Category: Message from the Committee

LaTresse Snead

LaTresse Snead, Committee Co-Chair

I’m excited about our theme, “Innovative Strategies for the Future: Realizing Our Full Potential,” because it’s essential today that we be proactive – not reactive – and face change head-on. We need to define our own future and be open to new ways of operating in order to tap into all our resources.

The philanthropic community in Minnesota has a huge opportunity to take control and create the kind of change necessary to overcome the challenges we now face. The 2010 Annual Convening will offer us smart strategies, new avenues to think outside of the box, and connections that will enable us to become more engaged in building up our community.

At the Convening we will be able to have rich conversations with others who have tried new approaches. I’ll be excited to hear from trustees, CEOs, leaders of Corporate Giving programs, and others about how they are being proactive and embracing change within their own organizations. It will be an opportunity to learn how to engage our stakeholders in new ways of thinking. And it will be a chance to get energized about our work and inspired to take it to the next level.

To change up things this year and really unlock our full potential, we are adopting a new format for the Convening plenaries and “idea sessions.” Participants won’t just be talked at. They’ll be fully engaged in conversation and interaction so that they really look more deeply at issues affecting their organizations and come away with strategies that can be applied immediately.

There’s no doubt about it. This is a critical time for the philanthropic community. We need to come together to examine the state of the economy, address the challenges, and find new ways to operate more efficiently and give back more. At Tastefully Simple, we believe in “Giving With Gratitude.” Nurturing the community in which we live is one of our core values.

As nonprofits in our community and around greater Minnesota struggle with tight resources and higher demand for services, we at Tastefully Simple are looking for new ways to build their capacity to achieve their missions and to enrich our community. I know that my participation in MCF’s 2010 Annual Convening will make a difference for my work and for our community. I am eager to learn new strategies that will help my colleagues and me achieve our core value of nurturing the community.

I encourage all my corporate and foundation peers to attend this year’s event. After you sign up, plan to get the most from this Convening by coming prepared to learn new strategies for operating your organization. And, then, be prepared to walk away and take action.

- LaTresse Snead, Community Relations Team Lead, Tastefully Simple, and Co-Chair, MCF 2010 Annual Convening

Kevin Walker

Kevin Walker, Committee Co-Chair

These are extraordinary times for Minnesota, and for Minnesota philanthropy. Our state faces a daunting budget deficit. The economy is in the doldrums. Disparities in everything from educational achievement to health and community wellbeing paint a disturbing picture: a Minnesota where low-income people and people of color do not fully share in the high quality of life that has made this state great.

So: what kind of Minnesota do we hope to create for our children and grandchildren? What kind of future? My belief is that, whatever angle you and your organization take on the vital work of philanthropy, those defining questions are relevant to what you do. And I think there’s an important role for the Minnesota Council on Foundations in creating a space in which we can think through these questions together, get serious about sharing ideas, and work toward innovative solutions.

That’s why I joined my colleague LaTresse Snead of Tastefully Simple in chairing this year’s MCF convening. We are busy crafting a convening in which all types of Minnesota philanthropies will find value, be challenged, and leave energized for the work ahead. As we finalize the planning, your voice matters — so please take advantage of this website to let us know what you’re looking for from your fall convening.

See you in October!

– Kevin Walker, president & CEO Northwest Area Foundation

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