Momentum Virtual Workshops

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Virtual Workshops

Join us on Thursday, February 24 for three rounds of virtual workshops, designed and hosted by your MCF member peers. The virtual workshops are part of the basic conference package and are included with both of our registration options.

Attendees may choose from a total of 12 educational sessions. Sessions will be recorded; video links will be sent to registrants in March 2022.

Thursday, February 24, 9:00 - 10:15 a.m. 

Breaking Barriers to Sharing Power
Facing power issues within a foundation – realities of relationships to power and prospects of relinquishing it – can be uncomfortable. When we consider sharing power around grantmaking, including decision-making, strategy setting, and criteria development, barriers might emerge: fear and ambivalence of letting go of control, institutional priorities and regulations, and potential conflicts of interest. Engaging in participatory grantmaking calls for us to go beyond simply facing power issues to breaking down barriers to allow others to share power. Join this session to learn about how Mortenson Family Foundation has begun the process of participatory grantmaking with people working closely on issues and impacted directly by them. We recognized early on that breaking down barriers and sharing power wouldn’t be an end itself, but a potential means to better grant decisions and investments because while we have knowledge, people in and working most closely with communities have much more.

Presenters: Ambar Hanson, Community Relationship Officer, Mortenson Family Foundation; Chris Mortenson, Board Member, Mortenson Family Foundation; and Danyelle O'Hara, Community Relationship Officer, Mortenson Family Foundation

Building a Racial Equity Plan: Lessons Learned
In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and declarations of racism as a public health crisis, the Blue Cross Foundation created a comprehensive plan for deepening its commitment to racial equity. 

As we continue to reckon with our role in advancing social justice and addressing racial equity, we continue to come back to a belief that the people closest to a problem are best suited to solve that problem. This session will explore racial equity through the lens of organizational leadership. We'll discuss the use of collecting dempgraphic data for the staff of the organizations we support, sharing our own staff demographic data, and have a conversation about how we use dempgraphic data to inform the grantmaking process to address inequities. 

Presenters: Allison Corrado, Senior Program Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation; Bukata Hayes, Vice President of Racial and Health Equity, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; Zach Pruitt, Executive Director, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative; and Daniela Vasan, Partner, Wildflower Foundation

From Relief to Recovery: Nonprofit Sustainability Post-COVID
Over the past 2 years, nonprofit financial trends have been hard to pin down. With quick drops in revenue, big influxes of government funding, new areas of focus for individual givers and various adaptations in foundation grantmaking – it’s hard to judge the vitality of nonprofits based on fiscal trend lines. What is a grantmaker to do to assess organizational sustainability? Join this session to consider wide ranging financial questions including how to think about mergers/acquisitions, stimulus funds, program related investments, capacity building and professional development, and more. Attendees will gain insight into some of the important themes related to nonprofit sustainability, with plenty of time for conversation.

Presenters: Kate Barr, President and CEO, Propel Nonprofits; and Brad Kruse, Philanthropy Director, Hugh J. Andersen Foundation

This session is sponsored by: Thrivent

Thursday, February 24,10:30 - 11:45 a.m. 

Accountability & Harnessing Possibilities to Strengthen Philanthropy
We are living in a moment of great change and possibility. Philanthropy has been called to transform and deepen its impact to create a world where each person has exactly what they need to thrive and be safe. This call has come with rising concerns about trust and accountability of foundations and philanthropic institutions. Critiques of philanthropy provide opportunities for learning and growth to shape the changes in front of us. This workshop examines how philanthropy can strengthen and improve practices while being reflective and accountable to the communities it serves.

Presenters: Jaci David, Director of Innovation and Design, Blandin Foundation; Aretha Green-Rupert, Program Director, Carlson Family Foundation; Heather Logelin, President, St. Croix Valley Foundation and Lulete Mola, President & Co-Founder, Philanthropic Collective to Combat Anti-Blackness & Realize Racial Justice

Bridging Greater: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion across Minnesota
Join this session to hear from philanthropic leaders living and working across Minnesota (rural, urban, and metro), as they discuss the unique opportunities and challenges they are experiencing in the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). They’ll share insights about the DEI work currently underway in their communities and what philanthropic activities have traction for the future. They’ll discuss how DEI considerations in rural areas can differ from urban areas, share the ideas, language, and issues that are hard and how they’re bridging across differences to find common ground. Through this conversation, participants will learn about the nuances of DEI, and leave with some tactics and strategies to bridge across difference no matter where they’re working in the state.

Presenters: Malissa Bahr, Director of Leadership, Blandin Foundation; Alyssa Banks, Manager of Global Impact Initiatives; General Mills Inc.; J. Pablo Obergon, Community Engagement Officer, Southwest Initiative Foundation; and Karyn Sciortino Johnson, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Manager, McKnight Foundation 

Council for Black Male Success: Community Led Solutions
In 2016, equipped with community insights and quantitative data, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation committed $3 million over three years to improve the opportunity landscape and make positive change for Black youth and young men in Saint Paul. The Council for Black Male Success (CBMS), a consortium of organizations serving the African American community, was launched to drive this vital work. We listened, learned and grew in innumerable ways. Our assumptions were challenged. There was an awakening to what it truly means to center community, trust community, and follow its lead. We made missteps and course corrected. Truth was spoken and trust built. We exposed unintended harm to the community by philanthropy and then, built bridges. We acknowledged what was achieved in partnership with community and gained a better understanding of what is now possible.

Presenters: Darlene Fry, Executive Director & Founder, Irreducible Grace Foundation; Kedar Hickman, Program Officer, Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation; Christian McCleary, Program Assistant, St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium; and Carrie Jo Short, Senior Director of Community Impact, Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation 

Philanthropic and Government Collaborations to Perpetuate Innovative COVID Initiatives
Since April 2020 foundations, government, nonprofits have collaborated in innovative and nimble ways as never before to bring a variety of services that advance financial health, wealth creation, and career pathways to underserved populations. This has been inspired by government COVID and economic relief dollars. However, those dollars will soon evaporate. How do we continue to act in concert with each other and financially advance the innovations made? Join us for a cross sector panel reflecting and recommending the knowledge, skills, tools and strategies needed to advance the work this disruption has created. Can philanthropy continue to provide leadership and ensure that these changes don’t fade away. Participants will hear about exciting models that would never have happened had it not been for COVID.

Presenters: Ling Becker, Director of Workforce Solutions, Ramsey County; Gabe Epstein, Program Manager, Sundance Family Foundation; Mary Sue Hansen, Director, Suburban Ramsey Family Collaborative; Jillian McAdams, Advisory Board Member, Shoreview Community Foundation; Rachael Molenaar, Planning Specialist II Workforce Solutions, Ramsey County; and Peg Thomas, Executive Director, Sundance Family Foundation 

11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch Break 

Thursday, February 24,1:00 - 2:15 p.m. 

Aligning Values from the Inside Out
Often, when philanthropic organizations think about aligning values, we think about the most visible external work including our grantmaking, our public communications and our mission statements. At the same time, many savvy organizations understand that internal changes must occur in-tandem with external work. Whether it’s through staff compensation policies, candidate interview questions, or paid time off policies – our organizations are seeking to live our values in new and creative ways. Join this session to hear how internal values-focused decisions are changing the face of human resources, operations and organizational leadership.

Presenters: Milpha Blamo, Vice President of Talent and Culture, Minneapolis Foundation; Alli Naithani, Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Talent Development, Northwest Area Foundation  

This session is sponsored by: The Minneapolis Foundation

Beyond Grants: Big Problems Require Big Solutions
COVID and the racial reckoning challenged philanthropy to move fast, explore new ways of operating, and push outside familiar boundaries. Many MCF members provided $11 million in emergency grants and more than a dozen joined together in the Integrated Capital Recovery Program to provide $40 million low-interest loans and grants. Learn how to add integrated capital to your toolkit to address big problems in your communities.

Presenters: Renay Dossman, President, Neighborhood Development Center; Nikki Foster, Program Officer, Northwest Area Foundation; Susan Hammel, Executive in Residence, Minnesota Council on Foundations; Ambar Hanson, Community Relationship Officer, Mortenson Family Foundation; Greg Keane, Chief Financial Officer, Bush Foundation; Funlola Otukoya, Investment Analyst, McKnight Foundation; and Matt Varilek, President, Initiative Foundation. In addition, speakers will also host breakout rooms. 

This session sponsored by: Lathrop GPM

Engaging Our Community In Grantmaking
Greater Twin Cities United Way invited community members, representing the richness and diversity of our vibrant communities, from across the nine-county Twin Cities metro area to participate in an RFP (request for proposals) Advisory Group to helped inform and design our newest multi-year Community Investment RFP. During this session we’ll reflect on RFP Advisory Group process, including how RFP Advisory Group members received training and support to review, provide feedback on, and help improve the RFP grantmaking process used by Greater Twin Cities United Way for its most recent cycle of multi-year grants. We’ll also engage with each other to discuss and further our learning about ways we can incorporate and strengthen community voice and decision making in our grantmaking processes. 

Presenters: Steven Walvig, Program Officer, Greater Twin Cities United Way; and Erik Skold, Director, Sprockets

How to Move Forward When We Don’t Agree: Conflict Resolution for the Greater Good
The work of advancing equity and justice requires bringing together voices from vast backgrounds and experiences. But what happens when differences bring about conflict? Conflict can be a powerful tool. This workshop explores how leaders can navigate conflict to create shared solutions.

Presenters: Terri Allred, Director, Rochester Nonprofit Consortium; Carrie Moscho, Community Impact Officer; Rochester Area Foundation 


MCF will be recording breakout sessions. Video links will be sent to registrants in March 2022.