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Disaster Philanthropy

Disaster philanthropy is the term used when a foundation responds to a natural disaster, man-made emergency or complex humanitarian crisis with grantmaking or fund raising. Ever since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, leaders in the philanthropic community have become more aware of the importance of this approach to giving. What follows are the stories of three Minnesota organizations that have made the foray into disaster philanthropy. What have they learned from their experiences? And how can this approach help every foundation do a better job of delivering on its core mission?





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The Truth About Site Visits

Site visits are a single but critical step in most agencies’ attempts to secure funding and implement programming. As with every step in that process “” from grantwriting to hiring employees “” preparation and planning are key to improving an agency’s chances for success in obtaining a grant. Most funders say there’s nothing in particular a nonprofit can do to guarantee that a site visit results in funding “” the people doing the site visit often only make recommendations about particular programs, while others decide who ultimately receives funding. But grantmaking employees interviewed for this article offered several rules of Read more





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Toolkit for Giving

Ready to explore the many ways you can give to the communities and causes you care about? You’ve come to the right place. Check out our Toolkit for Giving and walk through your many giving options. In the Toolkit for Giving, Individual Donors Will Find: Questions to prompt reflection about the desire to give; Information on giving opportunities, from setting up a foundation, to participating in a giving circle, to creating a donor-advised fund and more; Links to other resources to inform your giving. You can also watch the “Philanthropy Is…” video. This popular, fast-paced video offers a realistic — Read more





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Principles for Grantmakers

The Principles for Grantmakers, to which all members of the Council subscribe as part of membership, are broad, aspirational statements of responsibilities implied by the public trust vested in charitable, tax-exempt philanthropic organizations and by the high ethical standards to which the Council and its members are committed.





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Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations

The Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations have been prepared by the Minnesota Council on Foundations as an illustration of the varying levels of practices that philanthropic organizations might adopt to implement the Principles for Grantmakers. The Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations make the Principles for Grantmakers more specific – creating guiding practices against which a philanthropic organization can hold itself accountable to the public and the communities it serves. Practice options include: Governance Accountability and Communications Program (Grantmaking, Public Policy Engagement and Other Programs) Finance and Administration Human Resources Fund Development (and Other Issues Unique to Community and Public Foundations)







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Diversity Framework

In developing the Diversity Framework, the Minnesota Council on Foundations found it helpful to frame the discussion around four roles that private grantmaking organizations play in a civil society as funders, employers, economic entities, and citizens of the community. Two values guided the development of this work: The quality of grantmaking is enhanced when grantmaking organizations reflect the cultural diversity of the communities they serve through their grants. Every private grantmaking organization has the responsibility and the capacity to understand issues of diversity and inclusiveness and should take action in each role where opportunities exist. The four roles and the values that support these Read more







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Disaster Giving

When disaster strikes, philanthropy plays a crucial role. Grantmakers give generously to meet immediate emergency needs, and they contribute thoughtfully toward long-range relief efforts. Minnesota philanthropists — organizations and individual donors — have a strong tradition of supporting those in need in the wake of natural and manmade disasters. Here you’ll find: Disaster Responses that MCF Has Monitored Before Disaster Strikes: Readiness Resources for Grantmakers and Individual Donors





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2013 Outlook Report

To assess the outlook for grantmaking in Minnesota in 2013, the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) conducted its 2013 Outlook Report survey in October and November of 2012. The survey asked grantmakers to predict how their 2013 giving will compare to 2012. A total of 104 organizations responded, representing 75 percent of annual grantmaking in the state.





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What Every Grantmaker Should Know & Frequently Asked Legal Questions

As part of our continuing efforts to help foundations maintain and improve the effectiveness of their work, the Minnesota Council on Foundations has prepared this comprehensive resource to help private, corporate and community/public foundations understand their legal requirements and obligations. This publication and its companion piece, Principles for Grantmakers & Practice Options for Philanthropic Organizations, are key publications in MCF’s Philanthropy & Public Trust series.





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Working Toward Diversity IV

Working Towards Diversity IV, released in 2011, paints a comprehensive picture of demographics, policies and practices on diversity and inclusion of Minnesota grantmakers. Survey results and analysis, focus group summaries and highlights from leadership profiles illustrate an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion in philanthropy in the state. The first Working Towards Diversity report was published in 1995. Now in its fourth iteration, this latest research is a mile-marker to help Minnesota grantmakers understand their progress in upholding the values of diversity and inclusion in their organizations, in their grantmaking and in the community.