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2020 presented many challenges, but also united our community in new ways.

Along with our community, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation navigated various unknowns this year, including a pandemic and civil unrest. In the face of these challenges, we also experienced unparalleled generosity from our donors and innovation from our staff as we responded quickly to meet the needs of our community by Inspiring Generosity, Advocating for Equity, and Investing in Community-led Solutions.

The Foundation Staff on 2020

Hear our staff reflect on the silver linings from this year.

Capturing This Present Moment

Throughout the year, President & CEO Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., spoke with donors and community leaders across Minnesota to hear how they were serving their communities during these trying times.

Whether making masks, supporting students, connecting communities or expanding programs virtually, these conversations explore stories of resilience and innovation in the nonprofit sector.

Making Art in This Present Moment

Over 50 Minnesota artists responded in real-time to history as it unfolded by creating Art in This Present Moment. This series of grants supported artists of color who are changing and challenging dominant narratives through their craft.

Investing in Community-Led Solutions Through Grantmaking

We are honored to invest in and partner with the agents and agencies of change who are working daily to address our most pressing issues. In 2020 we and our partners granted more than $100 million to the community through our annual grantmaking, including $50 million in grants recommended by our donors. Along with our donors, we granted to 75 counties in Minnesota. Additionally, we changed our Building Community Capacity grant requirements to give nonprofits the flexibility to use grant dollars for any emerging need.


To communities by the Foundation and our partners

Grants Given

To organizations, initiatives and projects

Addressing Minnesota’s Pandemic Needs

The Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for coronavirus funded both short and long-term needs in communities as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. Our donors generously contributed to this effort.

Keystone Community Services volunteers in the back of a mobile food pantry

Advocating for Racial Justice and Rebuilding for the Future

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, we immediately made grants to support racial trauma healing. And in partnership with other local entities, the Twin Cities Rebuild for the Future Fund granted $2.5 million to nonprofits that had long-standing relationships with communities impacted by unrest following George Floyd’s murder.

Community Sharing Fund Marks 40 Years

This life-changing emergency grant program supports thousands of East Metro residents every year as they navigate financial setbacks. Hear from Program Manager Arbadella Williams and others how this unique fund has made a difference in the East Metro for 40 years.

Providing Students with Digital Access

Partnership for a ConnectedMN is a public-private partnership that is bringing tech devices and internet access to students across the state, especially communities most in need, including students who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color, students from low-income families, and students residing in rural Minnesota.

Transforming the Criminal Justice System

Along with The Minneapolis Foundation and Greater Twin Cities United Way, we announced a multi-year collaboration with the goal of driving transformational change in the criminal justice system, led by Huda Ahmed.

Huda Ahmed headshot

Donor Impact


You, our donors, made record-breaking grants to the community in 2020. You maximized your giving, granting to causes you care about, including COVID-19 relief and racial equity after the tragic murder of George Floyd. Your efforts supported causes such as the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund, the Saint Paul Bridge Fund, the Community Sharing Fund and the Twin Cities Rebuild for the Future Fund, to name a few, as well as 2,361 nonprofit organizations in our communities.

We’re truly grateful for your continuous support, and we appreciate you.


to organizations through donor advised funds


from donor advised funds


receiving grants through donor advised funds

David and Janet, Foundation donors

“These are very different times that require different thinking. We've been fortunate enough to have this money, and we have an obligation to direct it. Obligations change when we have greater circumstances.”
- David, Foundation Donor

Read David’s story
Abby and Ken, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation fundholders

"I have a hot button now, and it is around anti-racism.”
- Abby, Foundation Donor

Read Abby’s story
Mya Honeywell

“It’s a great privilege to work with local organizations and focus on helping neighbors feel safe and happy in their homes.”
- Mya, Foundation Donor

Read Mya’s story

Honoring Anti-Racism Activists

The 2020 Facing Race Awards aired across the state on Twin Cities Public television and honored four Minnesota anti-racism activists who are striving for justice and working to make this state more equitable for all.

Valerie Castile headshot

VALERIE CASTILE is the CEO and president of The Philando Castile Relief Foundation, which works to help victims who have been affected by gun and police violence. Valerie eliminates racism and its effects by educating the public — including community groups, youth, police and elected officials. And it’s all done in memory of her son, Philando.

Resmaa Menakem headshot

RESMAA MENAKEM is a healer, author, therapist, self-described cultural trauma navigator, communal provocateur and coach. He has served in leadership positions at African American Family Services, the Wilder Foundation, as a certified Military and Family Life Consultant for the U.S. Armed Forces, as a trauma consultant in public schools and as a Cultural Somatics consultant for the Minneapolis Police Department.

Alex Miles headshot

ALEX MILES is a recent graduate from the Twin Cities Academy. He is one of the founding members of the Racial Justice Club — an organization he felt was essential to making sure all students felt safe and valued. This year, Alex expanded his efforts outside of the school by engaging with community resources and organizations, extending his reach and his message. And he has made a difference.

Leslie Redmond headshot

LESLIE REDMOND is the current president of the Minneapolis NAACP chapter, and the youngest president in the organization’s history. For the past three years, Leslie has worked with the chapter on elevating the Black community while pursuing a law degree and an MBA. She challenges the issues of mass incarceration, housing discrimination, health disparities and opportunity gaps for the poor and Black communities.

Supporting Families of Healthcare Workers Lost to COVID-19

Last year, the pandemic left none of us untouched. For our healthcare workers, it has taken a particularly tremendous toll — including the loss of life.

The Frontline Families Fund was established by Dr. Michael Osterholm to direct financial support and educational scholarships to the children of healthcare workers who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

More Stories

Four Lessons Learned From Analyzing Our Grantmaking

Here’s how the Foundation is advocating for equity by updating our grantmaking methodology.

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Ramsey County Public Safety Fund

New fund will support Ramsey County’s initiative to reduce non-public safety-related traffic stops.

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Donated Real Estate Turned into Community Resources

Learn how Lisa and Jerry O'Brien turned their condominium into continuous support for their favorite causes.

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Charitable Giving Legislation in the News

Our response to the proposed Accelerating Charitable Giving (ACE) Act

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Beyond ESG: Sustainable Investment

Chief Investment Officer Shannon O’Leary participated in a global panel discussion on sustainable investment trends.

Watch the video

Gift Bunching: A Way to Maximize Your Charitable Impact

With a technique known as gift bunching, you can maintain your charitable impact while realizing potential tax benefits.

Watch the video

The Value of Community Engagement

Board Member Feature: How Diane Tran’s experiences at the intersection of people and place led to a career in community engagement.

Learn More

Getting-Back-Together at the Minnesota State Fair

In this guest blog post, Mary Chung and Shana Zaiser of the Minnesota State Fair Foundation share how one of Minnesota’s most treasured cultural traditions has adapted with optimism.

Read the post



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