Staff Directory 101372379

Kelly Smith

Reporter | Nonprofits, charity and philanthrophy
Phone: 612-673-4141
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Kelly Smith covers nonprofits/philanthropy for the Star Tribune and is based in Minneapolis. Since 2010, she’s covered Greater Minnesota on the state/region team, Hennepin County government, west metro suburban government and west metro K-12 education.

Smith was born in Duluth and grew up in the Twin Cities. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., and worked for the Forum newspaper in Fargo, N.D., before coming to the Star Tribune in 2010.
Recent content from Kelly Smith
As part of Give to the Max Day, HUGE Improv Theater in Minneapolis hosted 28 continuous hours of improv starting Wednesday and seen Thursday, Nov. 14,

It's Give to the Max Day: Minnesota nonprofits aim to raise more than $21 million

More than 5,000 nonprofits and schools seek donations on the "giving holiday."
Chris Pangle, left, helped resort chef Brian Chaffee load food and supplies into Chaffee’s van at Loaves & Fishes in Minneapolis before a 360-mile r

Twin Cities nonprofits boost deliveries of free food to people in need in greater Minn.

While poverty and homelessness may be more visible in the Twin Cities, it's not a problem confined to urban areas.
Piggybacking on Give to the Max Day offered the Bitty Kitty Brigade a chance to amplify its message and boost giving.

Free beer and cuddles with a kitten on Give to the Max Day

Nonprofits hope to break state's record on Give to the Max Day
Jason McLean at the Loring Pasta bar in summer of 2014.

Judge grants $2.5M judgment against former Children's Theatre actor accused of sex assault

McLean now faces more than $8 million in judgments in Minnesota.

Three Minn. nonprofits get Bush Foundation grants of up to $500K

Nonprofits were among 81 applying for grants from the foundation.
Thousands of Gophers fans stormed the field after Minnesota's 31-26 victory over Penn State. Penn State played the Minnesota Gophers at TCF Bank Stadi

Giddy Gophers fans rush field after big win, kicking off wild celebrations

More than a dozen minor injuries were reported, including four that sent people to the hospital, but none serious, officials said.
Jason McLean at his restaurant, the Loring Pasta Bar, in Minneapolis' Dinkytown in the summer of 2014.

Attorneys seek $2.5M more from ex-Children's Theatre actor Jason McLean in sex abuse case

More than $6 million in judgments have already been filed against McLean.
A police vehicle pulled up to Bloomington Jefferson High School while cars waited to pick students.

Stabbing at Bloomington Jefferson HS puts student in hospital, another in custody

The severity of the victim's injuries was unclear, but police chief said she's in stable condition at HCMC.
CTC managing director Kimberly Motes apologized on behalf of the theater directly to survivor Laura Stearns during Friday's news conference. Jeff Ande

Children's Theatre reaches settlements in remaining sex abuse cases

The theater will contribute $500,000 to start a fund to support survivors.
Jason McLean at his restaurant, the Loring Pasta Bar, in Minneapolis' Dinkytown in the summer of 2014.

Ex-Children's Theatre teacher accused of abuse returns to U.S.

Jason McLean, who faces more than $6 million in judgments against him, resurfaced in Oakland, Calif., where he owns a restaurant and bar called Small Wonder.
Antonio Kelly peeked into a salon where residents can get haircuts at Dorothy Day Place, where Kelly has an apartment after three years with no home.

'Somewhere to lay my head': $100M shelter opens in St. Paul

The new Dorothy Day Residence — the largest public-private partnership of its kind in Minnesota history — is the latest addition in the Twin Cities to tackle the shortage in affordable housing.
Yellow law enforcement line with police car and lights in the background.

Fatal police encounters since 2000

The Star Tribune collected the names and stories of everyone who died after a physical confrontation with law enforcement in Minnesota since January 2000, and continues to update this database as new incidents occur.
Earlier this year, the Science Museum of Minnesota received a $1 million grant to update its “RACE: Are We So Different?” exhibit, which debuted i

Minnesota nonprofits putting new focus on issues of race

As the state's demographics grow more diverse, nonprofits are taking a look at everything from their leadership positions to how they retain employees of color and use their resources.
Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns shops with Jaidon Jackson, 8, of Rosemount, whose father is in the Minnesota Army National Guard, during their

Minnesota Timberwolves, Lynx combine philanthropy efforts, launch new grant program

The teams are launching a new grant program and boosting employee volunteering.
COMPAS teaching artist Sharra Frank, left, worked with Tammi Reeves during a mosaic-making art class at Avivo, a nonprofit expanding its arts program

Free Twin Cities art workshops teach people will mental illness new skills, boost confidence

For people living with mental health troubles, free art workshops teach new skills and boost confidence.
Rebecca Crooks-Stratton of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community says there are “no modern Indians in textbooks.”

Shakopee Sioux announce $5 million campaign to boost Indian education in Minnesota schools

It will fund classroom resources, training.
The Historic Fort Snelling site, a Minnesota landmark for centuries, could get a new name. The Minnesota Historical Society, which manages the histori

Public weighs in on proposed Historic Fort Snelling name change

Historical Society seeks input on proposal to rename 23-acre site, not the fort
Volunteers Rita Kolodjski left, and Terri Jones sorted through foods donated by the East Side Neighborhood Services mobile food shelf at Bassett Creek

Hennepin County plans to cut funding for nonprofits that provide food for people in need

Nonprofits say move would be shortsighted; county says it needs to fund other services.
Survivor Jina Penn-Tracy, who said she was abused from 1983 to 1985 by Jason McLean and Children’s Theatre co-founder John Clark Donahue, became emo

Children's Theatre, Twin Cities theater community try to heal after abuse

Some survivors say CTC is doing too little, too late.
Women and children ate lunch at the Project Home Day Center, Ramsey County's only day shelter for homeless families, on Sept. 19 in St. Paul.

St. Paul nonprofit rescues county's only day shelter for homeless families

St. Paul day center reopens with new name
Colleen Moriarty, executive director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota (center), stood alongside other nonprofit leaders in opposition to the federal gove

More than 35,000 Minnesotans could lose access to food stamps under proposed change

Federal agriculture officials say it will close a loophole that allowed people with high incomes to get food stamps, and will prevent "abuse of a critical safety net system."
Volunteers with The Sheridan Story distributed meals at a south Minneapolis elementary school. The Sheridan Story received a revolving credit line fro

With $1.1 billion in assets, the St. Paul-based Otto Bremer Trust is expanding to Montana and eastern Wisconsin

Foundation's reach grows in Wisconsin, Montana.
Heidi Fellner of Minneapolis, right, waved to passing cars as she stood with fellow protesters outside the theater organized by survivors of sexual as

Children's Theatre hosts open forum in the wake of sex abuse lawsuit settlements

About 45 people attended gathering Monday night.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison speaks after a bill signing ceremony in July. Ellison said that the former board was “asleep at the switch

Minn. nonprofit used nearly $1M to fund for-profit businesses, AG says

After a three-year investigation, Praying Pelican Missions was ordered to overhaul its polices and leadership.
Inquilinxs Unidxs (United Renters for Justice) organized a protest in June. The organization has been chosen to receive a grant from the OneMPLS Fund.

Minneapolis Foundation announces $500,000 in grants to boost resources for renters

The focus on housing is in direct response to last year's Minneapolis homeless camp, one of the largest settlements ever seen in the state.
Target corporate headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.

Target Foundation announces new funding focus for Twin Cities nonprofits

The foundation is paying for training for nonprofits to navigate the transition.
Heidi Fellner of Minneapolis, right, waved to passing cars as she stood with fellow protesters outside the theater organized by survivors of sexual as

Children's Theatre Company settles 7th sex-abuse lawsuit

"Still work to be done," victim's lawyer says; Children's still faces eight more cases.
FILE ART For Northern Lights Project -

What's the best place, time to see the northern lights in Minnesota?

Although the lights can be seen any time of year, spring and fall, especially September and March, are the best chances to see the northern lights in Minnesota.
Jess Steinbrenner, left, met Angie Leitch, who moved to Fergus Falls in June, via the town’s “grab-a-bite” project to welcome newcomers.

Between 30 and 49 years old? New initiatives are recruiting you to move to rural Minnesota

Across the state, more than a dozen efforts have popped up to bring in new and young people.
Hilary Thimmesh, who served as the president of St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., died Aug. 11, 2019 at the age of 91.

Hilary Thimmesh, former St. John's University president, dies at 91

At St. John's, he ditched his initial plans to go into journalism and took his parish priest's suggestion to enter the novitiate.
Fire consumes the Amazon rainforest in Altamira, Brazil, on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Fires across the Brazilian Amazon have sparked an international ou

How can Minnesotans help the Amazon rainforest amid fires? Local nonprofits offer some ideas

Events thousands of miles away can prompt action close to home, leaders of Twin Cities groups say.
Reenactors fired off their 1816 Harper’s Ferry muskets during an infantry demonstration Saturday at Historic Fort Snelling.

Minnesota Historical Society considers name change for Historic Fort Snelling site

The name of the fort itself won't change.
Anthony Desnick of Cycling Without Age picked up Sister Susan Smith and Sister Rosalind Gefre for a ride from their home Carondelet Village, through S

Minn. nursing homes embrace Danish cycling idea that puts older adults on wheels

Cycling Without Age gives older adults with limited mobility a thrilling change of scene on electric bikes.
Lee Roper-Batker is retiring in January after nearly two decades at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota. Earlier this year she said she wants to mak

Twin Cities nonprofits search for a new generation of leaders

Retirements clear a path for the next generation.
From left, Pastor Roosevelt Williams, Analyah Schlaeger dos Santos, Khloe Davis and Makayla Freeman stood among the solar panels on the roof of Shiloh

Minneapolis Foundation's new fund helps three nonprofits address climate change in low-income neighborhoods

Grants will fund energy audits, car-sharing promotion and other community efforts.
John Wilgers, president and CEO of Greater Twin Cities United Way

Greater Twin Cities United Way tries new fundraising tactics as revenue drops by $7 million

The agency said it expected revenue declines — this year down by $7 million — as it retools.
Colbie Savageau,10, runs an experiment to test what antibacterial agents work best with the help of her aunt Jeanine Huberty.

Science Museum of Minnesota to shut down popular Cell Lab

The museum will close the Cell Lab on Sept. 6.
The temperature climbed into the mid-90s on Sunday, but Minnesotans found ways to stay cool. A boy does a backflip off a bridge over Lake of the Isles

Hot and muggy hour after hour today, even after sunset, for Twin Cities

Heat advisory covers until at least 10 p.m., prompts cautionary message from National Weather Service.
Attorney Jeff Anderson held up a cast photo of Laura Stearns, at left, when she was 13, a year before her sexual abuse started at the Children’s The

Plaintiffs in sex abuse cases against the Children's Theatre to protest insurance company

Laura Stearns contends that jurors had no idea that insurance companies were on the hook, not CTC, for paying any damages in her case.
Nawal Noor was named one of 24 Bush Foundation fellows this year. She plans to expand her business and pursue national leadership opportunities.

Somali American is trailblazer in a construction field with few women, people of color

As a developer and general contractor, Nawal Noor is leading efforts to diversify the industry.
Rocker Alice Cooper and his wife, Sheryl Goddard, posed with actor Johnny Depp on the red carpet at the River Centre in St. Paul, at the 2016 Starkey

Starkey ends its celebrity-packed Twin Cities gala

The Starkey Hearing Foundation's high-profile, red carpet gala — the biggest celebrity event in Minnesota each year — is ending after a nearly 20-year run.Since…
assistant recruiter Aaron Jennings talked with potential workers Ibsa Mussa, center, and Abdulaziz Abdullah about signing up to work as 2020 census ta

Minnesota nonprofits, foundations lead the way to boost 2020 census turnout

Nonprofits are working to increase awareness about the 2020 census
A mother loon and her two babies cruised the waters of Lake Elora in St. Louis County shortly after they hatched and left their nest.

Minn. DNR warns boaters not to hit loons on lakes this summer

Loons frequently nest and raise their young in areas where boaters may be speeding by and loon chicks can't dive for safety or fly until they are more than two months old.
The governor’s office said the fuel shortage is caused by “unanticipated events” at refineries in other states disrupting the normal supply of g

Gov. Walz issues executive order in response to Minn. fuel shortage

It aims to help fuel trucks deliver gas to stations that could run low.
Pollen Executive Director Jamie Millard, right, with her child Dani, offers employees a variety of benefits, including “summer Fridays.”

Bring your baby to work? Minnesota nonprofits tap unusual benefits to attract, retain employees

Nonprofits are tapping unusual benefits to attract and retain employees.
"Nothing confounds me or disappoints me more than that tax bill," U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said Monday at a meeting with foundation officials at Cargil

Minnesota foundations speak out about effect of tax law changes

With individual giving down, nonprofits struggle with how to move forward.
The new YMCA on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

Twin Cities YMCA partners with Google to host free workshops for families on internet safety

The free one-hour classes on online safety are the first of the kind for the YMCA in the Twin Cities.

Trailblazing Hennepin County probation officer Emmett 'Corky' Galloway dies

The 77-year-old was among the first black probation officers in Hennepin County.
Grant Wilson prepared to install a toilet in a house for Minnetonka’s Senior Community Services.

Funding for nonprofits serving elders shrinks as population grows

State's nonprofits struggle to find ways to increase donations
The Minnesota Vikings Foundation’s new food truck, dubbed the Vikings Table, will trek to Twin Cities neighborhoods to serve free healthy meals to k

Vikings Foundation launches food truck to serve Twin Cities kids in need

It's the first initiative for the Vikings Foundation, which launched in 2017.
Laura Stearns read a statement at a press conference at attorney Jeff Anderson’s office after a Minneapolis jury found the Children’s Theatre negl

Children's Theatre withdraws motion seeking court costs from sex abuse victim

The filing came a week after CTC issued a public apology to abuse victim.
Volunteer Tom Belting visited after he served rib dinners to guests Dolores Schmeidel, left, and Mary Jo Mileski at Loaves & Fishes’ Hopkins locatio

Innovative app helps Minnesota companies get leftover food to folks in need

Across the metro, the app is helping boost the number of companies able to find a home for extra food.
The headquarters of Wells Fargo, in downtown San Francisco.

Wells Fargo's Minnesota-based foundation pledges $1 billion to affordable housing

It's the latest company to shift how it gives money to nonprofits and communities.
Laura Stearns read a statement at a news conference at the office of attorney Jeff Anderson, at right, after a Minneapolis jury found the Children's T

CTC apologizes for seeking court costs from sex abuse victim

"Last week we failed in our commitment to be empathetic and respectful in our handling of our legal obligation," Children's Theatre Company artistic director Peter Brosius said.
Outreach workers, from left, Troy Murphy, Derion Enge and Angelique Ford helped tell homeless youths about the services provided at YouthLink in Minne

Minneapolis homeless youth drop-in center celebrates renovation, $6 million fundraising campaign

YouthLink is expanding its services to help more homeless youths.
A tow truck operator brought a cable to hook up to one of three vehicles that were stranded in deep water on Dodd Boulevard next to Lakeville North Hi

Strong winds and rain pummel Twin Cities, southern Minn.

Lakeville and the southern Twin Cities metro were among the areas swamped by thunderstorms.
Chris Belland, the new program and outreach manager of veterans relations for the Minnesota Historical Society, chatted with interpreter Steven Nikode

Minnesota Historical Society boosts veterans outreach with free fort admission for military members

Historic Fort Snelling offers free admission for military members for the first time.
Fresh Energy board member Nate Garbis attends the launch party for Solarama Crush, a special beer 56 Brewing released with the nonprofit, Fresh Energy

Minnesota nonprofits, breweries team up to boost fundraising, awareness

Tapping into the state's booming brewery scene is leading to new ways to raise money.
Among Wilder’s services is a food market on a bus, bringing affordable, fresh food to areas without healthful stores.

St. Paul's Wilder Foundation looks for new ways to boost donations

Nonprofit needs to stop drawing on its century-old endowment.
Logan Webster 10, left, Amani Powel,l 10, and Zach Weiner, 14, worked out at the Youth & Families Determined To Succeed facility in Minneapolis.

Nonprofit opens new wellness facility in north Minneapolis to combat obesity

It is part of a growing effort to address health disparities in the neediest parts of the city.
Hudda Ibrahim chatted with fellow residents at the St. Cloud Public Library.

St. Cloud teacher counters hate with sambusas and Somali tea

Somali refugee Hudda Ibrahim created the grassroots effort for people to ask frank questions and have civil conversation.
A preliminary rendering of the new Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities in north Minneapolis.

Growing nonprofit Big Brothers Big Sisters is moving to its own building in north Minneapolis

The nonprofit known for its mentoring programs will move in fall 2020.
People Serving People shelter in downtown Minneapolis.

Nonprofit wages surpass government salaries in Minnesota for first time

Low unemployment rates make hiring competitive with government sector.
United Way revenue, largely driven by workplace giving campaigns, has declined from a record $101.9 million in fiscal year 2014 to $76 million in 2017

Greater Twin Cities United Way announces new grants for 2019, part of new strategy

Almost 100 Twin Cities groups will get a share of the narrowed-focus funds.
Jessica Flatequal

Jessica Flatequal, Mankato community LGBT activist, dies

As a self-proclaimed "professional lesbian," she became a critical supporter for many students at Minnesota State.
Natasha Farhat celebrated her fifth year anniversary as a volunteer at People Serving People on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

More Minnesota companies are paying their employees to take time off to volunteer

With a tightening job market and low unemployment, adding such benefits can attract employees and boost retention.
Hunayn Anwar, a senior at Century High School (standing), served as president of International Court of Justice. This is Anwar's third year at Model U

YMCA expands effort to get Minnesota kids more politically involved

New efforts aim to help educate and mobilize the next generation of civic leaders.
A winter tradition at Camp du Nord near Ely, Minn., involves avantouinti — Finnish for “ice-hole swimming.”

From saunas to snowshoeing, northern Minnesota's Camp du Nord hosts a peaceful winter escape

Camp du Nord is known for its summer family camps. But winter is increasingly a draw for adults, couples and women's groups.
For the lucky and patient observer, the northern lights can be a life-changing experience, dancing in the northern sky like an opening night show. Min

Saturday was the night for a good chance to see the northern lights in Minnesota

A geomagnetic storm means that there is stronger solar activity.
Susie Brown, new president of Minnesota Council on Foundations.

Minnesota Council on Foundations names new leader

Susie Brown had been the chief operations officer for the Minnesota State Bar, Hennepin County Bar and Ramsey County Bar Associations and Foundations.
The homeless encampment near Hiawatha and Cedar avenues in Minneapolis in November.

State's homeless population reaches record high number

At least 10,233 people are homeless, the most since 1991.

24 Midwesterners win up to $100,000 each from Bush Foundation to pursue big dreams

Each of the 24 people get up to $100,000 to enhance their leadership skills.
Eric Reller, master grower with Second Harvest Heartland, took stock of the plants growing in a shipping container at the organization's warehouse in

Minn. food bank turns shipping container into lettuce farm

Second Harvest Heartland wants to provide more fresh produce, so it stepped up to grow its own in a hydroponic environment in a shipping container.
Attorney General Keith Ellison spoke at the end Friday prayer at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., on Friday, March 15, 2019. He was

Minnesota Muslim leaders condemn deadly mosque attacks in New Zealand

Police are stepping up patrols this weekend at mosques after the deadly shooting.
Pam Philipp is the director of “head fairy” at Operation Glass Slipper, a nonprofit that outfits teen girls in need with prom dresses each year. A

Minnesota nonprofit set to hold final prom dress giveaway for teens in need

The "fairy godmothers" behind Operation Glass Slipper are retiring, leaving the nonprofit's future uncertain.