Minnesota Idea Open

Minnesota Community Foundation

Date Awarded
Grant Period
12/08/08 to 11/30/11
Focus Area
Duluth, St Paul
Knight Community Information Challenge

Project Links

Grantee Contact

  • Saint Paul

Featured Media

To spread a deeper understanding of key community issues and challenges by engaging citizens in problem solving efforts

Implicit in every news story about Minnesota's problems is the need for someone to address them. This project strives to get the public engaged in that role. The grant will create a state-wide problem solving platform, MN Idea Open,  to host competitions for the best ideas to resolve community challenges. Small competitions could look like a city council asking residents what to do with a vacant lot. Our major, state-wide competitions will seek to engage EVERY Minnesotan on developing solutions to critical issues, through broad media coverage and partnerships with hundreds of outreach organizations. Winning ideas in these competitions will become a reality, thanks to grants from the community foundation and its partners.

About the Organization: Minnesota Community Foundation is the statewide community foundation helping to create vibrant communities where all people can find hope and opportunity. As a nonprofit organization created by and for local residents, the foundation helps individuals, organizations and communities fulfill their charitable giving goals and create positive change through philanthropy. The foundation provides charitable planning, grantmaking and investment services. Minnesota Community Foundation was established in 1949 and has become the fastest growing community foundation in the state – more than doubling its assets under management in less than five years.

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Project Team

Jennifer Ford Reedy

vice president of strategy and knowledge management

Jennifer Ford Reedy is vice president of strategy and knowledge management for Minnesota Community Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation, where she is charged with driving strategy development and implementation. Since joining the Foundations in 2008, Ms. Reedy has guided two major ventures: GiveMN.org, a giving portal that raised $16 million from more than 40,000 donors in its first six months; and the Minnesota Idea Open, a platform created with Ashoka Changemakers to get Minnesotans talking about solutions to critical issues facing the state. Ms. Reedy was previously a consultant with McKinsey and Company and from 2003-2007 was “on loan” to direct the Itasca Project, a CEO-led regional economic development initiative in the Twin Cities. Ms. Reedy holds a master’s degree in social policy from the University of Chicago and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Kansas, where she received a national Truman Fellowship for Public Service.

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