Collaborative Philanthropy

MCF has refreshed its collaborative philanthropy model to better support members in learning, networking, collaborating and acting together. MCF supports Peer Networks, Working Groups, Collaborations and Affiliated Networks and Coalitions as a member benefit.


MCF Collaborative Philanthropy at a Glance

Peer Networks
Peer Networks are spaces for MCF members who work at the same type of foundation or have similar job responsibilities or social identities to come together to connect with their peers, exchange information and learn from one another. MCF support for peer networks is a member benefit.

Working Groups
Working Groups are places for MCF members to explore issues together from a public policy and systems change angle. Working groups engage in peer learning and networking, promote awareness of the issue among other grantmakers, and develop policy reform recommendations for MCF’s public policy agenda. The issue focus of the working group must align with MCF’s public policy goal of creating a more prosperous, inclusive and equitable Minnesota by eliminating disparities. MCF support for working groups is a member benefit.

Collaborations provide a vehicle for MCF members and non-members to take action together. Taking action together could involve pursuing a joint project or initiative, pooling or aligning funding, planning a large convening, developing and advocating for an independent policy agenda at the legislature, etc. Collaborations are likely to be more time-intensive and autonomous from MCF than peer networks and working groups. This is also a catch-all category for groups housed at MCF that do not fit as peer networks or working groups.  MCF supports collaborations on a below-market fee-for-service basis, working with consultants as needed.

Affiliated Networks and Coalitions
Affiliated Networks and Coalitions are Minnesota-focused philanthropic groups that engage a number of MCF members and are housed outside of MCF. MCF supports affiliated networks and coalitions by providing promotion and meeting space.

Connect to the MCF Hub!

The Hub is an online community, forum and virtual space that connects MCF members to opportunities for on-going discussion, resource-sharing and troubleshooting organizational development and topic-specific opportunities in beyond in-person meetings.

MCF members use the Hub to:

  • Request assistance on a specific topic, problem or issue
  • Pose a question or share an opportunity with peers 
  • Engage by commenting and posing content specific to topics in philanthropy
  • Share files, documents and best practices
  • Discuss relevant, timely issues
  • View MCF member contact information and connection preferences

Hub Discussion Policies

The following policies apply to discussions conducted on MCF’s Hub:

  1. Participation in MCF’s Hub discussions is limited to Hub members; members must be approved by a representative of MCF.
  2. Information shared on the Hub should be considered confidential, unless otherwise stated. Hub members should not forward any part of online discussions to others without group approval. MCF staff on the Hub will be held to the same confidentiality requirement. As a courtesy, ask for permission from the source to quote anything posted on the Hub.
  3. No organization seeking funding from Hub members will be discussed in relation to its grant proposals.


Opinions expressed on the Hub are those of the writer, not the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF). No material on the Hub may be duplicated electronically or in print form, re-transmitted, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. In consideration of his or her participation in the Hub, any user who duplicates electronically or in printed form, re-transmits, redistributes or otherwise uses material on this Hub shall be solely responsible for any violations of copyright, proprietary or other personal right, including libel or slander, or any other personal injury. The user hereby agrees to indemnify and hold the MCF harmless from any loss or damage, including attorneys' fees, arising out of any claim or proceeding instituted on the grounds that any of the foregoing rights have been violated.

MCF cautions participants in the Hub that private foundations are prohibited by law from lobbying, promoting a specific candidate or ballot measure or engaging in commercial activities. MCF shall not be responsible for any prohibited activity engaged in by participants of the Hub. MCF reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not abide by these guidelines.


Learn More

Hub Quick Start Guide
MCF’s Collaborative Philanthropy Playbook