Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: Minnesota Community Foundation + Kat Stillings Barta!

The Minnesota Rising 2011 Un/Conference: Building A Network For What’s Next will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 10:00AM – 4:00PM at the CoCo coworking and collaborative space in St. Paul, MN. Hosted by and for emerging leaders, the Un/Conference will engage emerging leaders across Minnesota in an energizing day of innovative learning and dialogue, skill-building, and network-building with their peers!

We're pleased to place a spotlight on the 2011 sponsors and supporters that are making this year's Un/Conference possible! In this post, we feature the insights of Katherine Stillings Barta, who is a communications associate at Minnesota Community Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation. A recent transplant to Saint Paul, she volunteers her time to organizations that allow her support her community. She also enjoys running, sailing and planning her next trip overseas.

I have always believed in the importance of volunteering my time to the places I have called home. Today I am fortunate in that I am able to support our own Minnesotan communities in my professional work as a communications associate at Minnesota Community Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation.

Since joining Minnesota Community Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation three years ago, I find that while many people have heard about our organizations, they are still a little unsure about what we do. Very simply, community foundations are created by and for local residents to strengthen their communities. At Minnesota Community Foundation, we have created several innovative initiatives to provide Minnesotans with a variety of resources to engage with and support their communities and the causes that are important to them.

If you want to be part of a fun giving community: Visit GiveMN, an online giving platform that makes charitable giving easy and fun. In addition to being a useful resource for nonprofits and donors, it is a great way to engage your friends and family in the causes you are most passionate about. Are you training for a marathon or looking to forgo that holiday sweater for a better cause? Consider setting up an individual or team fundraiser. Also be sure to mark your calendars for November 16, Give to the Max Day. This “great Minnesota give together” has set world records for the biggest giving event.

If you like a challenge: Minnesota Idea Open brings together as many Minnesotans as possible to discuss and find solutions to critical issues facing the state. Each year a question is posed, such as how to raise awareness of and address water issues. Everyone is invited to submit their solutions and vote for their favorite idea online. The winning idea receives a grant to become a reality. Be sure to keep an eye on the Idea Open website - a third Challenge is already being formulated for 2012!

If you seek to be inspired: The Engaged Philanthropist Award recognizes innovative and effective philanthropists who invest their talents and time in supporting community causes. Past award recipients include Winston Wallin, founder of Wallin Education Partners and John Larsen, an original funder and a visionary behind Project 515. If you or someone you know is doing great work for the community, please consider submitting a nomination when the 2012 process starts in the spring.

If you are interested in learning more about the great work at Minnesota Community Foundation, visit us on Facebook or follow us on twitter @twofoundations.

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