Principles for Philanthropy: Practice Resources

Practice Resources

MCF’s Principles for Philanthropy were developed using a developmental framework, whereby each organization has its own starting point. Together MCF members commit to accepting the principles as a common baseline from which we will undertake individual, organizational and collective growth.

The following Practice Resources are offered to support growth related to MCF’s Principles for Philanthropy. We hope you will adapt your usage to meet your needs based on your organization type, available time, and other considerations.

Ideas for Getting Started

You’re sure to find a few good ideas, tips or strategies to try out among the 280 Practice Resources. Here are a few ideas about how to get started:

  • Complete the self-assessment first, to determine areas for you to focus your time.
  • Dedicate a full board meeting or staff meeting focusing on one of the principles.
  • Take 8 months to work through each of the 8 principles.
  • Read the Principles for Philanthropy. Then, focus your time on unpacking sentences or phrases that push you out of your comfort zone. What can you learn and how can you grow?
  • Reach out to MCF if you’d like our staff to offer a presentation or lead a discussion for your team.

Links to the Practice Resources

Additional Considerations

The 280 Practice Resources are offered as a learning tool for individual and organizational growth, starting from a common baseline. Throughout the Practice Resources, MCF offers links to numerous outside resources including websites, publications and opinion pieces. These links are offered to illustrate possible options for your next steps. We strive to continue adding resources; please share links that you find relevant. MCF does not endorse the content on external pages.

These guidelines are intended to help guide your organization along its journey of deepening its understanding and practice of the Principles of Philanthropy.  The information provided is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice.  Although the content generally reflects best practices, it is not tailored to any particular organization, and there may be unique legal, governance, corporate, and tax considerations, including but not limited to the private foundation rules and other laws that apply to your organization.  We encourage you to consult with an attorney if you have questions on how the Principles may be put into practice consistent with the laws applicable to your organization.

Thank You

MCF is grateful to the following individuals who offered insights to develop the Practice Resources.

Practices Task Force Members

  • Cassie Bean, GHR Foundation
  • JoAnn Birkholz, Medica Foundation
  • Ben Cameron, Jerome Foundation
  • Claire Chang, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
  • Nina Clark, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
  • Heather Craig, Medica Foundation
  • Shelly d'Almeida, Medica Foundation
  • Nate Dorr, Northwest Minnesota Foundation
  • Nancy Fasching, Southwest Initiative Foundation
  • Grace Fogland, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
  • Theresa Gardella, Nexus Community Partners
  • Aya Johnson, Pohlad Family Foundation
  • Kris Kewitsch, Charities Review Council
  • Elizabeth Kruger, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies
  • Molly Matheson Gruen, Bush Foundation
  • Emma Mogendorff, Sauer Family Foundation
  • Michelle Morris, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
  • Tenzin Nordon, GHR Foundation
  • Danyelle O’Hara, Mortenson Family Foundation
  • Taneal Palmer, Medica Foundation
  • Brian Paulson, Pohlad Family Foundation
  • Zach Tabbatt, Initiative Foundation
  • Kristi Ward, Bush Foundation
  • Stanton Wood, The Center for Victims of Torture

Review Team Members

  • Catie Bitzan Amundsen, Lathrop GPM LLP
  • Kelly Q. Webster, Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation

Assessment Advisory Team Members

  • Imee Cambronero, 3M
  • Flor Frey, Frey Family Foundation


Thank You to Our Sponsor


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The Practices Resources are generously supported
by the Medica Foundation.