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“When the focus of the OneMPLS Fund became housing, and we knew we could collaborate with others, and the money would go to local nonprofits working with people in local neighborhoods who need these services—it was just a logical thing to do.”
–Maureen Bazinet Beck
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“My wife and I established a Donor Advised Fund after we sold our company. Another option might have been to start a private foundation, but the complexity of that . . . no way. We didn’t need to complicate our lives, and yet we wanted to be helpful to our community.”
–Martin Peyer
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Scott Wopata, Community Action Center
“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
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“I’m proud of the maturity that we’ve gained over the past few years, and I attribute a lot of that to the Minneapolis Foundation.”
–Tom O’Brien
Code42 Foundation Chair
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Donor Advised Fund?

    Donor Advised Funds are among the most popular giving vehicles in the United States. Think of them as charitable investment funds that are designed to support the causes you care about.

    Learn more about Donor Advised Funds
  • What is a Signature Fund?

    A Signature Fund is similar to a Donor Advised Fund, but is tailored specifically for funds seeking greater name recognition.

    Contact us to learn more
  • What investment pools do you offer?

    We maintain a variety of investment pools designed to meet a range of philanthropic goals, time horizons, and risk tolerances. This includes our InvestMPLS initiative as well as long-term growth, social impact, balanced, short horizon, and money-market strategies.

    Contact us to learn more

Meet the Advisor Team

Our Philanthropic Advisors are here to ensure your fund drives positive change for the issues you care about.

Amy Pfarr Walker headshot
Amy Pfarr Walker Philanthropic Advisor Meet Amy +
Amy Pfarr Walker
Philanthropic Advisor

Amy partners with the Foundation’s donors to bring their values to life through philanthropy. Amy joined the Foundation in 2022, bringing her nearly 25 years of nonprofit development and communications experience. She has worked with nonprofits focusing on human services, affordable housing and mental health, and values connecting donors to the collective impact they make on the challenges facing our community. Most recently, she served as Chief Advancement Officer at Washburn Center for Children. Amy received a B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College and completed a Masters of Business Communications Certificate at the University of St. Thomas. Amy currently serves on the Advisory Council of A Christian Ministry in the National Parks. Outside work and chauffeuring her daughter, she enjoys time outdoors, hiking in the mountains, and planning her next travel adventure. 

View Amy’s LinkedIn

Bill Sternberg Director, Business Development & Philanthropic Advisor Meet Bill +
Bill Sternberg
Director, Business Development & Philanthropic Advisor

Bill works actively with existing and prospective donor families and their trusted advisors to articulate and carry out their charitable intent. Before joining the Foundation in 2002, Bill spent 16 years in the financial services industry with Citicorp in New York and Los Angeles, and with Piper Jaffray in Minneapolis. Bill holds a B.S. in entrepreneurship from Babson College. He currently serves on the board of Mission Animal Hospital, the first nonprofit full-service animal hospital and clinic in the nation.

View Bill’s LinkedIn

Chris Beach Senior Vice President, Philanthropic Services Meet Chris +
Chris Beach
Senior Vice President, Philanthropic Services

Chris oversees the Philanthropic Services department, partnering with the Foundation’s donors to help them achieve their charitable goals and increase their positive impact in the community. Before joining the Foundation in 2019, he was the president of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota’s Foundation and its chief development officer. As a key member of that organization’s senior leadership team, he was responsible for building financial resources to support greater organizational impact and visibility throughout Minnesota. He was also responsible for its property department and statewide volunteer program. Chris received a B.A. in English literature from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota. A few years later, he returned to Saint Mary’s, where he earned a master’s degree in educational leadership.

Christine Headshot
Christine Empanger Manager, Family Philanthropy Resource Center Meet Christine +
Christine Empanger
Manager, Family Philanthropy Resource Center

Christine’s role of managing the Family Philanthropy Resource Center (FPRC) allows her to take her understanding of family systems and align it with FPRC tools to engage individuals of all generations in building strong vibrant communities. Before joining the Foundation in 2021, Christine served as the Development Officer of Northeast Minnesota for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota working closely with their robust programming around ending youth homelessness.

Christine received a B.A. in Social Work with a minor in Early Childhood Studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth and continued her passion for community-based work to earn a Master of Social Work, Macro Practice degree from Augsburg University. In her free time, Christine enjoys spending time at her family cabin, cooking new recipes, and taking long walks with her goldendoodle Evie.

View Christine’s LinkedIn

Jenna Berneck headshot
Jenna Berneck Director of Business Development Meet Jenna +
Jenna Berneck
Director of Business Development

Jenna Berneck helps manage the Foundation’s professional advisor program as the Director of Business Development. She has experience in a variety of roles including corporate business development, being an entrepreneur, and representing a multitude of nonprofits in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Jenna most recently managed philanthropy and informational programs for Minnesota organizations. She is very committed to equity work as an active executive team member for the Twin Cities Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Roundtable. Jenna lives in Minnetonka with her dog Olive Juice and loves to spend time at her cabin in the summers.

Kevin headshot
Kevin Rockwell Philanthropic Advisor Meet Kevin +
Kevin Rockwell
Philanthropic Advisor

Kevin works with individuals, couples, and multi-generational families to achieve their charitable giving goals. He also partners with professional advisors in helping fundholders determine which assets to give and when, which giving vehicles are most appropriate, and how best to integrate charitable giving goals into broader financial and estate plans. Prior to joining the Foundation, Kevin practiced law for six years in the estate planning group at Maslon LLP and, most recently, worked as a trust advisor at Northern Trust. He earned his B.S.B.A. from Creighton University and J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law. He lives in Greenwood with his wife, and loves golf, skiing, and spending time on the water.

Maggie McCracken headshot
Maggie McCracken Senior Director of Engagement Meet Maggie +
Maggie McCracken
Senior Director of Engagement

Maggie McCracken brings more than 20 years of experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She spent over a decade in marketing and strategic planning roles at Target Corporation. Most recently, she served as the CEO of The BrandLab, a nonprofit working to support talent of color by removing barriers to marketing and advertising careers in the Midwest. Maggie is passionate about connecting resources to propel missions. She’s a first-generation college graduate with a B.A. in Journalism from Indiana University. Maggie and her husband have two teenage daughters. Outside of work, Maggie loves being with family and friends, time outdoors, and quiet mornings with coffee.

View Maggie’s LinkedIn profile.

Paul Odegaard Philanthropic Advisor Meet Paul +
Paul Odegaard
Philanthropic Advisor

Paul strategizes with existing and prospective donors and their professional advisors to inspire impactful philanthropy. He also leads the Minneapolis Climate Action and Racial Equity Fund and Foundation partnerships related to social finance innovation and environmental justice. Before joining the Foundation in 2018, he spent seven years as a major gifts and planned giving officer at Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media and five years in development at Macalester College, his alma mater. Outside of work, you can find him chasing his children, playing trumpet professionally, or walking his boxer, Greta.

View Paul’s LinkedIn

Russell Betts Philanthropic Advisor Meet Russell +
Russell Betts
Philanthropic Advisor

Russell has more than 20 years of experience in fundraising and alumni relations at major research universities. At the Foundation, he focuses on serving the charitable needs of corporate executives, their families, and the companies they lead. Russell came to the Foundation in 2016 from the University of Minnesota Foundation, where he served from 2013 to 2016 as a development officer for the university’s Department of Medicine. Prior to that, he spent a decade at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, where he served as director of development covering the Southern United States, then athletics, and eventually the Law School. He began his career as the director of diversity and assistant field representative for the Wisconsin Alumni Association. He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.