Kari Aanestad

Kari Aanestad is the development manager at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. In this role, Kari secures and stewards grant and individual donor support for MCN. She also supports the development of other fundraising professionals throughout Minnesota through in-person and online trainings on program evaluation, building a culture of philanthropy, and grantwriting at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Kari serves as the editor of the Minnesota Grants Directory, an annual publication featuring over 100 of the top Minnesota foundations, and the Minnesota Grants Alert, a bi-weekly newsletter with an audience of 3,000 nonprofit professionals. 

As a nonprofit fundraising professional with nearly a decade of experience, Kari also provides leadership to GrantAdvisor.org, a strategic initiative launched in partnership between MCN, California Association of Nonprofits, and Great Nonprofits. GrantAdvisor crowdsources grantseekers’ feedback with a goal of promoting candid dialogue between foundations and nonprofits and productive philanthropy. She has been quoted in Fast Company, a national magazine with over 11 million readers each month.

Kari holds a bachelor of arts in English and political science from Augsburg College and a master of divinity from Luther Seminary. Most recently she served as grant writer and outcomes manager for St. David’s Center. Kari brings a holistic wealth of experience to her role including international travel to over 20 countries, hospital chaplaincy in England, and teaching and tutoring positions ranging from elementary to post-graduate levels in writing and compassionate communication.


Development Manager 



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