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Archive for October, 2011

Minnesota Environmental Partnership: #1 Expert-Identified Environmental Nonprofit in Minnesota

October 31st, 2011


Today we honor the #1 expert-identified environmental nonprofit in Minnesota: Minnesota Environmental Partnership.


Read about how the Minnesota Environmental Partnership brings together environmental and conservation organizations to uphold Minnesota’s Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment when some legislators hinted at using the Clean Water, Land and Legacy funds as a way to solve the state’s budget crisis.


In a letter sent to Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota legislative leaders in February 2011, 66 conservation and outdoors groups called upon elected leaders to “to keep the faith with the voters of Minnesota who overwhelmingly passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Constitutional Amendment.”  Groups including Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Pheasants Forever, Minnesota Trout Unlimited and the Minnesota Conservation Federation joined with Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, Izaak Walton League of America and more to remind elected officials of the 1.6 million Minnesotans who voted to pass the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008.  “These 66 organizations are sending a clear message: ‘Don’t Raid Our Legacy’,” said Steve Morse, executive director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, the statewide coalition of environmental and conservation organizations. “Some legislators have hinted that they are looking at the Clean Water, Land and Legacy funds as a way to help solve the state’s budget crisis,” said Dave Zentner of the Izaak Walton League of America. “Those funds are constitutionally dedicated. They can’t be tapped to fix the state’s budget problem.” The three principles outlined in the letter are:


(1)    Minnesota’s Great Outdoors must maintain its traditional share of the total state general fund budget and not dip below its already small one percent proportion – a 30-year low. Any general fund cuts proposed for environmental and conservation programs must not result in a percentage reduction in these programs that is greater than any percentage reduction in total general fund spending.


(2)    Statutorily dedicated funds already in existence for Minnesota’s Great Outdoors cannot be raided to pay for other budget items.


(3) Capital investments for Minnesota’s Great Outdoors must be maintained at a level at least equal to the traditional 10-year average of 22.2 percent of the total general fund obligation bonding authority.


Mark Johnson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association emphasized the importance of the letter: “We have a new governor and new legislative leadership. They need to hear the united voice of Minnesota’s outdoors community: the hunters and anglers of Minnesota who worked for more than 10 years for passage of the Amendment. Joining with environmental and conservation groups, these organizations represent Minnesotans from every legislative district, and we all want continued protection of wildlife habitat, clean water, land conservation and maintenance of our parks and trails.”  “Minnesotans continue to highly value our lakes, rivers and streams and Minnesota’s Great Outdoors,” said Morse. The letter referenced a statewide poll conducted for the Minnesota Environmental Partnership in November 2010 by a bipartisan national polling team, in which two-thirds of voters agreed with the statement that: “In these tough economic times, elected officials must be reminded that we want to protect Minnesota’s Great Outdoors for the long-term. We must not let elected officials raid constitutionally dedicated conservation funds to solve short-term state budget problems.”


(Read more here:

According to our experts, MEP enables Minnesota’s 80+ environmental nonprofits to organize around common priorities and speak with a unified voice to state legislators, the media, and the public.  The coalition’s legislative advocacy has been instrumental in the passage of key environmental legislation, including the 2008 Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment.

To learn more about MEP and their impact, read more expert reviews here.

9 High-Potential Environmental Start-Up Nonprofits in Minnesota Identified by Experts!

October 27th, 2011

Start-ups can hold the potential to offer innovative or new solutions to existing problems in a field. Therefore, we asked our experts to recommend start-up nonprofits working in their cause. We were interested in organizations that have already had an impact or that have high potential to have an impact in the future. Often, these organizations are just a few years old.

Which start-up nonprofits were the top?

You can read more about each of the start-up nonprofit, in particular what problems they are trying to solve, what innovative approach they are using to solve the problem, and what impact have they had so far, and also what experts had to say about that nonprofit at:

If you are an expert, nonprofit organization, or individual, we invite your feedback on our research. You can reach Dawn Kwan, Manager of Philanthropedia Research at


Press Release: 18 Minnesota Environmental Nonprofits Identified by 178 Experts

October 27th, 2011

Results Released for Expert-Identified Environmental Nonprofits in Minnesota!

Philanthropedia partnered with Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, which supports The Saint Paul Foundation, Minnesota Community Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Mardag Foundation and 1,600 other affiliates across Minnesota, to uncover expert-identified nonprofits working in the environment in Minnesota, and we just released our results!

We surveyed 178 environmental experts in Minnesota (with an average of 20 years of work experience in the field) to identify those organizations that were making the biggest impact. These experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, government officials, etc.) identified 15 environmental nonprofits (out of 116 total reviewed nonprofits) working in Minnesota. See the expert breakdown below. You can also check out who participated in our research here:

Which nonprofits were among the top?

The following is the list of the expert-identified high-impact nonprofits working in the environment in Minnesota. Read what experts have to say about the impact they have made, their organizational strengths, and how each organization could improve further at:


What was the scope of our research?

The environment is of huge importance to Minnesotans. This was made clear on November 4, 2008, when Minnesota voters approved a proposed Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that raised the sales and use tax rate by three-eighths of one percent on taxable sales. Out of the four funds, three were dedicated to environment and conservation. The Outdoor Heritage Fund is meant to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for game, fish, and wildlife. The Clean Water Fund is meant to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater. And the Parks and Trails Fund is meant to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance. (Source)

In particular, these were three issues that were unique to Minnesota:

  1. Water Quality & Quantity: Minnesota is widely perceived as a water-rich state. After all, it is known as “the land of 10,000 lakes.” However, of the lakes that have been tested, 30 percent are polluted. In Northern Minnesota, one of the main issues some people worry about is the newly proposed copper and nickel mine because of the pollution it might emit into the nearby waters. This mine is near the boundary waters canoe area wilderness which is the most visited wilderness in the U.S.
  2. Providing Access to the Outdoors (Parks & Trails): Minnesotans value the outdoors tremendously, hence providing access to the outdoors in the forms of parks and trails is an important environmental issue.
  3. Energy: All forms of renewable energy are important for the issue pertaining to climate change and job creation. In particular, Minnesota is among the nation’s leaders in wind energy production.

We invited experts to recommend nonprofit organizations that could be working on:

  • water, land, and air conservation
  • energy
  • providing access to the outdoors (parks and trails)
  • habitat preservation (wildlife conservation)
  • climate change
  • sustainable development (land use planning, transportation)

And these nonprofits might focus on different kinds of activities:

  • policy
  • research
  • advocacy
  • direct services
  • education
  • community based organizations

Specifically excluded from consideration were organizations that focused on:

  • agriculture and food
  • environmental health
  • green building

This week we will highlight the top expert-identified Minnesota environmental nonprofits through our blog and Twitter.

If you are an expert, nonprofit organization, or individual, we invite your feedback on our research. You can reach Dawn Kwan, Manager of Philanthropedia Research at

Expert-Identified Nonprofit for Cancer Countdown: Highlighting Nonprofits #6-16

October 25th, 2011

Of course, there are more than just 5 organizations making a major impact on the cause of cancer. Here is some more information about the great work and impact that top expert-identified nonprofits #6-15 are making.

#6 Cancer Support Community

The Cancer Support Community has filled an important role in the cancer field by addressing psychosocial and mental health issues. They have also made valuable information available to cancer patients. Read more about them here.

#7 Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation has consistently funded research that has helped individuals with myeloma and has maintained a strong focus on cures. Read more about them here.

#8 Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN)

The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has been very effective in raising awareness about pancreatic cancer and has had a strong history of good research funding, advocacy, and education. Read more about them here.

#9 Fight Colorectal Cancer (Colorectal Cancer Coalition)

The Colorectal Cancer Coalition (Fight Colorectal Cancer) has an extraordinary ability to impact legislation and spark important changes in legislation related to research and services for colorectal cancer. Read more about them here.

#10 CancerCare

CancerCare has provided important support services to cancer patients and their families. Read more about them here.

#11 Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA)

The Lung Cancer Alliance has been effective in increasing the flow of money towards lung cancer funding. It has also had a strong influence over Congressional decisions and policy changes. Read more about them here.

#12 National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS)

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship has provided importnt services to cancer survivors and has also had a strong influence over policy issues. Read more about them here.

#13 National Lung Cancer Partnership

The National Lung Cancer Partnership has made great strides in the research funding, education, and advocacy efforts in the area of lung cancer. Read more about them here.

#14 Prevent Cancer Foundation

The Prevent Cancer Foundation has been heralded for its strong programs on the issue of cancer prevention and its ability to shape policy in the government. Read more about them here.

#15 Friends of Cancer Research (FOCR)

Friends of Cancer Research has had a particularly strong influence on pushing for policy changes among Congress and government agencies. Read more about them here.

#16 Lungevity Foundation

The Lungevity Foundation has had a strong impact on the study of lung cancer through the funding of important research projects. Read more about them here.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure: #1 Expert-Identified Nonprofit for Cancer

October 24th, 2011

Today we honor the #1 expert-identified nonprofit for Cancer: Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

From a former victim’s concern and compassion for others, now thers is the organization empowering survivors and activists to fight against breast cancer around the world…


Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. That concern for others continued even as Susan neared the end of her fight. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and committed to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.


That promise is now Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1.9 billion since inception in 1982. As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, we’re working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure®, and generous contributions from our partners, sponsors and fellow supporters, we have become the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.


(Read more here:

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has had a strong impact by bringing breast cancer issues to light and raising valuable funds for breast cancer research.

To learn more about Susan G. Komen for the Cure and their impact, read more expert reviews here.

American Cancer Society (ACS): #2 Expert-Identified Nonprofit for Cancer

October 22nd, 2011

Our #2 nonprofit, American Cancer Society (ACS) empowers individuals with cancer to stay well, to get well, to find cures and fight back. Learn how they did these below:

Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society is saving lives by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures and by fighting back. No other cancer fighting organization has such a comprehensive mission.

Stay well: We help you take steps to prevent cancer or detect it at its earliest, most treatable stage.We help people eat right, get active, quit smoking and get screenings.

Get well: We’re in your corner around the clock to guide you through a cancer experience.We know that every cancer patient is a fighter – and we’re in the ring with you through every round.

Find cures: We’re getting results by investing in research that helps us understand cancer’s causes, determine how best to prevent it, and discover new ways to cure it.

Fight back: We help pass laws that defeat cancer and rally communities to join the fight.

(Read more here:

The American Cancer Society has been commended for its ability to help individuals with cancer and their families through a broad range of programs.  Read more reviews from experts here to learn more about the great work American Cancer Society (ACS) is doing. (Lance Armstrong Foundation): #3 Expert-Identified Nonprofit for Cancer

October 21st, 2011

This is an organization founded on the never-give-up spirit, and aimed to spread and support the competitive spirit of “cancer survivors” against this catastrophic disease. A battle has just begun. Read the following story about this organization, and make the choice…

At age 25, Lance Armstrong was one of the world’s best cyclists. He proved it by winning the World Championships, the Tour Du Pont and multiple Tour de France stages. Lance Armstrong seemed invincible and his future was bright.

Then they told him he had cancer.

Next to the challenge he now faced, bike racing seemed insignificant. The diagnosis was testicular cancer, the most common cancer in men aged 15–35. If detected early, its cure rate is a promising 90 percent. Like most young, healthy men, Lance ignored the warning signs, and he never imagined the seriousness of his condition. Going untreated, the cancer had spread to Lance’s abdomen, lungs and brain. His chances dimmed.

Then a combination of physical conditioning, a strong support system and competitive spirit took over. He declared himself not a cancer victim but a cancer survivor. He took an active role in educating himself about his disease and the treatment. Armed with knowledge and confidence in medicine, he underwent aggressive treatment and beat the disease.

During his treatment, before his recovery, before he even knew his own fate, he created the Lance Armstrong Foundation. This marked the beginning of Lance’s life as an advocate for people living with cancer and a world representative for the cancer community.

Lance Armstrong’s victories in the 1999–2005 Tours de France are awe-inspiring, but the battle against cancer has just begun—not just for him, but for all cancer survivors and people just like him who think cancer could not affect them. He plans to lead this fight, and he hopes that you join him. This is a life he owes to cancer. This is his choice to LIVESTRONG.

(Learm more (Lance Armstrong Foundation) at:

The LIVESTRONG Foundation has been influential in raising awareness about all types of cancer and reducing the stigma that survivors sometimes face. Read more reviews from experts here to learn more about the great work of (Lance Armstrong Foundation).

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS): #4 Expert-Identified Nonprofit for Cancer

October 20th, 2011

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), ranked as Nonprofit #4 for Cancer.  Out of a family’s grief caused by Leukemia, the organization was founded and devoted to help other families fight against the disease. Read more below:

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) was born out of a family’s grief following the death of their teenage son.

Robert Roesler de Villiers (left), son of a well-to-do New York family, was only 16 when he quickly succumbed to leukemia in 1944. Five years later, frustrated by the lack of effective treatments for what was then considered a hopeless disease, parents Rudolph and Antoinette de Villiers started a fundraising and education organization in their son’s name.

Headquartered in a small Wall Street office, the Robert Roesler de Villiers Foundation had only a few volunteers and a tiny budget. The task was daunting. Most leukemia patients, especially children, died within three months. Even by the mid-1950s, when the first-generation chemotherapy drugs began appearing, the disease remained a stubborn challenge. The Foundation reported in its 1955 annual report: “As of this date, Leukemia is 100% fatal. This is almost a unique situation among the many diseases to which man is susceptible.”

Driven by the de Villiers’ nearly boundless belief that leukemia and other blood cancers were indeed curable, the Foundation grew steadily, opening its first chapters in the New York City area. The organization, after changing its name to The Leukemia Society, was renamed The Leukemia Society of America in the 1960s to communicate a broad, national reach.
(Learn more about LLS here:

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has improved the state of various blood cancers by increasing funds to conduct research and by providing education and financial services to patients. Read more reviews from experts here to learn more about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital: #5 Expert-Identified Nonprofit for Cancer

October 19th, 2011

Do you know how many children are suffering from catastrophic diseases? Our nonprofit #5, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, devotes their efforts in this field, described below…

When late entertainer Danny Thomas opened the doors to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 1962, he was not just changing the lives of children who would walk through its doors—he was changing lives across the world. When St. Jude completed its $1 billion, five-year expansion in 2005, it bolstered the hospital’s efforts to find cures for the catastrophic diseases of childhood. The growth more than doubled the size of the hospital’s original campus. The expansion included the Children’s GMP, LLC—the nation’s only pediatric research center on-site facility for production of highly specialized treatments and vaccines—an expanded Department of Immunology and more. Now with the addition of the Chili’s Care Center, a larger, rejuvenated Kay Kafe cafeteria for employees and patients, and renovations to the medicine room and rehabilitation areas, the hospital is more poised than ever to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.

(Learn more about their work at:

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital has been focusing on children suffering from cancer for years and has become a well-known group among the public. Read the experts’ comments here to learn more about St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Expert-Identified Nonprofit for Aging Countdown: Highlighting Nonprofits #6-13

October 17th, 2011

Of course, there are more than just 5 organizations making a major impact on the cause of aging. Here is some more information about the great work and impact top expert-identified nonprofits #6-13 are making.

#6 The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging has been particularly effective in acting as an advocate for low-income elders seeking long-term care. Read more about them here.

#7 Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)

Family Caregiver Alliance has had a positive impact on the lives of family caregivers and has helped raise awareness of the issue of family caregiving. Read more about them here.

#8 National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC)

National Senior Citizens Law Center has effectively litigated on behalf of low-income older adults. They have been instrumental in helping older adults maintain access to their Social Security benefits, even in the face of federal budget cuts. Read more about them here.

#9 National Committee For the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA)

The research produced by the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse has been influential in movements to increase awareness on the issue of elder abuse and has helped fuel reform campaigns. Read more about them here.

#10 LeadingAge

LeadingAge has effectively assisted older adults seeking access to long-term care, affordable housing, and health care benefits. Read more about them here.

#11 Civic Ventures

Civic Ventures has established itself as a respectable leader in the field because of its well-implemented and innovative programs. Read more about them here.

#12 National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA)

National Adult Protective Services has fulfilled a unique role in advocating for the better treatment of disabled and vulnerable elders. They have provide direct services and have also pushed for policy reform through their advocacy efforts. Read more about them here.

#13 Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW)

Wider Opportunities for Women has provided services that have helped women gain economic security in their later life. WOW also has been involved in collaborations that have allowed it to pursue policy reform to help older adults stay above the federal poverty level. Read more about them here.


And there’s so much more! View our entire list of expert-identified nonprofits for aging here: and dig deeper to review what experts had to say about each organization. These organizations are doing important work in the space of aging, so please consider donating to them to show your support. You can feel confident that your donation is going to support an outstanding group of nonprofits making a real impact on the aging population of the United States.

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