Meet Our Team:
Maggie McCracken joined the Minneapolis Foundation in October 2022. As a Philanthropic Advisor, she brings more than 20 years of experience in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, including a decade in marketing and strategic planning roles at Target Corporation. Most recently, she served as CEO of The BrandLab, a nonprofit working to support talent of color by removing barriers to marketing and advertising careers in the Midwest.
What drew you to work in the field of philanthropy?
Maggie: I believe deeply in the potential of people and ideas. Philanthropy (like so many areas of society right now) is in a time of reinvention. The realities of substantial generational wealth transfer, economic inequalities, and the demographic shifts in our communities are just a few of the reasons that working within philanthropy—with community and philanthropists as they navigate these changing times—was something I was interested in being part of.
What’s the focus of your work at the Foundation?
Maggie: Like the other Philanthropic Advisors on our team, I work with donors who have funds at the Minneapolis Foundation, but my role is also to look at our approach to donor communication and outreach. I’m working on how to curate the most relevant opportunities and information from all the things happening at the Foundation so we can better engage with our partners and drive collective action to strengthen communities. My hope is that—whether you’ve been with us for one month or 30 years, and whether you have a $10,000 fund or a million-dollar fund—that you see the unique role the Foundation plays in this community and as your philanthropic partner.
What’s the best part of your job?
Maggie: Three months into the role, I have to say that the best part (so far) is learning more about the breadth and depth of the work happening through the Minneapolis Foundation. The challenges that communities are facing across the country are complex, and it’s energizing to see how we are using so many different levers to connect resources and drive change.
What unique perspective or experience do you bring to the team? How does your background inform your work?
Maggie: I am a first-generation college graduate, and my journey to graduation was not easy. Two things that I consistently felt as I moved to and through college:
- I was regularly underestimated and not expected to succeed.
- It always seemed like the people around me who were familiar with post-secondary education had information I was missing on how to navigate and succeed.
This aspect of my own experience impacts how I show up in the world and in my work. I believe that it has helped me to have a deeper appreciation for perspective-taking, the importance of working to remove barriers to equity, and my overall belief in people’s ability to succeed.
Say more about equity. What does that value mean to you, and how do you help donors bring it to life through their giving?
Maggie: One of the Minneapolis Foundation’s guiding values is the idea that equity is a responsibility. For me, that’s about looking at where disparities exist and learning from those who are impacted by them to more fully inform our perspective on the challenges facing our communities. With donors, I believe that my work (in many ways) is to be a facilitator. Good facilitators ask questions and create spaces to reveal and uncover ideas and insights. I’m passionate about creating spaces for donors to learn and explore inequities so they can discover and shape ways to engage as philanthropists.
What’s something you love to do outside of work?
Maggie: As a mom of two teenagers, I’m relearning what it means to have some time to myself now that they are more interested in friends than hanging out with me. I’ve found myself revisiting old hobbies that I just didn’t have time or energy for with little kids, which is exciting. I’m looking forward to planting some veggies in the summer, and I’ve read more in the past two months than I have in years. Who knows what’s next!