RelSci Client Spotlight Series: Minneapolis Foundation

The Minneapolis Foundation cultivates generosity by driving action for the greatest civic, social, and economic needs. The Foundation partners with nonprofits, facilitates grantmaking, drives research and advocacy, and provides services to donors seeking to make a difference.

We recently spoke with Jo Theodosopoulos, MLIS, Manager of Prospect Development at the Foundation to discuss her experience working with RelSci.

“RelSci has been instrumental in helping our team with prospect identification and, more specifically, relationship mapping. As a community foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation doesn’t have a built-in constituency like other organizations such as higher ed or healthcare do. Additionally, because of our business model, we’re building a community of generous donors who want to make an impact in our community. Someone’s first gift to us is sometimes what would be a principal or transformational gift for a lot of organizations. Therefore, it is vital to be able to get the warmest introduction possible. While many of these folks come to us through their financial advisors, many also come through our current fund holders, our board, our volunteers, and even our staff,” said Theodosopoulos.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is to have the RelSci tool in my arsenal.” 

At the Minneapolis Foundation, we’ve spent two years engaging with our key stakeholders to build a new Strategic Framework. We convened over 100 nonprofit leaders specifically to understand how our foundation could partner with them and communities they serve more closely and in ways that benefit their work. That process was invaluable and informed our new framework and the grant opportunities that were recently announced: Reimagine Education and a new focus area, Racial and Economic Justice. These grants will build on our past work and position us to deepen our impact in partnership with nonprofit leaders, our donors, and our communities.

We will specifically invest in efforts that: 

  • Advance structural and systems change through policy advocacy, organizing, and movement building. 
  • Invest in economic systems and practices that build wealth and stabilize communities. 
  • Advance narrative strategies focused on racial and economic justice. 

Our Reimagine Education and Racial and Economic Justice grants are grounded in our longstanding commitment to advance equity by: 

  • Promoting civic participation and leadership. 
  • Fostering belonging and inclusion. 
  • Actualizing access to opportunities that advance upward mobility. 
  • Seeing and dismantling barriers that hold inequities in place. 

These grant opportunities are just two examples of the ways that we are re-visioning our work at the Foundation. Today more than ever, we strive to be responsive rather than prescriptive, and to get as close as we can to those most affected by injustice. 

The challenges of 2020 exposed and amplified hard truths about our society’s inequities. Yet in the midst of sorrow and conflict, we are continually inspired by the grit and resilience of our nonprofit community, and by the passion and generosity of our donors. The Minneapolis Foundation will continue to be a committed partner in realizing strong, vibrant communities.”

Did you know?

The Minneapolis Foundation Began in 1915
A lawyer, two lumbermen and two bankers came together with a vision: To build “a wisely planned and enduring fabric” to benefit the community for years to come. They brought that vision to life by establishing the Minneapolis Foundation.

About Relationship Science

Relationship Science (RelSci) empowers organizations to make smarter business decisions by leveraging an underused asset: their web of connections to influential decision-makers. RelSci calls this Relationship Capital. The RelSci platform provides exclusive access to actionable information on millions of influential people and organizations to help users grow their business.

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