Charities Review Council's Spring 2016 Smart Giver Newsletter

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The newsletter from Charities Review Council


Giving Guide



Spring 2016 • Rightsizing into Retirement

Giving & Getting The Most Out of This Milestone Transition

In fact, as Marie Kondo shares in her bestselling book, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up,’ more and more of us are recognizing that “the


Donating Goods Is More Complicated than Donating Money

Some nonprofits will pick up your items for donation. A few offer this service for free, but many charge a fee, which can catch potential donors off-guard. It costs money for a nonprofit to pick up items. They need to pay for trucks, mileage, and workers’ time, along with any costs to sort and process the donations. Depending on the item, the donation might not even cover the cost of picking it up. Therefore, many nonprofits charge a fee to make sure the donations actually benefit their programs as intended. As long as you know that ahead of time, you won’t be caught off guard.





With roughly 78 million Americans at or near retirement age in 2016, many are taking a look at their family homes and deciding to make changes. While most retirees will never be ready to say goodbye to lifetimes of memories made in those longtime family homes, many are choosing a forward path in order to forge a more fulfilling future. Whether relocating to start a second career (or to be closer to family), downsizing in order to make financial space for more adventure in retirement or moving into a more practical space that better suits healthcare needs, more and more Americans are reinventing their living spaces as they reach retirement.


Photo provdied by The Salvation Army Northern Division

place we live should be for the person we are becoming now – not for the person we have been in the past.” As all of us seek spaces ‘for the person we are becoming now,’ part of the way we make meaning as we shift our priorities is to incorporate our values of philanthropy into those life transitions. And more often than not, we find ourselves in the position where doing good in our community can be accomplished by giving away gently used items. Here are three things to know as you prepare to get the most out of your gently used donated goods.

You’ll Need to Do Your Research

There is no easy online portal or clearinghouse for giving away used items. Often, nonprofits’ needs and abilities to accept donated items change from dayto-day. You’ll need to get to know local nonprofits, like nonprofit thrift stores such as Goodwill Easter Seals, The Arc of Greater Twin Cities, Salvation Army, and local area shelters. Reach out to them directly and ask what types of items they are currently accepting.


Sometimes Giving Items to People is Easier than to Organizations

Remember, there’s no shortage of need in our communities. Even if a nonprofit can’t or won’t accept your item, it doesn’t mean one of your neighbors wouldn’t want it. While the ‘free’ section on craigslist is a good option, many neighborhoods have local online webpages dedicated to free items and sharing/swapping. While you may not get a tax deduction with this option, it’s a great way to give something directly to a family in need. Make the most of your local resources and give right to someone in your local community.

To learn more about donating gently used items and other smart giving tips, subscribe to our blog at

• Status Update with Kris Kewitsch • Giving Guide 2016 • Donors Collaborating For Good: A Q&A with Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director at CAIR Minnesota

Three Easy Ways to Check Out Nonprofits Before Giving

2016 Check out the Giving Guide on page 3 for a list of reviewed nonprofits.

Call (651) 224-7030



The Smart Giver Charities Review Council

STATUS UPDATE with KRIS KEWITSCH Charities Review Council recently shared news that a longtime donor was changing priorities and expected funding would not materialize for this year. As an organization focused on supporting authentic relationships between donors and nonprofits, we are walking the talk.

I believe true transparency will cultivate trust and create an open dialogue about what it means to be a strong nonprofit. With this change came a chance to reimagine what has always been, in order to make room for what’s to come. All while keeping our core work the same – helping donors make smart giving decisions to strong nonprofits. We’ve re-worked our annual plan making tough decisions around programmatic activities like Grow the

Good, Open Source Brainstorm Labs, and more. This includes changes to our Annual Forum. Instead of hosting a traditional annual forum experience in 2016, we’re planning for an event in early 2017. Stay tuned for more details! We’ve also made changes to our staffing model, including moving two previously full-time staff members to project-based consulting work. Along with that, we are currently reevaluating our office space to make sure it fits our programmatic needs and budget. Despite these changes, we’re still committed to maintaining and growing the value of our Meets Standards® Seal. Last year, we saw a 20% increase in the number of new nonprofits engaged in the Accountability Wizard® review process and we exceeded our renewal

goal with 92% of our nonprofit partners renewing their accounts in 2015. Although temporarily lean, we’re still accomplishing great work. We look forward to engaging new nonprofits and growing our list of reviewed organizations in 2016. Your support makes our work possible. A donation to Charities Review Council keeps the review process affordable for all nonprofits, provides donors (like you!) this newsletter you’re reading today and strengthens our philanthropic community as a whole. We continue to take steps forward in our strategy of supporting authentic and engaged relationships between smart donors and strong, accountable nonprofits. We thank you for taking the journey with us. In partnership,

Kris Kewitsch & the Charities Review Council team

Executive Director Kris Kewitsch moving ideas into action at the #DisruptMN Town Hall Forum.

Spring 2016

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How to Use This Guide How does a nonprofit get listed as “Most Trustworthy”? This go-to list features nonprofits that have voluntarily participated in our online, nonprofit review process, otherwise known as the Accountability Wizard®. The nonprofits included in this Giving Guide currently meet Charities Review Council’s 25

Accountability Standards®. Our review process is good for three years and requires a small (.02% of their annual expenses) administrative payment.

Accountability Standards® Our 25 Accountability Standards® are co-created benchmarks measuring nonprofit performance in four critical areas: governance, finance, fundraising and public disclosure. They represent a balance of nonprofit sector promising practices, public expectations and legal/ regulatory requirements. The Standards have evolved over the Council’s 70 years, with broad participation from Minnesota’s nonprofit and philanthropic communities, to reflect reasonable public expectations for nonprofits. Learn more at

The organizations you see below currently Meet Standards®! Real-time up-to-date nonprofit listings available online at

Giving Guide Spring 2016

360 Communities A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation AccessAbility, Inc. Accessible Space, Inc. (Athletes Committed to Educating ACES Students)

 Assistance League® Of Minneapolis/St. Paul  Avenues for Homeless Youth  Bancroft Neighborhood Association  Banyan Community Needs Inc. of South Washington County  Basic / Stone Soup Thrift Shop

AchieveMpls Aeon African American Registry African Development Center of Minnesota African Families Development Network Aitkin County CARE, Inc. Alliance for Metropolitan Stability Alliance Housing Inc. ALS Association, MN/ND/SD Chapter, The Association, Minnesota-North Alzheimer’s Dakota Chapter

 Be The Match Foundation  Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative  BestPrep Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin  Big Cities

American Indian Family Center Amherst H. Wilder Foundation Ampersand Families Ananya Dance Theatre Angel Foundation Anna Marie’s Alliance Annex Teen Clinic (American Relief Agency for the ARAHA Horn of Africa) Arc Greater Twin Cities, The Ascension Place, Inc. Asian Media Access

 Birthline, Inc.  Bolder Options  Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities  Breanna’s Gift  Bridge for Youth, The  Bridges of Hope  Bridges to Learning  C.A.R.E. Clinic  Camp Fire Minnesota  Camp Odayin  Can Do Canines  Cancer Legal Line  CAPI USA  CaringBridge  Carmen Pampa Fund  Cars for Neighbors  Casa de Esperanza  Cass County Economic Development

 Corporation  Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis  Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud  Center for Victims of Torture  Center School, Inc.  Centro, Inc.  Channel One, Inc.  Children’s Day Montessori Inc.  Children’s Dental Services  Children’s HeartLink  Children’s Home Society of Minnesota  Choral Arts Ensemble of Rochester  Christian Appalachian Project  Churches United in Ministry (CHUM)  Circle of Hope  City of Lakes Community Land Trust  Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy (Comunidades Latinas Unidas en  CLUES Servicio)  College Possible  Common Hope  CommonBond Communities  Community Action Duluth, Inc. Action Partnership of Ramsey &  Community Washington Counties  Community Dental Care  Community Health Charities Minnesota  Community Involvement Programs  Community Mediation & Restorative



The Smart Giver Charities Review Council Can’t find a charity?

Giving Guide – continued

See page 3 for information or call us at (651) 224-7030

Spring 2016

Services, Inc Community Thread Como Friends COMPAS (Community Programs in the Arts) Conflict Resolution Center Conservation Corps Cookie Cart Cornerstone Advocacy Service on American-Islamic Relations, Council Minnesota (CAIR-MN)  Cuyuna Range Youth Center, Inc. Dakota Woodlands DARTS DinoMights American Veterans of Minnesota Disabled Foundation CrossingBarriers

Diversity Council Dodge Nature Center Domestic Abuse Project Douglas County Car Care Program East Side Learning Center East Side Neighborhood Services, Inc. Eastside Meals on Wheels, Inc. ECHO Minnesota Ecolibrium3 (New Organization) EMERGE Community Development Environmental Initiative Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota Erik’s Ranch Inc. EVOLVE Adoption & Family Services Fairview Foundation Community Nurse Network of the Faith Greater Twin Cities Faith’s Lodge FamilyMeans FamilyWise Services Feed My Starving Children Feline Rescue, Inc. Food for Hungry Minds Franconia Sculpture Park Fraser Fresh Energy Freshwater Society Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness Friends of the Hennepin County Library Friends of the Mississippi River Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries

Transgender Pride  Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual Twin Cities

 Global Minnesota  Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota  Great River Educational Arts Theatre  Great River Homes, Inc.  Greater Mankato Area United Way  Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation  Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches  Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery  Greater Twin Cities United Way  Guild Incorporated  Habitat for Humanity of Morrison County  Haiti Outreach, Inc.  Haiti Teen Challenge  Hamm Memorial Psychiatric Clinic, Inc.  Hands of Hope Resource Center  HandsOn Twin Cities  Hastings Family Service  Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation  HealthEast Foundation  Helping Hands Outreach  Helping Paws, Inc. Foundation of Minnesota/  Hemophilia Dakotas  Hennepin Health Foundation  Hmong Cultural Center  HOPE Coalition  Hope Community  HopeKids, Inc.  House of Charity, Inc  Hunger Solutions Minnesota  Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota  In Progress  Initiative Foundation Communities Association  Intercongregation (ICA Food Shelf)  Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul  Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners  International Institute of Minnesota  Iringa Hope (New Organization)  Jeremiah Program  Jewish Community Action Community Center of the Greater St.  Jewish Paul Area Family and Children’s Service of  Jewish Minneapolis

 Jewish Family Service of St. Paul  Joseph’s Coat, Inc.

 Joyce Preschool Achievement of the Upper Midwest,  Junior Inc.  Karen Organization of Minnesota  Karen Wyckoff Rein in Sarcoma Foundation Community Services YMCA Camp  Keystone Olson  La Oportunidad, Inc. & Prairies Community Action  Lakes Partnership, Inc.  Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project  Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau, Inc.  Lakeshore Players Theatre  Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers Carlson Center for Mental Health and  Lee Well-Being  LifeSource  Lifetrack  Lifeworks Services, Inc.  Listening House of St. Paul, Inc.  Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly  Living Well Disability Services  Loaves and Fishes  Lutheran Partners in Global Ministry  Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota  Mano a Mano International Partners  MAP for Nonprofits  MCEA  McLeod Emergency Food Shelf  MDI Blood Centers, a division of  Memorial Innovative Blood Resources  Merrick Community Services  Merrick, Inc.  Metropolitan Regional Arts Council  Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid  Midwest Special Services, Inc.  MIGIZI Communications  Milestones  Minneapolis Jewish Federation  Minneapolis Pathways  Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge  Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans  Minnesota Children’s Museum  Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless  Minnesota Communities Caring for Children, MN Chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America

 Minnesota Computers for Schools  Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Spring 2016 Can’t find a charity?

Giving Guide – continued

See page 3 for information or call us at (651) 224-7030

Spring 2016

Minnesota Council on Economic Education Minnesota Humanities Center Minnesota Justice Foundation Minnesota Land Trust Minnesota Life College Minnesota Literacy Council Organization on Fetal Alcohol Minnesota Syndrome Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance Public Radio / American Public Minnesota Media Minnesota Sinfonia State Academy for the Blind Minnesota Foundation Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency Mississippi Park Connection MN ADOPT Morton Cure Paralysis Fund MoveFwd (formerly Teens Alone) myHealth for Teens & Young Adults NAMI Minnesota NAMI Southeast Minnesota Neighborhood House Neighbors, Inc. New Pathways, Inc. North Anoka County Emergency Foodshelf Northeast Youth & Family Services Northern Clay Center Northern Dental Access Center Star Council, Boy Scouts of Northern America NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center, Inc. Northside Achievement Zone Northside Economic Opportunity Network Northwoods Partners One Heartland Open Access Connections Open Door Health Center Your Heart to the Hungry and Open Homeless Opportunity Matters Inc Opportunity Neighborhood Opportunity Partners Ordway Center for the Performing Arts PACER Center, Inc. Parents United for Public Schools Park Nicollet Foundation Patchwork Quilt Pawsitive Perspectives Assitance Dogs

 (PawPADs)  Pawsitivity Service Dogs  People For Parks  People Incorporated Mental Health Services  People Reaching Out To People (PROP)  Perspectives, Inc.  Pet Haven, Inc. of Minnesota  Pillager Family Council  Pine River-Backus Family Center  Pinky Swear Foundation Parenthood Minnesota, North  Planned Dakota, South Dakota  Plymouth Christian Youth Center  Portico Healthnet  Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association  Prepare + Prosper  PRG, Inc.  ProAct, Inc.  Progress Valley, Inc. FINE (Focus on Integrating  Project Newcomers through Education)  Project For Pride In Living Inc.  Project SUCCESS  Range Respite Project, Inc.  Reading Center, The  Redeemer Center for Life  RELATE Counseling Center  RESOURCE, Inc a Golden of Minnesota (RAGOM),  Retrieve Inc.  RS EDEN  Ruff Start Rescue  Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL)  Salvation Army- Twin Cities (Suicide Awareness Voices of  SAVE Education)  Scholarship America, Inc.  Second Harvest North Central Food Bank  Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank  Semcac  Senior Community Services  Sherburne County Area United Way Out Loud/Bella Voce Young Women’s  Sing Choir  Sojourner Project, Inc.  Solid Ground  Somali American Parent Association  Somali Community Resettlement Services  Southern Valley Alliance for Battered Women

 Southside Family Nurturing Center  Southside Services I. Inc.  Springboard for the Arts  St. Anthony Park Area Seniors  St. Cloud Municipal Band  St. Croix Valley Foundation David’s Center for Child & Family  St. Development  St. Louis Park Emergency Program  St. Mary’s Health Clinics  Stepping Stone Emergency Housing  Store To Door  Students Today Leaders Forever  Summit Academy OIC  Susan G. Komen Minnesota  Tanzania Life Project  Tasks Unlimited, Inc.  Ten Thousand Things Theater  The Family Partnership Food Group, formerly Emergency  The Foodshelf Network  The Foundation for Essential Needs  The Link  The Loppet Foundation  The Open Door  The Phoenix Residence Inc.  The Reporters, Inc.  The Sanneh Foundation  The Sheridan Story  Think Small  Three Rivers Park District Foundation  Touchstone Mental Health  Tree Trust  Tri County Action Program, Inc..  Tri-County Humane Society  True Friends  Tubman  Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Inc.  United Way of Central Minnesota Way of Crow Wing & Southern Cass  United Counties  United Way of Douglas & Pope Counties  United Way of Olmsted County, Inc.  United Way of Southwest Minnesota  United Way of the Brown County Area, Inc.  United Way of West Central MN  University of Minnesota Foundation  Upstream Arts, Inc.



The Smart Giver Charities Review Council Can’t find a charity?

Giving Guide – continued

See page 3 for information or call us at (651) 224-7030

Spring 2016

Urban Arts Academy Urban Boatbuilders Urban Homeworks, Inc. Urban Roots MN Vail Place Valley Outreach VEAP Inc. Vision Loss Resources VocalEssence Volunteer Lawyers Network WACOSA Walk-In Counseling Center Washburn Center for Children

 Wayside House  WellShare International  West Hennepin Affordable Housing Land Trust

 White Bear Area Emergency Food Shelf  White Bear Center for the Arts  White Bear Lake Area Historical Society  Wilderness Inquiry  Wingspan Life Resources  Wishes & More  Women’s Advocates, Inc.  Women’s Foundation of Minnesota  Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment (WISE), Inc.

 WomenVenture  Woodbury Life Resource Center  World Savvy  World Without Genocide  YMCA Camp Olson  Youth Farm  Youth Frontiers  Youth Service Bureau, Inc.  YouthCARE  YouthLink  Youthprise  YWCA Mankato  YWCA St. Paul  Zumbro Valley Health Center

Reviews in Progress On April 1, 2016, the nonprofits listed as “Review in Progress” were working with Charities Review Council to Meet Standards®. View an up-to-date list at Alexandra House, Inc.

Mentoring Young Adults

The Works

Animal Humane Society

Minnesota AIDS Project

TreeHouse, Inc.

Arc United

Minnesota Alliance With Youth

BATC Foundation

Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women

Union Gospel Mission Association of Saint Paul

Breakthrough Twin Cities

Minnesota Homeownership Center

Center for Value Inquiry

Morrison County United Way

Central Minnesota Arts Board

National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association

ChildFund International

Nonprofits Assistance Fund

Children’s Cancer Research Fund

North Metro Pediatrics

Western Communities Action Network, Inc. (WeCAN)


People Serving People

YWCA of Minneapolis

Courage Kenny Foundation


Crisis Line And Referral Service

Rainbow Health Initiative

DIFFERbilities Experience

Rebuilding Together Twin Cities

District 742 Local Education & Activities Foundation

Rice Health Foundation

ElderCircle Emma Norton Services Family Enhancement Center Family Pathways Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley, Inc. Great River Homes, Inc. Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools Free Arts Minnesota Girl Scouts Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys Learning Disabilities Association, Inc. (LDA Minnesota) LegalCORPS Let’s Go Fishing Light the Legacy

Rochester Area Habitat for Humanity Saint Paul Neighborhood Network Second Harvest Heartland ServeMinnesota Simpson Housing Services, Inc. Sons of Norway Foundation St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program, Inc. St. Stephen’s Human Services Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota The BrandLab The Firefly Sisterhood

Love INC - Heartland

The Hospice Organization and Palliative Experts of Wisconsin, Inc. (HOPE)

Make-A-Wish Foundation of Minnesota

The Rock ‘n’ Read Project

Union Gospel Mission Duluth WaterLegacy Way to Grow West Side Community Health Services Inc.

Spring 2016

DONORS COLLABORATING FOR GOOD: A Q&A with Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director at The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN)

How does the Somali-American community approach giving? The best way to describe the SomaliAmerican community’s approach to giving is as “grassroots crowd-fundraising.” Giving in our community is not led by organizations, but instead by individuals. One individual, through word-of-mouth, the oldest and most effective marketing strategy, puts a concerted effort into catalyzing an entire group to support a specific cause. We see Somali women as some of the most effective fundraisers. As the matriarchs, they raise money for their family, their village, and their mosque. One Somali woman will call her sisters, female relatives and friends, and one by one, she will pledge on their behalf a donation. She’s not seeking permission; she’s providing an advance notification, and she follows up to ensure that the donation is secured.

What is the most powerful gift you’ve ever seen a member of your community give or receive? The most powerful force behind large,

meaningful gifts is the sense of connection. Many left not only their homeland of Somalia, but also everyone and everything when they came to America. So when they are giving back to a family member they feel like they are making a difference in the lives of those who they had to leave behind. That sense of connection also extends to their mosque or community center.

volunteer charity, which is a virtuous deed. People understand Zakat and Sadaqa, and use these teachings to motivate each other, even if they don’t have much to give. The faith also teaches that you are not a true believer if you have while your family or neighbor goes hungry. In our community, there exists a sense of duty to help one another.

Tell us about one event or activity

It’s simple; individuals are more where your community gets asked to likely to give to organizations give? they are personally connected to. The month of Ramadan, which is also known What makes giving in your community strong? Philanthropy is a religious duty known as Zakat, which linguistically speaking means, “to purify.” Zakat includes purification of the heart and wealth. Our community believes that when they give Zakat, it is not lessening their wealth, but purifying it to grow more. Zakat is then distributed to those in need. The other concept of giving is Sadaqa, or

as the month of fasting, is the peak of giving time. While fasting and refraining from food, water, and other vices, the spirituality of the month encourages giving immensely. Many choose to use this time to fulfill their Zakat obligation and capture on good deeds through Sadaqa.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about philanthropy in your community? The Somali community is known for its family connections. When there’s a need, the community appeals to a close family member, distant relatives or tribal kinship. The appeal is seen as one family member taking care of another. Somalis also engage in small entrepreneurial ventures. This is evident in the Somali malls that you can find in the Twin Cites today. The entrepreneurial spirit and high financial literacy skills benefit crowd-fundraising. We see a higher correlation in fundraising outcome when it’s led by these entrepreneurs. To learn more about CAIR Minnesota, check out their website at

Re-Imagining Philanthropy: A Charities Review Council & CAIR MN Ramadan design thinking session


Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage


Permit #1743 St. Paul, MN 2334 University Ave. W. Suite 150 St. Paul, MN 55114–1859 651-224-7030

Board Members Sarah Bjelland Wells Fargo Armando Camacho Opportunity Partners Stephen Devereux Devereux Development Consulting Tony Helmer Crowley, White, Helmer & Sevig, Inc. Anu Jain Target Gregg Larson University of Minnesota, retired Chamath Perera Independent Consultant Robert Pickering, Treasurer Lifetrack Resources Courtney Poja Cornerstone Emily Robertson, Vice Chair Robertson Law Office, LLC Mary Jo Schifsky Why Stop Working Brenda Starr, Chair Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Patty Wilder, Secretary Leadership Tactics Daniel Yang Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota

Staff Kris Kewitsch Executive Director Abby Wright Nonprofit Services & Communications Specialist Ian Cook Nonprofit Services & Development Specialist

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