Photo: Hiawatha Academies
We seek to assist children and families living in poverty to attain equitable access to academic and social development opportunities and systems, thereby providing the potential for an educated, informed, and empowered student, parent, and community.
To achieve this goal, we believe:
Photo: Northside Achievement Zone
We are interested in partnering with nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and public schools that directly serve or strengthen systems that directly serve children and families living in poverty in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Our desire is to support:
Photo: WE WIN Institute, Inc.
Partner with home, schools and communities
Connecting to children and families’ homes, schools and communities as demonstrated by programs aligning with or imbedding within school systems, engaging and empowering parents as partners, and engaging and empowering the community to build upon existing strengths and assets as solutions. For example, an organization that coordinates and engages all entities surrounding a child.
Provide consistent, sustained and rigorous support over multiple years
Supporting children (ranging in age from prenatal to 18) and families along the continuum of learning, either by offering direct services over multiple years or intentionally connecting and transitioning the children and families to services outside of the organization to continue receiving support as needed. For example, an organization that provides three years of programming for a child or two years of programming with an intentional connection to the next level of programming needed for growth.
Work toward outcomes
Examples of outcomes and indicators may include:
Aspect of development that program can influence
Evidence that development is either taking place or has been achieved
1. Preparing children for school
1.1 Children are age-appropriate in their social, emotional, cognitive, language and physical development
1.2 Children receive early interventions as appropriate
2. Helping elementary-aged children demonstrate academic growth
2.1 Children improve reading and literacy skills
2.2 Children improve oral language skills
2.3 Children maintain academic skills over the summer months.
3. Helping middle and high-school aged children demonstrate academic growth
3.1 Youth show growth on tests
4. Supporting children in learning and demonstrating social and emotional skills
4.1 Youth develop social-emotional skills (i.e. interpersonal competence, self-awareness and management)
4.2 Youth feel a sense of belonging
4.3 Youth feel empowered to contribute to positive change in their communities
5. Helping families support children’s success
5.1 Families demonstrate positive, responsive parenting techniques
5.2 Families access community services as needed
5.3 Families connect with schools and programs that support students beyond school
5.4 Families advocate for students
6. Shifting behavior and systems that precede population-level outcomes
6.1 Organizations and alliances engage in advocacy and improved policies
6.2 Alliances focus on improving systems practices
Demonstrate strong program quality by using evidence-based strategies, evaluation and/or quality assessment processes, or external accreditation or measurement tools. For example, programs that:
Strive for organizational excellence
Ensure a strong organization that supports overall work. For example, organizations that:
Engage beneficiaries in design
Offer programming designed with and around children’s and parents’ interests and needs. For example, programs that:
Although the following strategies may complement our overall Foundation goal, they fall outside of our desired focus: Research, Nonecumenical organizations or programs, direct religious activities or organizations that receive a significant source of funding from sectarian solicitations, special events or sponsorships, and support to an individual.
The Mortenson Family Foundation may make multi-year grants as an additional way to support partner organizations with two- or three-year grant commitments that are capped at 33% of the following year’s projected grantmaking budget. The Foundation will use its discretion in considering an organization for a multi-year grant.
The Foundation will not be accepting Letters of Inquiry from prospective partners in 2022. Please check back in first quarter of 2023 for updated guidelines and application process.
Geography: Minneapolis and Saint Paul
Photo: OneVillage Partners
In 2020, the Foundation committed to engaging community members on each of its three grant committees as part of its equity commitment.
Throughout 2022, we are engaging a wide array of community voices in a structured feedback process on our Expanding Opportunities for Children and Families guidelines. In tandem with the feedback process, we will begin a committee selection process with the goal of engaging community members on the committee by year end.
Photo: Northside Achievement Zone