The Minneapolis Foundation awarded $80 million to worthy causes in Minnesota and around the world last year. That’s an average of nearly $220,000 a day, making it hard to wrap your head around the depth and breadth of that work.
Now the nonprofit — eager to better explain its mission, bolster community conversations and shape its future path — has launched an innovative website called OneMpls Community Hub (minneapolisfoundation.org/onempls).
The website underscores the foundation’s six core areas: arts and culture, civic engagement, community health, economic vitality, education, and environment and conservation. It offers quizzes, video clips and information on issues confronting the city, and provides links to many of the nonprofits that receive dollars from the Minneapolis Foundation.
It supplements rather than replaces the foundation’s more conventional website, minneapolisfoundation.org.
The Minneapolis Foundation rolled out the website earlier this month with new CEO R.T. Rybak, the former Minneapolis mayor, cheerleading the new online resource in an introductory video.
“Four hundred thousand people wake up every day in this beautiful place we call Minneapolis,” Rybak says in the video. “Tens of thousands more come to work and play. We all go our different ways, but you have to ask yourself: Where do we come together? When do we learn from each other? When do we ask questions? How do we create common ground? …
“We thought maybe it was time to try something just a little different.”
Information and dialogue
In the video, Rybak says the Community Hub website is a place not only to celebrate Minneapolis’ success stories but to provide information and conduct honest dialogue.
“It’s a place you go to see all sorts of great things about Minneapolis — our jobs, our park, our housing, all the things we love. But it’s also a place that will challenge us to do better,” he says.
The idea for the new website was born during the Minneapolis Foundation’s centennial celebration last year.
City leaders and community members gathered one day last September to toast the foundation’s 100th year and to talk about the future of the nonprofit and their city.
“They all came eager to learn about issues and solutions. They were interested in finding ways to connect with other people,” said Minneapolis Foundation spokeswoman Teresa Morrow.
Many left wanting more. Eager to keep those discussions going, staff began work on the online hub.
“In response to the hunger for information we heard from attendees at the Futurist Conference, we developed the hub to respond to that need in a timely and cost-effective way,” Morrow said. “While a conference for more than 2,500 attendees can cost in excess of $500,000, we can provide similar content in a highly accessible format for an initial investment of less than $20,000 to build the infrastructure. We can continue to tap internal resources to ensure ongoing content is fresh and relevant, which is very cost effective.”
Morrow said so far the average visitor to the Community Hub browses the site for 5 minutes. That’s 2 ½ times longer than the average visitor spends on the foundation’s flagship website.
“The hub is a great way for people to learn, engage and make change,” Morrow said.