Launching a Neighborhood Network

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014 in community development, community engagement, Uncategorized | 3 comments

Since I attended the Communities for a Lifetime meeting over a year ago (which I wrote about in a previous blog), I’ve been meeting with Jess Luce, Supervisor with the Communities for a Lifetime (CFL) Initiative, part of Dakota County Public Health, about ways to get involved locally in the initiative.  I jumped at the chance to help start a “Neighborhood Network,” a pilot project to try to bring a neighborhood together to strengthen social...

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The Arts Take Center Stage

Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in arts, community engagement, creative arts, foundations, grants, nonprofit, philanthropy |

While most of the work I do focuses on social services and health, I have a soft spot for the arts.  I truly believe that participation in the arts has the potential to energize people, promote physical and mental health and ultimately improve communities.  I couldn’t say it better than this: “The arts are the highest form of human expression. They describe beauty, speak to our soul, engage and enrage. They celebrate our community’s diversity...

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Social Innovation Labs: An Experiment in Combining Elements for Change

Posted by on Aug 30, 2013 in community development, community engagement, nonprofit, Uncategorized |

Over the last couple of years it seemed that almost every meeting I attended included some kind of structured “conversation”.  There are several organizations facilitating these types of conversations – Art of Hosting, Open Space Technology, World Café, Heartland.  It was never clear to me what makes these conversations different from or more productive than any other conversation where group members seek to solve a problem or address an issue...

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The Graying of Dakota County: Challenges and Opportunities

Posted by on Mar 23, 2013 in community development, community engagement, older adults, public health, Uncategorized |

In my work, I have helped several clients develop proposals for “NORC” programs.  NORC is a funny-sounding acronym that stands for Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities.  It is one of several similar terms which describe the concept and goal of people being able to remain in their communities as they get older.  So when I received a postcard in the mail inviting me to a “community conversation” on how to help my little burb become a...

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Paths to Health Equity – the Minnesota Connection

Posted by on Mar 17, 2013 in community engagement, health disparities, multicultural, public health, social connections, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Any Minnesotan who watches or reads the news knows there is a Minnesota angle to every national and international story.  So here’s theMinnesota angle to the National Conference on Quality Health Care for Culturally Diverse Populations I attended last week.  First off, Minnesota was well-represented in terms of attendees and speakers (probably disproportionately represented in terms of population).  The Minnesota speakers presented on a variety...

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Thoughts on an Innovative Approach to Grantmaking

Posted by on Nov 29, 2012 in community engagement, foundations, grantwriting, nonproft, philanthropy, Uncategorized |

Through my work, I help nonprofits seek and secure funding, often from private foundations.  It’s a challenging process, for many reasons.  Most important, there is not enough money to go around.  Tough choices have to be made.   In order to make those tough choices most effectively, foundations sometimes experiment with new approaches to philanthropy. I mentioned in any earlier post that I had participated in a novel process called the Connect...

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