Learn from the Community
Family Foundation Focuses on Homelessness
The Frey Foundation, a small family foundation, committed $5 million over five years to spur development of supportive housing services as the lead gift of a targeted $50 million campaign to end long-term homelessness in Minnesota. James Frey, foundation president and CEO, said, "We decided that rather than respond to requests, we would take a more strategic approach and try to address a major issue." Partly because family members had been longtime volunteers in homeless shelters, affordable housing and its consequent impact on class discrimination rose to the top of the priority list.
The focus on homelessness also had an impact on the way Frey Foundation looks at the rest of its grantmaking: rather than wait for an application, family members who see a need take the initiative to go out into the community to learn about the facts and how the foundation can participate.
Establish Singular Initiatives
Northwest Minnesota Foundation Focuses on Cultural Competency
Northwest Minnesota Foundation, with the help of many people in the region, has designed a program that focuses on assisting individuals, communities and organizations to better understand and value individual differences and also promotes cultural equity in the region. The program has included annual, two-day seminars developed specifically for northwest Minnesota are offered once a year.
According to the foundation, the cultural diversity and inclusion workshop is based on the belief that diversity is inclusive rather than exclusive and covers all differences including ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status. Individuals need to understand their own cultural biases and stereotypes before any changes in communities and organizations can occur.