Thank you for your responsiveness to the communities you serve! We are so very aware of how hard you continue to work and how resilient you seem to be in the face of our ongoing challenges. We hope the months ahead are more promising for face-to-face interaction and maybe even hand-shaking! Thank you also for, despite the many things you are juggling, continuing to submit your follow up reports to us. We appreciate the updates you send our way.

Board of Trustees Action

Our board continues to be responsive to the needs of the communities we serve in response to the pandemic. In 2020, the Foundation provided over $48 million to over 200 nonprofits in the Foundation’s portfolio located in Florida and Minnesota; and added flexibility in the midst of COVID-19 by allowing appropriate program grants to be shifted to general operating funds.

Emergency grants were provided to expand M Health Fairview COVID-19 care and surge capacity, to support nonprofits in Florida and Minnesota managing vital issues like food insecurity, housing, and other basic needs, including:

  • $2 million in food insecurity grants to six non-profits in Florida & Minnesota;
  • $5 million (matched by Best Buy) in emergency relief funds to Best Buy employees affected by the pandemic;
  • $500,000 (matched by Best Buy) to support Best Buy employees who contracted COVID-19;
  • $1.1 million in challenge grants to assist in maintaining and growing enrollment in 60 Catholic elementary schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Archdiocese;
  • $2.1 million in COVID-19 emergency funding to 48 non-profits in Minnesota, Florida, California and Colorado;
  • $1 million grant to the University of Minnesota to assist in the conversion of Bethesda Hospital for COVID-19 patient treatment;
  • $50,000 to the Minnesota Disaster Relief Fund;
  • $150,000 to the Connected MN distance learning initiative created by Best Buy and MN Governor Walz; read the press release here; and
  • a $200,000 pledge to the Naples Children & Education Foundation for the development of an emergency app for Collier County residents to access emergency services at the push of a button on a mobile or computer device.

Our overarching goal is to be flexible with published timelines and to be available to work with our grantees to modify objectives, if necessary, in your outcomes reports. Please let us know how we can help.

How we’re working these days

Following CDC and MN and FL Departments of Health guidelines, both Foundation offices in Minnesota & Florida continue to be open for the processing of grant payments, considered an essential service. Florida staff have returned to the office to do their work under certain guidelines; Minnesota staff continue to alternate on-site and remote working arrangements as needed. Processing for grant payments as well as Letters of Intent and Application review will continue uninterrupted.

Please bookmark and return to this landing page and watch your email for updates. Please also feel free to reach out to your program officer or any of us on staff with questions or concerns.

Hope seems to be on the horizon. In the meantime, we wish you all good health and patience as we work through these times together.