Philanthropy Leaders Forum: The McKnight Foundation

Date: Oct 18, 2017
Time: 08:00 AM to 09:30 AM

The Town & Country Club - River Room
300 N. Mississippi River Blvd., St. Paul

Fee: $50 for MCN members Register Now!

Join MCN as we learn about The McKnight Foundation. This forum, with the Foundation’s vice president of programs and arts program director, will offer an opportunity to hear about the Foundation’s giving priorities and to understand the issues impacting the Foundation’s current focus. 

The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. The Foundation is unusual in being one of the country's largest foundations while remaining anchored in one state and still under the direction of the family board. Program interests include regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, early literacy, youth development, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods. Their primary geographic focus is the state of Minnesota, with significant support also directed to strategies throughout the U.S. and in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the foundation had assets of approximately $2.2 billion and granted about $87 million in 2016. 

The forum will include a formal presentation by Vickie Benson and Kara Carlisle, question and answer time with the audience and opportunities for networking.

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Event Details

Calendar: Add this event to your calendar on Outlook or Google.

Food: A light continental breakfast will be served.

Schedule: The first 30 minutes will be reserved for networking while enjoying breakfast, coffee and tea. Please bring your business cards to share.

Travel: Driving directions are TCC's website. The Clubhouse parking lot is accessed on Otis Avenue. Transit options are available on Metro Transit's website.

About the Presenters

Vickie BensonVickie Benson is arts program director for The McKnight Foundation. Before coming to McKnight in 2007, she was vice president of the Jerome Foundation in St. Paul, program director at Chamber Music America in New York City and senior program specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. Vickie was a member of Grantmakers in the Arts’ board of directors from 2003-2010, and for her last two years, she served as the board’s president. She is currently a member of the operations committee for ArtPlace, a grantmaking collaboration of 14 national and regional foundations focused on Creative Placemaking. Vickie holds a B.A. in arts administration from St. Paul's Metropolitan State University, and an M.A. in nonprofit management from the Hamline University Graduate School of Management. She studied music at the University of Minnesota as an undergrad. An avid advocate for artists, Vickie has a background as a folk singer and guitar player.

Kara CarlisleKara Carlisle, vice president of programs, joined The McKnight Foundation in January 2017. Before McKnight, Kara worked for eight years at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, most recently as director of New Mexico Programs, where she oversaw the strategic direction of an $85 million portfolio of investments in the state. Previously, she served as a program officer on the foundation’s Civic and Philanthropic Engagement Team, developing the first manual to inform the organization’s approach to place-based grantmaking. Over the course of her tenure at Kellogg, Kara functioned as a convener, collaborator, and catalyst, leading efforts ranging from program conceptualization, design, planning, and management to coordination, communication, evaluation, policy, and learning from programming efforts. Previously, Kara was associate director at Zócalo Public Square Lecture Series, a development consultant, and director of public relations at Korean American Coalition – Los Angeles. Kara holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, as well as an M.Div. in urban studies and education from Claremont School of Theology and a B.A. from Anderson University.

About the Philanthropy Leaders Forum

In 2017, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits will offer various gatherings of the Philanthropy Leaders Forum. During each forum, you will hear from, and engage with, some of Minnesota’s most prominent philanthropy leaders. Philanthropy Leaders Fora are MCN special member events and provide a great opportunity for you to network with your peers involved in fundraising. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear first-hand what philanthropy leaders are thinking about changes for the sector in 2017 and beyond. Watch MCN’s Fundraising Trainings webpage for information about additional upcoming events.

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