2017 Year in Review


Author, political activist, and lecturer Helen Keller once offered, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

At the Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations, we recognize that in order to successfully build community, we must first partner with the community – the entire community. That includes donors, grantees, professional advisors, community leaders and agents and agencies of change. It is because of these groups that we are able to consistently work towards our strategic goals of advancing equity, strengthening communities and broadening philanthropic expression.

The board and staff of the Foundations are extremely proud of what these partnerships have fostered. They demonstrate what is possible when committed groups of individuals work together as active agents of change. We know that dedicated partners make the work that we do possible and help us ensure that Minnesota is a place where everyone can thrive.

In the following infographic and stories are highlights of some of the outcomes of the Foundations’ intentional, meaningful partnerships in 2017. We hope that you will take a moment to review them.

As a leader, I am inspired every day. I have never been more surrounded by a team of people who so desperately want to change the world. And in 2017, our passion and our partnerships yielded extraordinary accomplishments. Our collective achievements over the past year allow the Foundations to build upon our 75-year legacy of philanthropy and impact; and afford community members the opportunity to effectively implement solutions to the challenges that they face.

As we settle into 2018, we will continue to create and expand partnerships to ensure that the needs of the community remain at the forefront, now more than ever, because we know that the right partnerships can make unimaginable things happen.


Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D.

President & CEO, The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations

In 2017, we evolved from Minnesota Philanthropy Partners to The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations. Although our name and look has changed, we remain committed to strengthening our state and ensuring that Minnesota is a place where everyone can thrive. We consistently work to make our community a stronger, more equitable place.

2017: The Impact

The Foundations work to advance three strategic goals in the East Metro and across Minnesota. Here is a look at some of our work in 2017.

A group of children smile at the camera

Advancing Equity

Learn more about our work on Facing Race and East Metro Pulse, as well as our partnership with the Council for Black Male Success.

children on a playground

Strengthening Communities

Learn more about how we're investing in affordable housing in the East Metro and how the Super Bowl Legacy Fund worked across the state to improve the health and wellness of children.

two women smile at the camera

Broadening Philanthropic Expression

Learn more about how Minnesota donors strengthened our state and beyond, and how we expanded our support for nonprofits around the state.

a group of youth collaborate

Informs. Forms. Benefits.

Learn more about Informs. Forms. Benefits. our approach to community-led philanthropy.

Portrait of staff members

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations

In 2017, we updated our brand from Minnesota Philanthropy Partners to The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations.

Portrait of Wei Huang

"In 2017, the Investments team had great success continuing to steer the ship in the right direction for the future. We have been gradually evolving to a more team-oriented culture, and more importantly, gaining full support of our Investment Committee to construct our investment portfolio differently from the past and more efficiently for the future."

Wei Huang, chief investment officer

Portrait of Christine Searson

"In 2017, the Finance team consistently provided accurate and timely transaction processing and reporting to our constituents while continuously seeking to improve our processes and controls. This year, the Finance team implemented a new web invoicing technology, streamlining invoice processing with an expected time savings of 25% and putting more control into the hands of users."

Christine Searson, vice president of finance