Skip to main content

Learn how the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation acts as a connector to advance work in Minnesota in this video with President & CEO Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D.

Spring has finally come to Minnesota. In this video, our President & CEO Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., shares highlights from the Foundation’s work.

How We Act as a Connector

Connecting fundholders to the nonprofit community through Giving+Together events

Several times each year, the Foundation connects donors and the nonprofit community through our Giving+Together event series where fundholders learn about the latest on a particular topic from nonprofit leaders.

Connecting nonprofits to experts through Catchafire

Catchafire is an online platform that matches expert talent with nonprofits who need support and capacity. The Foundation's partnership with Catchafire has resulted in 20,000 hours of services donated and a savings of $4 million to Minnesota nonprofits.

Connecting the community to resources through public and private partnerships

The East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program is a partnership with the Department of Employment and Economic Development where the Foundation connects businesses in portions of the Saint Paul’s East Metro with dollars for economic revitalization.

Welcome to Spring in Minnesota. I'm Dr. Eric Jolly, president & CEO of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, and I want to welcome you to our quarterly update on things that are happening at this Foundation and across Minnesota.

There are many ways in which a community foundation can make an impact. We can do it through our work with policy makers, with opinion leaders, opinions of our own to share, collaborations across funders and agents of change. But one way in which we have really grown our ability to make a difference is through connection.

And I'd like to spend just a few minutes today talking about some of the examples on how our ability to bring connection across Minnesota can help us reach beyond our dollars, beyond our policy impact and into the lives of every Minnesotan.

One of the ways in which we have been looking at connection is to connect our fundholders to the nonprofit community in new ways that pull back the curtain and let them see how agents and agencies have changed are helping set a course for a better Minnesota.

We call this meeting a Giving+Together event and we invite donors from all across our state to join us in meeting leaders in the nonprofit sector.

Our most recent Giving+Together was on civil rights and social justice. We brought the leaders from TakeAction Minnesota, OutFront Minnesota and Voices for Racial Justice together with our donors and had a vibrant conversation, timely to the moments of this year and these months and in that dynamic conversation, we help people understand each other and where we're going and where we can grow together, and through our donors' engagement guaranteed additional momentum to take Minnesota into the future.

If you are a donor and you have not yet attended a Giving+Together event, I invite you to consider joining us to have a chance to look behind the curtain to see what kind of change you might find in interests of yours in supporting.

Another form of connection that we're making is to connect expert talent with nonprofits who have special needs for that talent. A program that we've been sponsoring is Catchafire. It's an incredible program that allows nonprofits to say I need help. I need help with my website design, with website maintenance. We're figuring out a data program with some training in an area that we simply don't have the expertise for among our staff. It's also a way to get resources for fundraising materials or to put together an annual report.

In short, experts from around the nation have offered themselves up as volunteers and Catchafire matches them to nonprofits in need. Today we sponsor over 330 nonprofits as an active cohort just for this year. They've given over 20,000 hours of value to nonprofits and expertise that they would otherwise have to outsource.

And in dollars, that saved more than four million dollars for these nonprofits to achieve things they never would have imagined budgeting for at a level that brings national expertise to solve Minnesota's needs. And a third creative way that we're exploring is helping to connect community to resources both public and private to address very unique circumstances in ways that they may not have been developed to address.

And so the East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program, a project in cooperation with DEED, the Department for Employment and Economic Development, was put together to address the coming together of our crises through living with COVID and the murder of George Floyd that has devastated certain neighborhoods and their economy and infrastructure.

This is a grant program to help revitalize businesses along specific corridors and build the opportunity for greater employment and economic independence among that part of our community.

It's an incredible program that has allowed us to bring significant grants to date and where pairing that with private donations and other sources to provide today 2.5 million in matching funds. This is an incredible opportunity to think differently about how we build business and infrastructure in Minnesota during some of the most unusual times, the most turbulent times in our history.

Connection. It's just one way in which the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation accesses its resources in its opportunity to bring together people policymakers resources. nonprofit partners, our donor community to make a difference to change this state.

I invite you to think about the way you can grow your connectedness through us and through our many partners. I want to thank the nonprofit leaders and community that steps up every day, the donor community that supports our efforts for change, and all of Minnesota that makes this possible. Thank you for joining us.

More Stories

Fostering Mary’s Teachings

Learn how one family established a scholarship fund to celebrate the lasting impact the former educator had on her students and loved ones.

See More

Turning Tragedy into Healing

Learn how one organization has turned the place where Philando Castile lost his life into a peaceful place for people to gather and reflect.

View the photos

Hmong Tradition of Philanthropy

Bee and Sharon celebrate the lives of their loved ones by continuing their legacies of giving.

See More

Connecting Nonprofits With Volunteers

See how the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation works with Catchafire.

Learn More

Scientists Develop Ecosystems to Explore the Effects of Climate Change

Learn about one of the largest ecosystems in the world and its predictions on future climates.

Watch the video

New Initiative Strives to Advance Equity and Increase Safety and Community Trust

Learn how the Foundation and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office are partnering to establish policy change around non-public-safety traffic stops.

Learn More

Hastings Family Service Expands its Reach

Learn how working with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation has helped grow this local nonprofit’s community impact.

Learn More

Taking Action: Summer Updates from the Foundation

Learn how the Foundation is taking action to partner with and support Minnesota communities.

Hear from Dr. Jolly



* Indicates a required field