Skip to main content

At the Foundation, collaboration happens daily in large and small ways. Our work is interdependent, whether it is two staff members working to find more efficient ways to serve our community, us partnering with other organizations to tackle a need, or a philanthropic advisor sitting down with a donor to create a giving legacy. Collaboration is a consistent part of our work. The best outcomes are realized when we listen to each other and work together to find solutions.

As we turn our attention to 2024, we will find new ways to collaborate while also witnessing the fruition of joint efforts that started this year and even decades before.

Year in Review

Listen to our President & CEO, Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., reflect on this year's accomplishments and what’s ahead in 2024.

video poster

Hello Everyone, I’m Dr. Eric Jolly.

As we close the book on 2023 and eagerly move into 2024, I’d like to share my appreciation for a year of triumphs, challenges, and moments of deep connection.

Yes, our communities have faced rising costs, changing needs, and the ongoing struggle for racial equity. But amidst these complexities, our network of partners – the passionate leaders of our nonprofit community and our committed donors – never lost sight of the positive change we can bring together.

As I traveled the state, I saw that in communities, large and small, rural and urban, generosity wasn't just a number on a page – it was the fuel that propelled us forward together building sustainable solutions to our challenges. Generosity isn’t just about money, it is also about sharing insights, lending expertise, building bridges across differences, and listening to all perspectives.

And listening was a key component of our work in 2023.

We listened as we designed the East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program with community input; as I speak, with support of this program, organizations and businesses in the east metro are stabilizing, some even expanding after these challenging years.

We listened to who was making a difference in people’s lives and celebrated four community changemakers with our Facing Race Awards.

We listened to the needs of nonprofits as we granted, along with our partners at the Mardag Foundation and F. R. Bigelow Foundation, over 20 million dollars through our Building Community Capacity grants.

And this is just one of our many grant making programs—not to mention the millions of dollars directed by our fundholders.

Speaking of our donors, we listened to and captured several of their moving stories. So many people have established funds with the Foundation so that they can focus on tackling the often deeply personal issues that they want to impact.

There is so much more to share, and I invite you to spend time with our 2023 Impact Report, to reflect on the work we’ve done together this year.

In the year ahead, we will not shy away from the many critical issues that are challenging the unity and well-being of our community. We will increase the use of our investments for public good and our voice to strengthen and support the many agents and agencies of change that deliver a better life for all Minnesotans

We continue to invest today, with all of our energy, resources, and an abiding faith, that our collective efforts will transform the future for generations we have not met.

Responding to Community-led Solutions Through Grantmaking

Grantmaking is a key part of our work. This year, along with our donors, we supported thousands of dynamic and diverse organizations that are working on our most pressing issues and solutions.


Grants Given

To organizations, initiatives and projects



To communities by the Foundation in partnership with our fundholders


Number of organizations

receiving grants

Our Work Across the State

Our work brought us across the state to support donor and community-led philanthropy.

Examples of this work include participating in the Rural and Urban Bridging Initiative convened by the Minnesota Council on Foundations, providing continued support of our affiliate partners and visiting several communities to inform the direction of both present and future initiatives.

Read Brothers Honor their Father’s Legacy by Investing in Hometown

Brothers Honor their Father’s Legacy by Investing in Hometown

Brothers Kip and Jeff are carrying on their parents’ mission to support the City of Wadena through their family foundation.

Read their story
Read Local Foundation Invests in the Future of the Iron Range

Local Foundation Invests in the Future of the Iron Range

The Mesabi East Foundation is investing in the future of its community by offering scholarships to graduating seniors.

Learn More
Read Scientists Develop Ecosystems to Explore the Effects of Climate Change

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
East Metro Main Street Program Map

East Metro Main Street Program Map

Economic Revitalization in the East Metro

As a result of the East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program, a number of Saint Paul businesses and nonprofits are now expanding and rebuilding.

With help from technical assistance and community partners, we raised and distributed over $9 million in grants to more than 40 businesses and organizations in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Over 85% of the projects are owned or led by people of color and $2.1 million was directed specifically to small businesses.

Owner of Black Hart standing outside in front of mural

Black Hart

Nannys Jamaican Kitchen owner outside

Nanny's Jamaican Kitchen

Slice Pizza owner

Slice Pizza

Wildflyer Coffee founder

Wildflyer Coffee

Want to stay updated?

Our Donors’ Inspiring Generosity

Each year, fundholders grant millions of dollars to support timely causes and sustain community organizations. Their generosity, creativity, innovation and commitment remain unparalleled. And what is truly moving about our donors are the reasons they give.



to organizations through donor advised funds



from donor advised funds



receiving grants through donor advised funds

Read Fostering Mary’s Teaching Legacy

Fostering Mary’s Teaching Legacy

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
Read A Mother-Daughter Duo Carry on a Family Legacy

A Mother-Daughter Duo Carry on a Family Legacy

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

Meet the family
Read Putting Youth & Housing at the Forefront of Giving

Putting Youth & Housing at the Forefront of Giving

Fundholders Curt & Timm are using their donor advised fund to make an impact on youth and families.

Read their story
Read Giving Stories: Donor's Future Fund Will Support Her Favorite Causes for Years to Come

Giving Stories: Donor's Future Fund Will Support Causes for Years to Come

Learn how Connie Roehrich plans to support her favorite causes with a future fund.

Read Connie's Story

Honoring Anti-Racism Activists

Four recipients of the 17th Annual Facing Race Awards joined the esteemed list of anti-racism advocates recognized by the community for their work to create a more equitable world.

Trahern Crews
Trahern Crews
Rayona Kardell
Rayona Kardell
Rose McGee
Rose McGee
Asha Shoffner
Asha Shoffner
video poster

Celebrating the Changemakers Among Us

Through our various partnerships, we witness inspiring individuals working to create positive changes in our communities, whether turning tragedy into healing or providing services to meet specific needs.

Read Hastings Family Service Expands its Reach by Partnering with a Community Foundation

Hastings Family Service Expands its Reach

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

Learn 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
Read The Max Foundation Helps Train Coaches and Educate Students on Mental Health in Memory of Max

Max Foundation Trains Coaches and Educates Students on Mental Health

The Marvin family honors their loved one by starting a foundation to educate others about the importance of mental health.

See their impact
Read Combining Community Service and Sports to Shape Future Leaders

Combining Community Service and Sports to Shape Future Leaders

Mario & Sparkle Wimberly are using futsal as a way to build future community leaders through SOL of the Cities.

Watch the video
Read Creating More Space for the LGBTQIA+ Community

Creating More Space for the LGBTQIA+ Community

Learn what OutFront Minnesota is doing to improve the lives of LGBTQIA+ individuals in the state.

Learn More
Read Courageously Leading Civic Participation

Courageously Leading Civic Participation

Nonprofit TakeAction Minnesota is using its platform to create social and civic change.

Learn More

Advocating for Equity with Investments

We continued to double down on our unique, industry-shaping approach to advocating for greater diversity in the investment industry while also levering the Foundation’s financial portfolio as a tool to expand our impact on the community.

Giving Together October 6 event

Fostering an Active Learning Environment

Giving+Together events are opportunities for fundholders to come together and talk about a variety of current topics.

At this year’s events, donors joined us to learn about several topics including civil rights and justice, animal welfare, philanthropy's role with equity, and youth sports and recreation at Allianz Field.

Uniting Against Hate

Once again, we partnered with the Minnesota Council of Churches and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota to host the Countering Hate conference, with keynote Abbas Barzegar. This annual gathering brings several foundations together to discuss the role that philanthropy plays in countering the impacts of hate and white supremacy.

View Abbas Barzegar’s 2023 Keynote Address

I So Appreciate You! Back For Season 3

More Stories

Why Nonprofits Deserve Your Continued Support

Learn why supporting nonprofits now is more crucial than ever.

Learn More

GIVING WoMN: Fueling Change Through Collective Giving

Learn how one group of women are transforming how they support community.

Read about the Group

Meet Four East Metro Main Street Grantees

Learn how funding from the East Metro Main Street Economic Revitalization Program is empowering nonprofits and businesses to serve their communities.

Learn More

Giving Stories: Donor's Future Fund Will Support Causes for Years to Come

Learn how Connie Roehrich plans to support her favorite causes with a future fund.

Read Connie's Story

Donating Stock to Support Your Favorite Charities

Did you know that donating stock can grow your charitable impact and support your favorite nonprofit organizations?

See How

Brick By Brick: Saint Paul Team Clinches Spot at National Robotics Competition

Capitol Hill Magnet School’s LEGO Llamas will show off their talents in STEM at the Florida Sunshine Invitational.

Watch the video

Top 5 Reasons to Partner with a Community Foundation

Here are five unique benefits of working with a community foundation to reach your charitable giving goals.

See the Five Benefits

Investing in the Legacy of the Saint Paul Public Library

Learn how one couple’s gift of real estate will support young library patrons for future generations.

Learn More



* Indicates a required field