The year 2014 marked the 57th Anniversary of the Elmer L. & Eleanor J. Andersen Foundation.
The Foundation now has a web presence! The newly created website designed by Cary Walski of Social Good, was launched in early 2014. Users have conveyed many positive comments about its color scheme, design, information and ease of use. Photographs by our own Chuck Dayton are prominently featured.
Chuck’s photographs are also featured in the now professionally designed annual report. The design process took place over many months, but the results have been well-received by the community. The lengthy design process will reap benefits for the production of annual reports in the years to come.
For the first time in seventeen years, the Board of Directors of the Foundation welcomed a new member. Todd Otis joined the board in June and brings with him a wealth of experience in the community, government and life.
In fiscal year 2014, the Foundation completed the first rotation in its social justice grantmaking program which began in 2010:
Within the area of Political Power and Process and with the completion of a project with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, the Foundation continued research of organizations working to increase the political participation of underrepresented communities.
To determine next steps in the area of Political Power and Process, an organizational consultant led a board discussion on the meaning of social justice philanthropy to the Foundation and what the Foundation wants to see achieved in the area of Political Power and Process. After a full discussion, the goal was refined to be:
Increase involvement in the political process in communities with little political power
through policy advocacy, voting, community organizing, working on campaigns,
inspiring others, and running for office
Directors decided to establish an advisory board in the area of Political Power and Process. In 2015, the advisory board will assist in identifying a project for funding by the Foundation.
In December 2013, the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED) was awarded a three-year, $75,000 grant to ensure impacted communities are using the environmental justice atlas, previously funded by the Foundation, for their community organizing and local advocacy efforts.
Also in December 2013, the Council on American Islamic Relations Minnesota (CAIR-MN) was awarded a renewed one-year $25,000 grant for development of training programs to reduce Islamophobia in Minnesota.
The new cloud-based grants management system was purchased and fully utilized in 2014. As managers of the system, Julian Andersen and Mari Oyanagi Eggum received training over several remote sessions. The transition included designing and implementing changes to the application process. Grant applicants now apply on-line through a process accessed via the new website. Paper management and printing will decrease.
The Foundation office now has a larger computer monitor and a computer printer with color, scanning, and faxing capabilities.
In anticipation of skills needed for the retooling of Foundation financial reports, Mari Oyanagi Eggum took two levels of training in Excel through the Science Museum of Minnesota.
A new version of QuickBooks was purchased for use beginning in December 2014. A draft of a new chart of accounts for the Foundation was developed in conjunction with plans to retool financial reports of the Foundation.
In addition to the social justice grants, grant payments of note include the final of five $5,000 payments for the Elmer L. Andersen Research Scholars program at the University of Minnesota. Sugarloaf received the final of three $3,000 payments for general operations. The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library received the second of four $10,000 payments for its capital campaign.
Also, the Real Change Homeless Empowerment Project received the second of three $6,000 payments for general operations. The Anoka Technical College Foundation received the second of five $3,000 payments for scholarships. Carleton College received the second of three $4,200 payments for a student service program and the Muskegon Museum of Art received the second of four $5,000 payments for its capital campaign.
Anticipated in 2015 are the establishment of an advisory board for a decision on a grant award in the area of Political Power and Process; attendance at the Council on Foundation’s Annual Meeting Conference in San Francisco; and the continued retooling of internal financial reports using Excel and an updated version of QuickBooks.