Meet Our Team:
Kevin Rockwell joined our team in May 2023. As a Philanthropic Advisor, he works with individuals and families to help them bring their values to life through charitable giving. Kevin is an attorney by training, with experience as an estate planner and trust advisor. Before coming to the Minneapolis Foundation, he worked for The Northern Trust Company and, before that, practiced law at Maslon LLP.
What drew you to work at a community foundation?
KEVIN: With my background in law and financial services, coming to the Minneapolis Foundation felt like a natural move. In my previous roles, I worked with clients to integrate charitable giving as part of their overall estate planning strategies. I found that work both interesting and rewarding, whether I was setting up a charitable trust, including a testamentary provision for charity in a will or trust, or participating in a private family foundation’s annual meeting. Here, I get to continue that conversation on the other side of the equation and help the Foundation’s fundholders make an impact in their communities.
What’s the focus of your work at the Minneapolis Foundation?
KEVIN: I work with multi-generational families and their professional advisors to issue-spot and solve complex problems. One thing that drew me to estate planning and wealth management in general was the opportunities it has given me to build relationships with so many different kinds of people and families, and so I look forward to getting to know the fundholders in the Minneapolis Foundation’s community. It’s also fun for me to continue working with so many of the professional advisors I’ve become friends with over the years.
The Foundation strives to connect all our work to our guiding values. What does that mean to you?
KEVIN: One of the Foundation’s values is that “proximity is necessary.” To me, what that means is that the people who are closest to the issues are usually best positioned to solve them. That’s one reason the Minneapolis Foundation places such a high value on the relationships we have with nonprofit organizations throughout our community, and it’s why, during my first few months here, I’ve been trying to visit as many of them as I can and simply listen. Sure, reading about the good work they’re doing is helpful, but I know that the more time I invest in learning and deepening these relationships, the more I’ll be able to understand, empathize, and make connections between these organizations and our fundholders.
What are some tools or resources at the Minneapolis Foundation that you want everyone to know about?
KEVIN: You’d be surprised at how many people have a Donor Advised Fund with a commercial provider and don’t know how easy it is to move that fund to a community foundation. Doing that gives you access to a host of philanthropic resources: Events, experts on local issues, collective giving opportunities, an advisor who picks up the phone when you call—the list goes on.
Along those same lines, the Minneapolis Foundation also works with a number of families who have converted a private family foundation to a Donor Advised Fund. This can be a great move for families who are looking to alleviate the ongoing expense and workload of running a private foundation, while keeping the same name recognition and family governance succession plan.
For fundholders who are partial to their own investment advisors, and for those investment advisors who would like to continue managing their client’s charitable assets, an Investment Alliance with the Minneapolis Foundation can be a great solution. These are partnerships whereby the fundholder’s investment advisor manages the fund’s investments. It’s a win-win.
What’s one thing not everyone understands about the Foundation’s work?
KEVIN: One of the biggest misconceptions is that I am a fundraiser. Instead, my job is to serve as a philanthropic resource alongside the tax, legal, and investment advisors who work with our fundholders. A donor typically doesn’t “DIY” when it comes to their own tax and estate planning strategy, so why should they with their philanthropy? As a Philanthropic Advisor, I support fundholders with charitable tools, strategies, and community connections to help them maximize their impact on the causes they care about.
What’s something you love to do outside of work?
KEVIN: Spending time on the water with my wife, family, and friends. I also love golf.