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The Engaged Philanthropist Award recognizes the state’s most innovative and engaged philanthropists. Co-sponsored by Minnesota Community Foundation and Social Venture Partners Minnesota, the Award is intended for those investing more than money—they also invest their talents and time in supporting community causes.
Award recipients are honored during the Engaged Philanthropy Conference, a summertime gathering of social entrepreneurs, business leaders and philanthropists in Minnesota.
Founded in 2010, the inaugural Engaged Philanthropist Award went to Winston Wallin. The former COO of Pillsbury and CEO of Medtronic, Wallin was active with educational, medical and arts causes. Most notably, he founded Wallin Education Partners, a nonprofit that has awarded more than $26 million in scholarships to more than 3,000 highly talented students with financial need. Wallin also helped install Career and College Centers in every Minneapolis high school.
In 2011, John Larsen received the Award for his work as an original funder and a visionary behind Project 515, which ensures that same-sex couples and their families have equal rights and protections under Minnesota law. Larsen also serves as a trustee of the John Larsen Foundation, which aims to better the lives of individuals and families, both traditional and non-traditional.
Minnesota Community Foundation and Social Venture Partners Minnesota are co-sponsors of the Engaged Philanthropist Award. The award recipient receives a commemorative plaque and may designate a cash award of $2,500 to the 501(c)3 organization or his or her choice. In addition, a brief video highlighting the winner’s work is shown at the Engaged Philanthropy Conference.