What Can You Learn from PFund’s Community-led Grantmaking?

April 29, 2014

pfund1aWith a belief that community members can best determine where funding will have the greatest positive impact, PFund Foundation (an MCF member) has long been committed to community-led grantmaking. In its last round of grantmaking and guided by a strategic direction of increased regional participation, PFund involved community more than ever. A summary of changes PFund made follows.

And, for a more detailed look at how you can incorporate PFund’s learning into your next grants round, check the spring issue of Giving Forum (online and in your mailbox now).

5 Changes:

  1. Expand the table. Historically PFund has engaged community leaders based in the Twin Cities. In its last grants round, it added leaders from Greater Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, and it plans to recruit from Iowa and South Dakota.
  2. Connect community leaders. In addition to reviewing written grant proposals, during its last grant round, community leaders held 24 site visits – in person and virtual. This connected leaders in new ways.
  3. Build shared knowledge. To enrich everyone’s understanding of LGBT communities in the Upper Midwest, PFund is convening community leaders.
  4. Foster mutual commitment. PFund is moving from recruiting volunteers annually to inviting community members to serve 3-year terms on its grant committee.
  5. Create a playbook. The foundation’s guidelines, approaches, policies and more are now documented in a resource that will be used and updated by the grants committee annually.

Did PFund do something that your organization could build on to increase your level of interaction with and commitment to the communities you serve?

- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate


PFund Seeks Nominees for Power of One and Philanthropy Awards

April 5, 2013

pfund1aMCF member PFund Foundation has issued its call for nominations for two annual awards: Power of One and Power of Philanthropy.

The Power of One Award recognizes individuals who work to improve the quality of life for the LGBT community through efforts such as volunteering, activism and leadership. For this award, PFund seeks nominees who:

  • Show significant contributions that reflect the PFund mission and vision
  • Demonstrate depth and breadth of service to the LGBT community in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin
  • Are community leaders or activists

The award recipient will receive $1,000 to give to a nonprofit organization of his/her choice and that also aligns with PFund’s vision and mission.

The Power of Philanthropy Award honors a community philanthropist whose work has inspired giving within and toward LGBT communities and has advanced social justice for LGBT and allied communities in the Upper Midwest. PFund seeks those who:

  • Have given generously and have inspired, educated or motivated others to give generously
  • Exemplify thoughtful, purposeful, responsive or innovative giving strategies
  • Demonstrate significant or visible impact on efforts to advance social justice for LGBT and allied communities in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin

Head to PFund’s website to see the full criteria and make your nominations. Submissions are due May 15, with recipients announced in August. Good luck to the nominees!


PFund Requests Proposals for LGBT Aging Initiative

December 17, 2012

pfund1aEarlier this year, MCF members PFund Foundation and Greater Twin Cities United Way released a report that highlighted the needs of LGBT older adults in the Twin Cities. Among other findings, it showed this population is less likely to seek help for sensitive healthcare needs and is more at risk for social isolation and nursing home placement.

PFund is now moving to the next phase of this work with a new funding opportunity through its LGBT Aging Initiative Fund. This fund will support projects and programs that focus on creating community and systemic change in response to LGBT aging priorities. It will award $25,000 to up to five grantees in 2013.

Eligibility guidelines for this opportunity include:

  • LGBT mission-specific organizations and ally organizations focused on aging, with priority given to collaborative partnerships.
  • A focus on LGBT adults aged 50 years or older in Twin Cities metro counties of Anoka, Chisago, Isanti, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, Dakota, Carver and Western Washington or statewide.
  • Projects and programs that raise awareness of LGBT aging issues, build capacity of organizations that address  these issues, collect data on LGBT aging, and work to change systems.

Proposals are due to PFund on February 1, 2013. Visit PFund’s website for the full grant guidelines and application, and spread the word to those who serve LGBT older adults!


New Report Highlights Progress and Challenges for Older LGBT Adults

October 4, 2012

The LGBT Aging Initiative, a partnership between MCF members Greater Twin Cities United Way and PFund Foundation, just released the 2012 Twin Cities LGBT Aging Needs Assessment Survey Report. It shows that over the past ten years there has been tremendous change, both nationally and regionally regarding LGBT aging, but that significant gaps still exist.

Key findings that they highlighted include:

  • Compared to a similar 2002 assessment, participants were nearly twice as likely to believe they would receive sensitive care if their sexual orientation were known. While certainly an improvement, still less than one in five people believe they would receive sensitive care.
  • Compared to the general population, LGBT older adults who participated in the study were nearly twice as likely to be a caregiver. However, they were more likely to live alone, less likely to have a caregiver, and less likely to have children. Moreover, LGBT older adults are more at risk for social isolation and nursing home placement.

This report was the first step of the LGBT Aging Initiative. Step two happens this Friday, October 5, when the Initiative will host an LGBT Aging Symposium to present the findings of this new report, along with seminal national research on LGBT aging, to a wide spectrum of aging service providers, LGBT health advocates and other stakeholders.

Finally, the LGBT Aging Initiative will provide a funding opportunity for LGBT aging projects. Grant guidelines will be released later this fall.

Visit PFund’s website for more information about the LGBT Aging Initiative and to download the full report.


PFund Foundation Takes Notes from the Road

July 5, 2012

MCF member PFund Foundation, a community foundation that advances social justice for LGBT communities in the Upper Midwest, has released a new report called Notes from the Road. Foundation representatives spent 18 months traveling across the Upper Midwest to hold 13 “listening sessions” where they heard directly from members of LGBT communities.

What’s on their minds? Some of the report highlights include:

  • Creating a regional identity. These communities are cultivating relationships and sharing resources with others in the Midwest. Many suggested a regular regional convening or conference.
  • Exploring differences. Some bisexual and transgender participants felt that despite being part of the LGBT label, they are not fully included in their local LGBT communities. Another common thread was racial diversity: how to build relationships across multiple identities, and how white-led LGBT organizations can be accountable to communities of color.
  • Isolation. There are challenges to staying connected in rural areas, and too few regularly scheduled meetings to foster a sense of community in these areas.
  • Same-sex marriage. Much of the conversation focused on how involvement in politics can be both a unifying and divisive force.
  • Infrastructure. There is a strong need to maintain meeting spaces, support paid staff, build comprehensive databases and implement communications strategies. Many LGBT leaders in the region are looking to develop better fundraising skills and seek new ways to raise money.

The report concludes by stressing the importance of Upper Midwest LGBT communities directing money, time and resources to building lasting relationships with each other.

Download and read the full report on the PFund Foundation website. The foundation is also hosting  free one-hour informational webinars about the report on July 17 and August 16.


New Research Studies LGBTQ Grantmaking in Minnesota

September 29, 2009

Over the past year, Funders for LGBTQ Issues (formerly Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues) partnered with the LGBT Funders Network of the Minnesota Council on Foundations to take a look at foundation giving to Minnesota’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.

The recently released report, “State of Funding: LGBTQ Grantmaking in Minnesota,” provides a benchmark that measures and describes this giving.

Among the key findings:

  • In 2007, 29 Minnesota foundations awarded $1.1 million across 88 grants to 33 LGBTQ organizations and programs in Minnesota. In comparison, nationally 293 foundations granted $77.2 million in 3,206 grants.
  • Private foundations accounted for 72 percent of Minnesota grantmaking dollars to LGBTQ issues in 2007. The five foundations that awarded the most dollars were: Kevin J. Mossier Foundation; Bush Foundation; The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation; AHS Foundation; Otto Bremer Foundation. The five foundations that awarded the most grants were: PFund Foundation; Kevin J. Mossier Foundation; U.S. Bancorp Foundation; John Larsen Foundation; Headwaters Foundation for Justice.
  • The study lists the top five LGBTQ strategies supported by Minnesota grantmakers as: 1) Advocacy; 2) Direct Service; 3) Organizational capacity building; 4) Litigation; 5) Community Organizing.
  • The top five issues supported in 2007 were: 1) Community building/empowerment; 2) Civil rights; 3) Philanthropic infrastructure; 4) Strengthening families; 5) Health.

Robert Espinoza, director of research and communications for Funders for LGBTQ Issues, presented the findings at a convening of the LGBT Funders Network on Sept. 25 in Minneapolis. A copy of the full report (pdf) is located on the MCF website. A report on funding trends at the national level is also available at the Funders for LGBTQ Issues website.

- Chris Murakami Noonan, MCF communications associate


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