Northfield Shares Celebrates Good Work in the Community

One integral part of Northfield Shares’ mission is advancing philanthropy. Northfield’s community foundation had the opportunity to spotlight local philanthropy and a successful 2017 during its Annual Meeting & Grants Showcase, held on March 14 at Community Resource Bank.

Speakers for Northfield Shares included Board Chair Jan Hanson, Executive Director Mike Krance, and Grants Committee Chair Kris Estenson. Organizational highlights from 2017 included:

  • Increasing owned assets from $1.1 million in 2016 to $2.1 million, plus $471,000 in assets managed for local nonprofit organizations.
  • Taking over ownership and management of five funds previously managed by the Minnesota Community Foundation.
  • Adding three donor advised funds: The Justin and Kristin Stets Family Legacy Fund, Porath Legacy Fund and Krance Family Legacy Fund.
  • Adding three nonprofit agency funds courtesy of Northfield Historical Society, Rotary Club of Northfield, and Northfield Arts Guild.
  • Anne B. Mayer and Bob Will establishing future endowments through their estate planning
  • Hosting a successful Defeat of Jesse James Days Run/Walk that raised over $28,000.
  • Offering $68,619 in funding through the 2017 regular grants cycle, plus $231,000 through donor advised fund grants.

Highlights thus far for 2018 included:

  • Don Nelson, by making a substantial contribution to his original endowment, enabled the Engeseth-Rinde Restoration Fund to become Northfield Shares’ first $1 million endowed fund.
  • Bill and Char Carlson establishing the William and Charlotte Carlson Family Fund (donor advised fund).
  • Kris Estenson announcing a special $25,000 collaborative leadership grant offered through the support of the Ames Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation. The grant will be part of the regular grant application cycle, which will open Sept. 1, 2018.

The highlight of the entire evening, however, was shining the spotlight on Northfield Share’s 2018 grant recipients. This year’s grant recipients include:  Community Action Center of Northfield, Defeat of Jesse James Days, Inc., Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, Greenvale Park Community School, HealthFinders Collaborative, Northfield Arts Guild, Northfield in Bloom, Northfield Healthy Community Initiative, Northfield Hospital & Clinics, Northfield TORCH (Tackling Obstacles, Raising College Hopes), Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative and Project Friendship.

These 12 different nonprofits, who received a total of$62,300 in grants, discussed their vital programs and how they were using their grants. These organizations do amazing work, and Northfield Shares feels honored to play just a small role in their tremendous impact on the community. Krance noted there is still work to do in meeting the need because 29 grant applications requesting a total of nearly $165,000 were submitted.

TORCH received the largest grant—a $15,000 collaborative leadership grant—to support Northfield Community College. TORCH’s Teddy Gelderman spoke about the program. Prior to the event, however, he provided a few thoughts about how the concept came to be with the help of a 2017 grant from Northfield Shares.

“Last year, Northfield Shares was responsible for TORCH’s first-ever concerted support of alumni of the program. Previously, all of the interaction with recent graduates had been ad hoc, and we saw that students were falling through the cracks. To respond to this need, we committed staff time and resources to intentionally reach out to EVERY graduate and assessing their needs. We found that the students who were struggling the most were students who had initially began school at a 2-year institution but continued to live in Northfield and commute to school. These students consistently reported that they would end up missing a class or assignment because of the distance.

“To help these students overcome this challenge, TORCH was able to partner with Riverland Community College, and beginning in the summer of 2017, the program was able to offer the first community college classes in Northfield.”

TORCH is just one shining example of the fantastic work being done by Northfield’s nonprofit organizations. As your community foundation, Northfield Shares is happy to work alongside our local nonprofits, supporting their many efforts not only financially, but by also spreading the word of their tremendous impact on Northfield. Please join us in supporting them to make Northfield a better place to live, work and thrive.

Whether you are a donor, a volunteer or a local nonprofit, we thank you for helping make 2017 a successful year for Northfield Shares. You enable us to expand our mission and, for that, we are eternally grateful. Northfield Shares is poised for tremendous growth and big things in the future. We look forward to helping all of you make your personal impact on Northfield as you help us continue to make ours as well.