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate

 


Wells Fargo Highlights Corporate Social Responsibility

June 18, 2014

wfFor many corporations, doing good in the community goes beyond making grants. They also embrace corporate social responsibility (CSR), which involves using business practices that improve social welfare.

To that end, MCF member Wells Fargo just released its 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report, highlighting achievements and progress made toward reaching its CSR goals. Goals Wells Fargo set for itself and accomplished include:

  • Providing $7.7 billion in principal forgiveness since 2009, helping financially challenged homeowners.
  • Financing $1.2 billion in “green” affordable housing and commercial proprieties in low-to moderate-income communities since 2012.
  • Launching a Human Rights Statement and Supplier Code of Conduct.

And some additional highlights from this year’s report:

  • Investing $12 billion in environmentally sustainable businesses since 2012, including “greener” buildings and renewable energy projects.
  • Providing $14.2 billion in loans and investments to community development projects since 2011.
  • Volunteering more than 4.7 million hours of community service since 2011.
  • Delivering financial education to nearly 375,000 people since 2011.
  • Achieving a 23 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2008.

Download the report for all the details. And for more on how Wells Fargo is thinking about CSR and what it means to the company, read this recent post on its blog about shifting from “responsibility” to “relevancy.”


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