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2022 was a hybrid year for many of us; one of forward momentum with a lingering nostalgia for our lives before the pandemic. The truth is none of our lives are the same. At the Foundation we have adapted to new challenges, expanding the way we support nonprofits with our grantmaking and our donors with their giving.

As we head into 2023, it is our goal to find new ways to share stories from our community as we partner with generous donors and innovative nonprofits.

Year in Review

Listen to our President & CEO, Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., reflect on accomplishments the Foundation made in 2022.

Hello, I'm Dr. Eric Jolly, president & CEO of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

And I'm here to just reflect a little bit on the year that just was. 2022 has been a year of incredible adaptation and resilience for everyone.

For our nonprofit sector, for our working sector, for our entire Community. We've pursued our learning and adaptability in so many different ways.

One is expanding the ways in which we give and support our community partners. We've changed the way in which we make grants, not simply using the earnings from our investments alone, but using our investments as a way to change our community for the better. We have joined with Minnesota's Department of Employment and Economic Development to create the East Metro Main Street Revitalization Program, investing in those parts of our communities that maybe haven't fully recovered from the civil unrest or from COVID and giving an opportunity to build jobs, employment, wealth, in the parts of our community that need it most so that as they emerge from COVID and from this year, they can thrive.

And we've adapted to the way in which we engage our donors, inviting them to think more broadly about their philanthropy to work with us in creative ways, sharing their gifts of stocks, business interests, property, cryptocurrency, even grain futures, to be able to create great gifts to change our community. And we're helping them give those gifts in broader ways than ever before, inviting them to join us in making no-interest loans to develop affordable housing opportunities, business and job programs in the most needed areas of our communities.

We have expanded the breadth of our investments to not only assure that the outcome creates an opportunity to do good, but the investments themselves do good. We have just been recognized as the only community foundation in the nation to be accepted as a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing. We're expanding the way in which our programs represent responsible investment, upping the game on ESG while increasing our return to our community.

I've had the opportunity to travel across the state engaging with public safety officials, nonprofit leaders, community leaders, those interested in bringing change for education, safety, well-being, for all of the state. And we have adopted, as we promised, to recognize that it is in the community where the priorities are best set, the interventions are best developed, and the focus on solutions can be found. It is in local communities that we realize no one size or one type of intervention or one set of priorities fits everyone.

In short, it has been a year of incredible adaptation and resiliency. Our nonprofit sector has emerged differently, and in some cases stronger than ever before. We are serving unique and new needs that we never had and meeting communities in different ways than they had ever asked for. We're building economic and social resiliency.

A lot has changed in 2022.

And a lot of us have found that we need to adapt and do things differently, but one thing hasn't changed. We continue to know that when we do things together, we are going to thrive. Our goal will continue to be building a just, equitable and vibrant Minnesota in which all communities in individuals thrive.

Responding to 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 2022 we granted millions of dollars to the community through our annual grantmaking, including grants recommended by our donors, to nearly all counties in Minnesota.

Revitalizing Our East Metro Community

As a partner organization of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Main Street Economic Revitalization Program, the Foundation opened up the application process to distribute up to $7 million in grants to businesses and nonprofit organizations in the East Metro in support of the rebuilding efforts made necessary from impacts of civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd, the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges since 2020.

East Metro Main Street Program Map

East Metro Main Street Program Map

Dr. Eric Jolly in Hibbing

Dr. Jolly on a recent visit to Chisholm

Our Work Across the State

The Foundation works in partnership with many organizations and leaders across the state. President & CEO Dr. Eric Jolly visited several communities this year, exploring unique community challenges and innovative, on-the-ground solutions.

One of the organizations he had the chance to visit was our community affiliate the Chisholm Community Foundation (CCF), which recently granted $19,497 to the Minnesota Discovery Center. Funding from CCF helped cover the cost of two new trolley sound systems, and updates to four pieces of critical equipment at the Iron Range Research Center. The Minnesota Discovery Center is also one of the many nonprofit organizations the Foundation supports. We’re excited to have witnessed this partnership.

History Makers: Advocating for Equity Through an Investment Lens

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation made history when it became the first U.S. community foundation signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment instituted by the United Nations (UNPRI).

This move underscored the Investment Team's commitment to socially responsible investing; adhering to socially responsible investing practices both aligns with the Foundation's values and delivers stronger returns at lower risk. The team also leverages a DEI framework to transparently evaluate the DEI practices of current and prospective fund management teams.

Donor advised fundholders in an office
Foundation staff expertise

Pursuing Operational Excellence

In a commitment to continually improving how we support the innovation and generosity of our community, in 2022 we transitioned to a new technology system, which includes DonorView for donors and GranteeView for grant applicants. This multi-year project provided insight into how we can work more innovatively and collaboratively as a team in support of our community.

Want to stay updated?

Honoring Anti-Racism Activists

The 16th annual 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.

Classie Dudley
Classie Dudley
Angela Hooks
Angela Hooks
Txongpao Lee
Txongpao Lee
Lulete Mola
Lulete Mola

Art in This Present Moment

Art In This Present Moment provides grants to support artists of color who are changing and challenging dominant narratives in their communities through their craft. This year we celebrated our third Art in This Present Moment series. Artists were selected by three partner arts organizations and worked on a specific project to respond to something significant to them in this present moment.

Donor-led Support

Our work wouldn’t be possible without our donors. Thank you for responding to the community’s needs with unparalleled generosity, recommending thousands of grants and millions of dollars to sustain community organizations. We’re truly grateful for your continuous support.

How Donors Use Innovative Giving to Impact Their Favorite Causes

This year we saw donors find innovative ways to give — from gifts of real estate to bitcoin — allowing them to have an even bigger impact on the causes they care about. Over the last several years, the Philanthropic Services team has developed the skills to process these gifts, which nonprofits often don’t have the ability to accept. For more than 80 years, we have worked with organizations and donors, making it easy to turn your goods into gifts.

Read Property Donation Offers New Ways to Support Human Rights

Real Estate Donation Offers One Donor New Ways to Support Human Rights

Learn how fundholder Dick Senese turned his property into gifts for his favorite causes with a real estate donation to his donor advised fund.

Read Dick's story
Read Leaving A Lasting Legacy

Stories From Across Minnesota: Leaving A Lasting Legacy

Norma Roman Longfellow lived from 1917-1998, but her legacy in Douglas County continues through a fund created in her name.

Read about Norma
Read Turning Rental Property into a Charitable Gift

Turning Rental Property into a Charitable Gift

Fundholder KJ turned her rental property into funding to support her favorite causes through a donation to her donor advised fund.

Meet KJ
Read A Legacy of Giving in Hutchinson

Stories From Across Minnesota: A Legacy of Giving in Hutchinson

The I. J. Burich Family Foundation was created by Irvin Joseph and Mary Burich to carry out their philanthropic commitment to the city of Hutchinson and McLeod County.

Watch the video

Meet a Few of Our Board Members

Laws of Equity

“We all have a responsibility toward racial equity. I am committed to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, and to the principle of equal access to justice and its administration.” - Adine Momoh

Meet Adine Momoh
Adine Momoh headshot

Redefining What Equity Looks Like

“Equity is making sure that everyone has access to resources. I think equity is something that you have to practice every day in your life.” - Alex West Steinman

Meet Alex West Steinman
Alex West Steinman headshot

Equity On and Off the Ice

“Sports have a unique sort of profile and pedestal and in today’s world, all team sports need to use that pedestal to address the very issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.” - Matt Majka

Meet Matt Majka
Matt_Majka_blog

Building Relationships

“Organizations that I have chosen to get involved with have, really at their core, an acknowledgment that we are part of a community, and we must take care of one another and we must give voice to the voiceless and promote dialogue and discussion and reach out and build and sustain relationships.” - Jacy Grais

Meet Jacy Grais
Jacy Grais headshot

Capacity for Change

“I think to me as a physician and a therapist there’s a concept called absolute worth. Absolute worth means that people have value regardless of what they believe they’ve done.” - Dr. Joseph Lee

Meet Dr. Joseph Lee
Dr. Joseph Lee

I So Appreciate You! Back For Season 2

This year the Foundation launched the second season of its podcast, I So Appreciate You! The podcast is co-hosted by Foundation leaders Nadege Souvenir and Melanie Hoffert, and digs deep into topics related to work, culture and life.

Episodes have covered issues such as heart-based philanthropy with Margaret Wurtele; leadership transitions with Jamie Millard; and innovative ways entrepreneurs are tackling systemic injustices with TurnSignl co-founder Andre Creighton.

Nadege and Melanie white background 3 2

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The Charitable Gift of Life Insurance

Create a charitable legacy by donating a gift of life insurance.

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Dudley Edmondson Sheds Light on a Fellow Photographer

Dudley Edmondson is best known for photography depicting his love for nature, but for his most recent project, he decided to take on a human subject, Walter Griffin.

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Immortalizing Moments with Artist Thai Phan-Quang

For Art In This Present Moment, Thai Phan-Quang uses his passions for skateboarding and photography to create an innovative project using photo graffiti.

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Foundations Announce Community Grants

Grants support Minnesota nonprofits promoting healthy communities, families and individuals through critical support services, the arts, education and empowerment.

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Suzanne Victoria Cross: Exploring Her Story to Help Others

In her theatrical one woman piece, This is How We Stand, Suzanne Victoria Cross explores the ideals of empathy and understanding through storytelling and movement.

Watch the video

Sharon Day and Sir Curtis Kirby III Honor Loved Ones through Art

Grandmother Sharon Day and her grandson Sir Curtis Kirby III honor loved ones who have passed on by doing a series of ofrendas celebrating the lives they lived.

View the Artists' Work

Red Wing College Promise Program Offers Free Tuition to Local Youth

The Jones Family Foundation makes an impact on students in the city of Red Wing by providing free tuition.

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Taking a Deeper Look at Our Grantmaking

Senior Vice President of Community Impact Anil Hurkadli reflects on how the Foundation’s grantmaking has made an impact in 2022.

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