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Fast Forward: Sonja Moore

Published: 
December 2016
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 Director of Partner Relations at MN Philanthropy Partners, helping fund holders at The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation achieve their philanthropic goals. Sonja also has nearly a decade of fundraising experience working for Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault...
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Fast Forward: Anita Patel

Published: 
August 2016
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 how to approach applying for the fellowship and discuss the work that's been coming from current and past fellows. As Leadership Programs director, Patel works with a team to equip, inspire and connect leaders to strengthen our region. As someone who grew up in greater Minnesota and went to high school in Granite Falls (Archibald Bush’s hometown), Patel...
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Fast Forward: Tawanna Black

Published: 
August 2016
“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 Funders Group and the City of Minneapolis. She discusses how to get at changing the way philanthropy works inside public sector institutions beyond policy change but also helping reshape their grantmaking. She shares the four levers of the work of the Northside Funders Group, dives into the very real challenges of sustainability and speaks openly about how to keep fear of...
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Fast Forward: John Schwartz

Published: 
July 2016
“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 political change is vital in making sure everyone has access to good schooling. A public media advocate for 40 years, Schwartz has founded community radio and television stations and brought wireless broadband services to cities throughout the U.S. In 1983, he started what is now called Voqal—five nonprofit organizations that have licenses in the Educational...
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Fast Forward: Judith Browne Dianis

Published: 
July 2016
“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, education, housing and employment. She has protected the rights of people of color in the midst of some of the greatest civil rights crises of our modern times, including in Florida after the 2000 election and in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. In this episode, she talks about voting rights today and why she believes the trend of making it...
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Fast Forward: Ruy Teixeira

Published: 
June 2016
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 Frey of the Brookings Institution. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including America’s New Swing Region: Changing Politics and Demographics in the Mountain West ; Red, Blue and Purple America: The Future of Election Demographics ; The Emerging Democratic Majority ; America’s Forgotten Majority: Why the...
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Fast Forward: Elizabeth McGeveran

Published: 
June 2016
“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 million investment in businesses and funds that are building the low-carbon economy, improving the water quality of the Mississippi River and contributing to a thriving, sustainable Minnesota. This portfolio represents 10 percent of the foundation’s $2 billion endowment. McGeveran also provides environmental, social and governance expertise and...
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Fast Forward: Susan Voigt

Published: 
May 2016
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 the funder side, Voigt has real insights about how evaluation tools can and should be used as tools for learning rather than just accountability. In this episode, she also talks about common shared metrics as a big picture idea and explains the idea of field of practice evaluation.
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Fast Forward: Carolyn Link

Published: 
May 2016
"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 all operations and strategic direction for the foundation. On this episode, she talks about changes to a grant application process and how it can alter who you're welcoming in, and how funder/fundee collaborations are perceived.
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Fast Forward: Ballinger Leafblad

Published: 
April 2016
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 talk about what organizations must think about when recruiting new leadership and how they can include stakeholders.
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