Unveiling Our New Strategic Framework
A Letter to Our Community
Today the Minneapolis Foundation officially launches our new Strategic Framework, in which we state clearly that we have evolved in our approach to philanthropy.
We recognize that old theories of change no longer apply. Our direction cannot be determined within the walls of our office but, instead, must be guided by a two-way dialogue with the communities we serve. We recognize that a key part of our role is to help direct financial resources to address critical needs in our community. But we can make deeper, structural change if we also use other impact levers: Advocacy, convening, research, and so much more.
Today more than ever, we strive to be responsive rather than prescriptive. To listen to our partners and get as close as we can to those who are most affected by injustice. To organize all our work around measurable, positive outcomes in our community.
This is a moment for the Minneapolis Foundation to be grateful, because we had a lot of help. This Framework, which is about moving beyond the walls of our foundation, was co-created with our partners in the community. Our Board of Trustees and entire staff were deeply engaged in the process. We know how much effort and creativity went into this, how much time was spent listening to input on how we could respond better to community, and how hard we have worked to reimagine the way we can increase our collective impact.
This is an occasion that we are proud to mark. However, it is not a time to talk about “new beginnings,” because this Framework is not new. Throughout the challenges of 2020—the Drake Hotel fire, COVID-19, George Floyd’s killing, and so much more—our actions have been grounded in the Framework. The fact that we were already deep in the process of developing it this spring enabled us to pivot more quickly, to listen to community voices more closely, and to live our values more authentically as we took action to serve our community in these extraordinary times.
So what’s new?
This Framework, which our Board of Trustees approved unanimously, articulates our commitment to driving real change that will be felt by all, and our conviction that realizing this change will require us to be inventive—in our thinking and our actions.
The challenges our society faces today require us to rethink everything—from how we live out our values within our organization to how we engage with our partners and invest in our community. We are excited to invite you to learn more on our new website, which we just launched.
Our new Framework lays out our mission, our values, and the role we play in the ecosystem of philanthropy. It will guide our strategy-setting and decision-making as we navigate into the future—a future that offers equal parts uncertainty and opportunity.
Our refined mission statement builds on our 105-year history of addressing urgent needs and expanding the culture of generosity in our community. Our new mission is this:
Together, we drive collective action to realize strong, vibrant communities.
To our donors: We remain committed to the highest level of service, offering resources, a community network, and guidance that is tailored to your unique needs and charitable goals.
To our nonprofit partners: We hope you will notice a more streamlined grant process, with simpler applications and more frequent funding opportunities.
As we walk into the future together, we’re excited to grow and partner with you. We hope you’ll take a few minutes now to learn about our new approach by exploring our new website.
Our job now is to make sure the Framework is a living document, guiding us daily, evolving with the needs of the community, and grounded in the privilege we all have to be able to help in this moment when—more than ever—our community needs our dedicated partnership .
President & CEO
The Minneapolis Foundation