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2021 Annual Report

Envisioning
a Stronger Future

2021 was a year that forced us to reflect on ourselves, the world, and what it means to be strong. It also marked the Minneapolis Foundation’s first full year of work guided by our new Strategic Framework. As we continued to respond to local needs inflamed by the pandemic and civil unrest, we were inspired by the many donors, nonprofits, and community members who power our work.

A Message from our President & CEO, R.T. Rybak

Our New Grantmaking Strategy

Our approach to grantmaking flows from the insights we gained in building our new Strategic Framework – a process of deep listening and co-creation with our community. Today more than ever, we strive to invest in community-led systems change, tackling problems at their roots by uplifting the voices, ideas, and leadership of those most affected by injustice and racism. As a result, we re-visioned our grant programs to offer funding opportunities that are more frequent, more streamlined, and more responsive to emerging needs.

Learn about our competitive grants

As part of these changes, in early 2021 we launched two new annual grant rounds:

In 2021, we...

Ran 7 competitive grant rounds and engaged 90+ community members in grant design, decision-making, and evaluation.

“This grant provided our scholars with a chance to breathe in peace and focus on creation instead of the grief and loss of this year.”

– Kate Mensing, teacher, Sojourner Truth Academy, 2021 Safe Communities Micro Grant recipient

Our Generous Communnity

Our work is powered by our donors—individuals, families, and businesses who care about strengthening communities in Minnesota and beyond. Here’s a glimpse of the impact they’re making:

“Education has always been a solid foundation on which to build. It’s hard to focus in school if you’re hungry.”
–Charlie Jones, donor
Read how the Jones family took action for hunger relief
MIGIZI Communications
“I support the OneMPLS Fund because grants are awarded to organizations that serve the local communities most impacted by our greatest challenges. The Fund’s straightforward grant application structure promotes innovative thinking and resilience.”
–Lisa Finley, donor
Learn more about our most recent OneMPLS grants
kids in mobile library
“The Ames Fund gave us the ability to really dream big about who should we become and who do we need to be for the long term.”
–Scott Wopata, Community Action Center
See how a family created a lasting legacy in Northfield
2021, By the Numbers:
1,577
Donors in our giving community
$106M
Given in grants
5,157
People and organizations supported
70%
Of giving went to Minnesota-based organizations

Hear from Our Grantees

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OneMPLS: The Minnesota Housing Partnership

The Minnesota Housing Partnership advocates for equitable housing policy, conducts research to inform solutions, and delivers community development services throughout the US.

Watch Video

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Reimagine Education: Bridgemakers

Bridgemakers is a holistic civic social and financial capacity-building platform that amplifies the stories and mentors the leadership of black, brown, and otherwise marginalized youth.

Watch Video

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Safe Communities: Change Starts With Community

Change Starts With Community is working to eliminate hunger amongst children and adults in North Minneapolis and to use food as a violence prevention tool for gender-based violence.

Watch Video

Special Projects

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Remembering George Floyd

As our community marked the first anniversary of George Floyd’s murder in May 2021, we partnered with Westminster Town Hall Forum on a special series of talks featuring nationally prominent voices in the pursuit of racial justice.

Learn More

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A Look Ahead: The Arts in 2022

What can we do together to ensure that Minnesota remains an arts haven? We’re diving into that question this year in a series of interviews with local artists and arts organizations.

Learn More

Learn with Us

A New Space for Growth

In 2021, we launched a new online space for our community to learn, grow, and take action together.

Explore our Learning Hub

Our Podcast

Now celebrating its third year, Conversations with Chanda has produced 80+ episodes with local and national thought leaders, reaching thousands of listeners in Minnesota and around the world.

Explore 2021 Podcast Highlights

Invest with Us

Here are three ways our generous community is coming together to address critical needs:

Start a
Fund with Us

Inspired by the work we’re doing together with our partners? Find out how a fund at the Minneapolis Foundation can help you make an impact on the issues you care about.

Explore donor opportunities