This post is one of a series focused on how community foundations are investing in news and information projects to make an impact on issues they care about. The following video was filmed during Knight’s 2012 Media Learning Seminar, where five community foundations gave brief, TED-like talks on how the projects they launched are impacting their cities.
In the video above, Jennifer Ford Reedy shares how Minnesota Philanthropy Partners responded to rapid changes in the field to fundamentally change the way it’s addressing community issues from obesity to interfaith barriers.
Reedy cites the Knight-funded Minnesota Idea Open, a community challenge that asks residents for their best ideas for solving local issues. Residents then vote on proposals to name a winner. More than 10,000 people voted for their favorite idea in the second iteration of the challenge, which focused on water quality issues in the state:
“What we found is that people want to participate. It has made us rethink what it means to engage members of the community. [It has] also made us more accessible, collaborative and creative than ever before,” said Reedy.
Reedy describes other ways the foundation engages Minnesotans in its work. She shares how projects can engage people in learning about issues that matter, provide opportunities to find solutions to problems and give residents a voice in how funding should be distributed in the community.
One example is GiveMinn.org, which provides residents the opportunity to search for, and support, local projects: “We’ve raised more than $50 million for Minnesota nonprofits in three years. What it has meant for us as a community foundation is that we’ve gone from working with hundreds of donors to working with tens of thousands.”