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Minnesota Council of Nonprofits announces the 2014 MINNESOTA NONPROFIT AWARDS

Recognizing Leading Organizations and Initiatives


SAINT PAUL, MINN, Sept. 11, 2014 – Six outstanding nonprofit organizations are selected each year in Minnesota to receive Nonprofit Mission and Excellence Awards. Nonprofit organizations make outstanding contributions to Minnesota’s high quality of life. The Mission and Excellence Awards recognize and honor these contributions.
Honored this year are YouthCARE, CommonBond Communities, the 5% Campaign, CLIMB Theatre, Conflict Resolution Center and PFund Foundation.
MAP for Nonprofits and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) present the awards Friday, Nov. 7 as part of MCN’s 2014 Annual Conference.

The Excellence Awards are based on the Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence, a Minnesota-produced, regularly updated, and often copied outside of Minnesota guidebook of accountability principles and management practices for nonprofits. MCN produces the guidebook and convenes the Advisory Committee that regularly updates the standards. A panel of judges is convened annually by MAP to select two Minnesota organizations that demonstrate their alignment with the Principles and Practices and have applied for the award.
The Mission Awards are presented in the categories of Innovation, Advocacy, Anti-racism Initiative and Responsive Philanthropy. Organizations are nominated for the Mission Awards and then selected by MCN member votes.
Excellence Award Recipients

CommonBond Communities, Inc. is a $12.4 million organization based in Saint Paul that provides safe and affordable housing and services that help adults stabilize their lives, students advance in school, and seniors and people living with disabilities live independently. As the largest affordable housing nonprofit in the Upper Midwest, CommonBond provides more than 5,500 households (9,000 people) with housing in 104 housing communities that span more than 50 cities. CommonBond residents have average household incomes of about $19,000. Seventy-five percent of households are families with children. More than 80 percent of the children are from single-parent households. An additional 24 percent of residents are seniors.

YouthCARE is a $1.3 million organization that leads ambitious multicultural youth development programs to empower youth in Minneapolis and St. Paul to thrive and lead through real life employment and leadership opportunities, outside-of-school-time programming and relationships with caring adults. YouthCARE annually serves nearly 600 economically-challenged Minneapolis and St. Paul youth, 7-18 years old, from diverse ethnic, cultural and racial backgrounds. One of YouthCARE’s many noteworthy achievements is being a “true” multicultural organization. In 2013/14, 88 percent of the youth and adults employed by YouthCARE were people of color.

Mission Award Recipients

The 5% Campaign is a nonpartisan coalition of Minnesotans that came together to ask state legislators for a 5% rate increase for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) in 2014. The Campaign maintains that life in the community is the first and best option for people with disabilities and older Minnesotans, as well as their families, workers and the state as a whole. One hundred and thirty organizations joined the 5% Campaign to secure the increase, along with support from family members, self-advocates, staff and the general public. The legislation was passed and signed by Governor Dayton in May, where providers of these services for people with disabilities and older adults received a five percent rate increase effective July 1, 2014. The legislation will help improve the lives of tens of thousands of individuals across the state.

CLIMB Theater has reached millions of young Minnesotans with plays and classes on topics like bullying and substance abuse prevention, environmental stewardship and acceptance of differences. With a mission to create and produce theater that inspires positive change in people’s thinking and behavior, CLIMB’s work must be both effective education and excellent theatre. With two anti-racism presentations, CLIMB has reached hearts and minds of students statewide with its programming; A Deeper Look and Feeling History. In a survey to its student participants, 95% indicate they are more aware of the inequality People who are Black experienced many years and 72% say their attitudes towards peers who are different from them will change.

Since its beginning, Conflict Resolution Center has brought people together to find lasting and effective solutions to conflict. CRC provides dialogue-based processes in new and innovative ways to address common problems. For example, a traditional approach to student misbehavior or youth crime might be suspension, expulsion or a criminal sentence. CRC’s approach is to engage the youth in a dialogue about what they can do to address the infraction, and to teach conflict resolution and leadership skills that result in positive youth behavior. As a result of its approach to create dialogue and common understanding, the CRC had made measurable outcomes in 2013 alone, including: 797 youth participated in conflict resolution programs; 119 youth were diverted from the criminal justice system; and more. In this era of contentiousness, CRC’s work involves a paradigm shift away from punitive methods of addressing conflict, crime and harm and towards a system whereby peaceful dialogue and consensus-building is utilized.

PFund Foundation is a 26 year regional community foundation with a mission to be a vital resource and community builder for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities. In 2011, PFund convened grantees and partners across the Midwest to learn more about the needs of the communities they aim to serve. As a result of those conversations, PFund created QReach, a community network building and regional assessment project in partnership with LGBT organizations and leaders, donors and funders and allies. It is designed to address the needs identified by LGBT communities in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, and at the same time increase the resources to those LGBT communities by both building up PFund and philanthropic giving towards LGBT communities in Minnesota. Through its QReach initiative, PFund is providing an important and needed framework through programming, convenings, media tools, and capturing learnings; helping to build a stronger GLBTA community that has a stronger presence to help those that have further to come.

In November, winners will be recognized before more than 1,000 peers, receiving Minnesota-made art glass awards, videos featuring their organizations and small cash awards (the Responsive Philanthropy recipient does not receive a cash award).

Award Sponsors
The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) was founded in 1987 to meet the increasing information needs of nonprofits and to convene nonprofits to address issues facing the sector. It is the second largest state association of nonprofits in the U.S., with a mission to inform, promote, connect and strengthen individual nonprofits and the nonprofit sector.

The Minnesota nonprofit, social enterprise and philanthropic sector relies upon MAP for Nonprofits as a trusted resource. MAP works with more than 500 organizations a year, strengthening governance, leadership, and operations. MAP unleashes the power of the nonprofit sector in the community by increasing the capacity of individual nonprofit organizations to achieve their missions and providing leadership for the effective management of the sector