Fast Forward Podcast

Fast Forward is the Minnesota Council on Foundation’s (MCF) audio program that features conversations with big thinkers in the field of philanthropy.

Through these interviews, listeners learn about the latest trends in Minnesota grantmaking, gain insights on strategies behind important philanthropic efforts, learn about new resources from their peers, and come away inspired with ideas and approaches they can take back to your organization.

 
 

 

Recent Episodes:

On this episode, Sonja Moore talks about the Grotto Foundation’s ongoing strategic planning process, rethinking program focus and having realistic conversations about equity in philanthropy. Sonja Moore became the Grotto Foundation’s fourth Executive Director in 2014. Previously, she served as...
The Bush Foundation is accepting applications for the 2017 Bush Fellowship from August 30 through September 29, 2016, so Bush Leadership Programs director Anita Patel sat down with MCF to talk about the goals of the program, share ideas on...
“We’re going to stay here. But we want to get bigger impact.” On this episode of Fast Forward, Tawanna Black talks about what it takes to build a partnership with the public sector like she has done between the Northside...
“Trying to put band aids on things will never work," says John Schwartz, director and founder of the Voqal Companies. Here Schwartz talks about the work of Voqal to address the “Homework Gap.” He also addresses civic engagement and why...
“There are aggressive attacks on voting rights that we did not see in the 1990s," says Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project. Dianis has an extensive background in civil rights litigation and advocacy in the areas of voting,...
Ruy Teixeira is a senior fellow at both The Century Foundation and American Progress. He is also co-director of States of Change: Demographics and Democracy project, a collaboration that brings together American Progress, the American Enterprise Institute and demographer William...
“Impact investing is a practice and it’s something you get better at or you get more comfortable with," says Elizabeth McGeveran who joined The McKnight Foundation in 2014 as director of impact investing. She is responsible for the foundation’s $200...
Susan Voigt is program manager at the Medica Foundation. Before joining Medica, she was employed by several nonprofits, start-ups and IBM. As someone who has been on the grantee end of incorporating evaluation into the work and is now on...
"We're trying to get the funding closest to the people who are most impacted by these social and economic issues," says Carolyn Link, executive director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation. In her role, Link oversees...
With decades of experience in the civic sector, Marcia Ballinger and Lars Leafblad work with foundations, nonprofits and institutions of higher education to help them make important decisions about leadership hires. In this episode of the podcast, Ballinger and Leafblad...
“One of the best signs of a financially healthy nonprofit is a nonprofit that ends its operating year with a surplus," says Kate Barr, executive director of Nonprofits Assistance Fund. Barr has been making meaning out of financial information and...
Bush Foundation communications director Dominick Washington joins us to explain what he calls “Whole Pig” philanthropy, a way of trying to have an impact at every level and part of an organization. He also talks about how his political and...
MCF President Trista Harris shares her take-aways from a training at the Institute for the Future and provides a look at where philanthropy is headed. She also talks about what hover boards mean to philanthropy.
Ho Nguyen is a program officer at PFund Foundation. Formerly, she was the grassroots advocacy coordinator with Pro-Choice Resources, and she has been actively engaged in anti-racist work and social justice strategies for over a decade. Her background is in...
Leah Goldstein Moses founded The Improve Group in 2000 with a vision to improve programs and organizations that impact the world. In this conversation, we talk with Moses and The Improve Group’s research and evaluation director Jennifer Obinna about how...
Beth Zemsky is a community organizer, educator, psychotherapist and organizational leader. In this interview, Zemsky talks with Alfonso Wenker, MCF's director of program strategy and racial equity, about her multidisciplinary approach to intercultural organizational development.
“My life has been focused on a deep belief that education is a liberating force in human development," says Dr. Eric Jolly, new president and CEO of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. In this episode, MCF president, Trista Harris sits down with...
Terri Ann Lowenthal is a nationally recognized expert on the census and a consultant specializing in the census, the federal statistical system and the use of data for policy purposes. Lowenthal is currently part of The Census Project, a nonpartisan...
Molly de Aguiar directs the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation’s media grants, while also managing the foundation's communications initiatives. She’s working at the intersection of grantmaking, communications, media and community building. In this interview, she talks about tools and the ways...
Akhtar Badshah is the founder and chief catalyst of Catalytic Innovators Group. He led Microsoft’s global community investment and employee program for 10 years. Badshah spoke at the 2015 Minnesota Council on Foundations Annual Conference. In this interview, he talks...
Trista sits down for a wide-ranging talk with Paul Williams, president and CEO of Project for Pride in Living. Topics they discuss include the need for grantmakers viewing communities as assets, the importance of scale in making a real impact,...
Bob Tracy, MCF's director of public policy and communications, talks to George Cheung about The Joyce Foundation's democracy strategy, the meaning of civic engagement grantmaking and resources grantmakers can use to learn more.
MCF president Trista Harris speaks with Jenny Harms, network manager at the national Council on Foundations. They discuss the benefits of infusing regional foundation associations, such as MCF, with ideas from across the country.
Mary Jane Melendez of General Mills Foundation talks to MCF president Trista Harris about the General Mills approach to grantmaking and its work with Hunger-Free Minnesota.
Chris Cardona, director of philanthropy at TCC Group and speaker at the 2014 MCF Annual Conference, speaks to Alfonso Wenker, MCF's director of program strategy and racial equity, about how philanthropy can be more accessible to underserved communities.
In her role at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, Trish Tchume hears a lot about what young people in the sector need to do to develop their leadership skills. Tchume talks with MCF president Trista Harris about the five most...
Phil Buchanan, president of The Center for Effective Philanthropy, talks with Trista Harris, MCF president, about effective practice in philanthropy, tools offered by CEP, and advice for what foundations can do when they're interested in starting down the path of...
Mark Lindberg, director of relief, recovery and development at the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, tells MCF president Trista Harris about the foundation's relief and resilience program, its focus on lower-attention events that don't typically receive much philanthropic support, and its...