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Award recognizes Minnesota’s most innovative and engaged philanthropists
SAINT PAUL, Minn. — July 13, 2012 — Minnesota Community Foundation, an affiliate of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, and Social Venture Partners Minnesota (SVP Minnesota) will recognize Kate Mortenson with the Engaged Philanthropist Award at SVP Minnesota’s annual Engaged Philanthropy Conference on August 23, 2012.
“Kate’s strategic and multi-faceted approach to philanthropy exemplifies the work of an engaged philanthropist,” said Carleen Rhodes, president and CEO of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. “We are delighted that she will be honored with the 2012 Engaged Philanthropist Award.”
Mortenson’s work in education illustrates her holistic approach. She created a community of support called “Friends of the Future” for Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) to raise $100,000 annually from individuals and groups outside of north Minneapolis. Many of these newly connected Friends of the Future have made additional gifts to NAZ, with some individual gifts totaling more than six figures. Through her leadership role in Friends of the Future, Mortenson was instrumental in securing Governor Mark Dayton’s support for NAZ to ultimately receive a federal Promise Neighborhood implementation grant of $28 million, one of only five awarded in the nation. She has brought her engagement and strategic skills to other Minnesota educational nonprofits, such as The Blake School, where she developed a new fundraising approach that tripled the number of annual fund gifts at the highest giving level.
Mortenson and her husband are committed to donating 10 percent of their annual income to the community. Her personal giving is complemented by the charitable work of the Mortenson Family Foundation, which she and other family members help to guide. The Mortenson Family Foundation provides charitable grants and program-related investments that represent the family members’ interests in education, environment, human services and many other areas.
“Minnesota is fortunate to have a philanthropist like Kate who gives so generously of her time, talent and treasure,” said Brad Brown, executive director of SVP Minnesota.
The Engaged Philanthropist Award is a joint effort of Minnesota Community Foundation and SVP Minnesota that recognizes the most innovative and effective engaged philanthropists. The award was launched in 2010 with the late Win Wallin receiving the inaugural award and John Larsen receiving the award in 2011.
As part of Mortenson’s recognition, Minnesota Community Foundation will designate a $2,500 grant to the organization of her choice. She has selected NAZ, which is a collaboration of more than 50 organizations and schools that work with children and families in a geographic area or “Zone” of north Minneapolis to ensure that all high school graduates are ready for success in college.
About Minnesota Community Foundation
Founded in 1949, Minnesota Community Foundation is an innovative leader in philanthropy. Recent creative ventures include GiveMN.org and the Minnesota Idea Open. The Foundation helps Minnesota donors support the causes and communities that matter most to them. The Foundation is an affiliate of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. Learn more at mncommunityfoundation.org and mnpartners.org.
About Social Venture Partners Minnesota
Social Venture Partners Minnesota (SVP Minnesota) combines grantmaking, volunteerism, nonprofit capacity building and philanthropic education. We call our unique model venture philanthropy. SVP Minnesota Partners pool their resources, including charitable giving, professional expertise and social networks, which are then leveraged to gain greater impact. Together we select promising nonprofits poised for the next stage of development and impact for the community. Then we work closely with them as our Investees. Successful Investees demonstrate the capacity and desire to leverage SVP Minnesota in fulfilling their mission. The awards include both unrestricted cash grants and skilled volunteer expertise. These investments are multi-year relationships focused around achieving a next-stage vision for the organization and a lasting positive impact for the community. This approach is based on a venture capital investment model. It requires a high level of involvement from both parties — the philanthropist and the nonprofit. We assess the organization to determine where help is most needed and surround them with the resources to make them stronger. At the end of each multi-year investment, both our Partners and our Investees have been transformed. For more information, go to svpmn.org.
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