Minnesota Foundations 2020 will provide you with specific information about the trends, staffing, program shifts, and financial outlooks of the most active and important foundations giving in West Central Minnesota. You’ll learn frank, current information about significant changes taking place in Minnesota's foundation community.
Whether you’re an executive director, a board member involved in fundraising or a fund development staff person, this workshop is a great way to jump start your funding prospects for 2020.
This forward-looking workshop offers a great opportunity for you and your colleagues to build your list of foundation prospects for the coming year. It is also a great way to connect to trends in the sector while uncovering the resources necessary to implement your fundraising plan.
The workshop will include information about some of West Central Minnesota’s most active private, community and corporate foundations. This session is a time to dig beyond the grantmakers’ websites and to hear candidly from your peer grantseekers about their experiences and knowledge about working with various foundations.
Participants will receive a complimentary copy of MCN's Minnesota Grants Directory 2020.
The session will begin, 1 – 2:45 p.m., with a focus on foundations with statewide giving priorities. This portion of the session will be recorded from St. Paul and replayed for the local audience.
The session will continue from 3 – 4 p.m. with a presentation by Wendy Merrick of West Central Initiative and Joe Pederson of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
This workshop will be offered in locations around the state, including Bemidji, Fargo/Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Grand Rapids, Hermantown, Mankato, Marshall, Rochester, Sartell, and Willmar. Register at the location that’s best for your grantseeking priorities.
About the Presenters
Wendy Merrick is the program director of West Central Initiative (WCI). WCI's mission is to improve west central Minnesota through funding, programs and technical assistance. The administration of WCI's grant programs falls under Wendy's responsibilities, including the planning and evaluation activities. She also facilitates communication and coordination among program staff. Wendy is a member of MCN's West Central advisory committee.
Joe Pederson is the regional coordinator for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits’ West Central Minnesota Chapter. Previously, Joe was the executive director for Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership from 2000 through 2015. Through this work, Joe managed an $8 million budget, oversaw a wide range of programs with a particular focus on those with low-income and from diverse backgrounds. He was deeply engaged in public policy, community relations, fundraising, and managing relationships with partners. In addition to his work at Lakes and Prairies, Joe was an elected official in Hawley; he worked for a number of years for Clay County Social Services and he has worked with various MCN member organizations and partners. Joe holds a bachelor of arts in history and political science from Concordia College in Moorhead.
Michelle T. Edgerton is founder and principle of The Edgerton Group LLC. She previously served as chief advancement officer of Northside Achievement Zone, chief advancement officer at The Family Partnership, the director of development at Twin Cities RISE!, the development officer in major/planned giving at the Courage Center, the regional director for Legacy Management Group, and as the director of events and special projects at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. She is presedent-elect of the board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Minnesota Chapter. Michelle holds a master of arts degree in leadership from Augsburg College and a bachelor of arts degree in religion from Wake Forest University.
Jon Pratt is the executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. He has worked at Minnesota Public Interest Research Group as an attorney and lobbyist, as regional director at the Youth Project, and as director for the Philanthropy Project. In 1982 he was campaign manager for Paul Wellstone candidacy for Minnesota State Auditor. In 1987 he became director of MCN, an association of 2,000 organizations that sponsors research, training, lobbying, and negotiated discounts to strengthen Minnesota's nonprofit sector. Jon has consulted with nongovernmental organizations on the development of NGO associations and services in Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, and Turkey. Jon has a law degree from Antioch School of Law, and a M.P.A. from Harvard University.
Sara Spiess brings more than 15 years of nonprofit fundraising and development experience to her current role as director of grants & foundation relations at the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. Sara specializes in securing grants and gifts from corporate, foundation, and government agency partners to support mission-driven work. She works to develop and steward a broad base of strategic partnerships among key stakeholders. Sara holds a B.A. from New York University, a St. Thomas fundraising certificate, and is a 2016 graduate of the Leadership Saint Paul program of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. Sara has served on the board of directors for the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Minnesota Chapter. She is an active community volunteer.
Erik Torch is the director of grantmaking at Northland Foundation. The Northland Foundation invests in people and communities to support a thriving Northeastern Minnesota. Erik was previously served as executive director of Damiano Center and the program manager for Catholic Relief Services. Erik has a B.S. from Northland College and an M.S.W. from University of Minnesota – Duluth.