Supporting Nonprofit Legacies
Nonprofit endowments are just one of the services Minnesota Community Foundation provides to nonprofit partners. Hmong Nationalities Organization (HNO) is one of 181 nonprofits that trust Minnesota Community Foundation with its future funding streams.
HNO has a vision to promote dignity, progress and prosperity for Hmong Americans. As a membership organization, HNO provides a forum for the Hmong community to connect around education, economic and community development, cultural preservation, civic engagement and relationship building.
Hmong community members become more engaged with the systems and cultures around them as a result of the work and activities of HNO. Leadership trainings help Hmong men and women balance new professional opportunities with traditional cultural models of leadership. Youth conferences engage a younger generation around education and cultural preservation. And a strong community network helps the Hmong community adapt to local cultural practices and navigate new social and political systems.
To ensure its longevity, HNO started an endowment. What makes this endowment unique is its donor base. Their endowment is funded solely by Hmong donors - the first Hmong community endowment in the nation.
“Our organization is not here just for today or tomorrow, but forever. To continue to support the Hmong community we must exercise our stewardship and fiduciary responsibility very carefully to ensure our longevity,” said Dr. Xoua Thao, HNO chair.
The organization has already seen their initial endowment triple, with hopes of further growth through 2017. Having a vehicle to support community philanthropy has given HNO a resource to connect with donors in a way that wasn’t possible before.
“An endowment is a new concept for our culture. We had to explain what it is, how it works and where their money goes. It was a learning process. But, at our last convention, we were able to present our first return check and we received the loudest applause with pride and trust,” Thao said.