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Shannon Prather

Reporter | Philanthropy and the nonprofit community
phone: 612-673-4804
Shannon Prather covers philanthropy and the nonprofit community. She joined the Star Tribune in 2013. Shannon graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has worked for daily newspapers in Idaho, California and Minnesota for nearly two decades. She's won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Recent content from Shannon Prather
Salvation Army hopes young bell ringers refresh red kettle campaign

Salvation Army hopes young bell ringers refresh red kettle campaign

This year there's a concerted effort to attract teens and young adults for help.
Give to the Max 2017 sails past $20 million record goal

Give to the Max 2017 sails past $20 million record goal

Unlike in past years, the day went seamlessly en route to topping the $20.1 million mark.
St. Thomas gets record $50 million gift from grateful alum

St. Thomas gets record $50 million gift from grateful alum

GHR Foundation's gift is the largest ever given to a Minnesota college or university for scholarships.
A Minnesota couple's love story leads to a philanthropic legacy

A Minnesota couple's love story leads to a philanthropic legacy

Gerald and Henrietta Rauenhorst worked their way out of hard times with the goal of making a difference. Their legacy is GHR Foundation, one of Minnesota's largest philanthropic organizations.
Give to the Max Day raises $6.5 million in first 7 hours

Give to the Max Day raises $6.5 million in first 7 hours

Campaign launches ninth year with hopes that technical gremlins are in the past.
U.S. Bank invests $1 million so Minnesotans can play

U.S. Bank invests $1 million so Minnesotans can play

So far, 16 community groups have benefited.
Minnesota nonprofits, foundations come out against House tax plan

Minnesota nonprofits, foundations come out against House tax plan

State's nonprofit sector fears the worst from proposed GOP overhaul.
Phyllis Wheatley Community Center director says she was forced out

Phyllis Wheatley Community Center director says she was forced out

Brianna Miller says she resigned against her will after only four months.
Augsburg's StepUP sober dorm offers students in recovery second chance at success

Augsburg's StepUP sober dorm offers students in recovery second chance at success

StepUP has been giving students a second chance for 20 years and counting.
Gillette Children's hospital celebrates 120th, still a rarity in the treatment of children with disabilities

Gillette Children's hospital celebrates 120th, still a rarity in the treatment of children with disabilities

Nonprofit is still only one of a handful offering long-term care for rare disorders and injuries.
Struggling Maplewood church finds new life by living 'like you are dying'

Struggling Maplewood church finds new life by living 'like you are dying'

Christ United Methodist Church opted to partner with a public school, a local mosque and neighbor families of all faiths.
Record-breaking 9,000 bikes donated to Minn. nonprofit in 4 hours

Record-breaking 9,000 bikes donated to Minn. nonprofit in 4 hours

The response shattered goal of Free Bikes 4 Kidz, which is getting ready for its holiday distribution.
Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies leads in disaster work

Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies leads in disaster work

The Eden Prairie-based organization gave $47.4 million to disaster relief and recovery efforts last year, the most of any philanthropy in Minnesota.
AG forces Minnesota for-profit theater group to end nonprofit foundation

AG forces Minnesota for-profit theater group to end nonprofit foundation

Owners of the National Theatre for Children agreed not to create any new nonprofits in which they held more than 3 percent of the shares.
5 YouTube megastars that kids (and parents) should know

5 YouTube megastars that kids (and parents) should know

These five YouTubers have garnered millions of views (and millions of dollars) for their goofy antics.    PewDiePie Real name: Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg. Subscribers:…
Free Bikes 4 Kidz aims to smash world record

Free Bikes 4 Kidz aims to smash world record

Free Bikes 4 Kidz hopes to collect 5,513 used bicycles Saturday, which would break its own world record from 2015.

New website lets nonprofits rate foundations that fund them

Goal is to give Minnesota foundations more candid feedback from applicants.

Merger creates one-stop shop for Minnesota nonprofits

Merger of resource groups combines strategy, loans.
Angel of Hope Garden spreads its wings in Maple Grove

Angel of Hope Garden spreads its wings in Maple Grove

Maple Grove expanding paved area around a statue where people honor lost loved ones.
Marion Etzwiler, Minneapolis Foundation trailblazer, dies at 88

Marion Etzwiler, Minneapolis Foundation trailblazer, dies at 88

The 88-year-old died Sunday at her Minneapolis home, four weeks after a brain tumor was diagnosed.
Not like pulling teeth: Nonprofits investing in children's oral hygiene

Not like pulling teeth: Nonprofits investing in children's oral hygiene

Several philanthropies are pouring millions of dollars into dental care for working class and low-income Minnesota families, seeking to give poor kids the kind of healthy smile that will boost self-esteem and ease entry into the workforce.
Ex-CEO of Microsoft, L.A. Clippers owner donates $20 million to St. Paul nonprofit College Possible

Ex-CEO of Microsoft, L.A. Clippers owner donates $20 million to St. Paul nonprofit College Possible

Gift from Steve Ballmer, which is unrestricted, will be dispensed to the St. Paul-based nonprofit over a 10-year period.
Old Dorothy Day homeless shelter demolished to make room for new Catholic Charities campus

Old Dorothy Day homeless shelter demolished to make room for new Catholic Charities campus

Phase II of the $100 million project is scheduled to be finished in 2019.

With first men's conference, Women's Foundation broadens message

"Many Faces of Manhood" is part of effort to pull men into the conversation.
Minnesotans gear up to help hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and at home

Minnesotans gear up to help hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and at home

Relief workers and volunteers are heading to Texas, and now Florida, to help storm victims.

Minnesota Red Cross sends more workers ahead of Hurricane Irma

Nearly 60 Minnesota disaster workers already are deployed to the Texas Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Minnesota disaster volunteers deploy to help with Irma in Florida

As volunteers continue to work in Texas, others are preparing to clean up after Irma in Florida.
Minnesota group fights opioid deaths by passing out free antidote

Minnesota group fights opioid deaths by passing out free antidote

The aim is to distribute up to 24,000 doses this year.
Minnesota Humane Society staff travels to Houston to bring back pets for adoption

Minnesota Humane Society staff travels to Houston to bring back pets for adoption

Humane Society staff will bring shelter animals from flooded areas in Texas.
Minnesota Red Cross sends volunteers and aid to Texas after hurricane

Minnesota Red Cross sends volunteers and aid to Texas after hurricane

Dozens from Minnesota helping hurricane victims.
On Franklin Avenue, a celebration of street life Sunday with Open Streets

On Franklin Avenue, a celebration of street life Sunday with Open Streets

A nearly 2-mile stretch between from Portland to 28th avenues S. will be closed to vehicle traffic so residents can explore and celebrate their neighborhood on foot, bike or skates.

7 hurt when car plows into Minneapolis butcher shop

A Honda punched a hole in the corner of Valerie's Carniceria on Nicollet Avenue, according to photos posted on social media.

Austin woman dies in house fire

Firefighters pulled her from the burning house, but she died at the scene, police said.
Suspect arrested in shooting of bystander in downtown Minneapolis

Suspect arrested in shooting of bystander in downtown Minneapolis

Tuesday night's gunfire was the latest to plague downtown.
Vikings launch new foundation aimed at kids' health, disparities

Vikings launch new foundation aimed at kids' health, disparities

New, more hands-on charity replaces the team's 39-year-old Vikings Children's Fund.

Record year for charitable gambling also means record taxes

Spending on nonprofit bar games rising dramatically.
New class of Minnesota business invests in doing good

New class of Minnesota business invests in doing good

Public-benefit corporations serve shareholders – and a greater good.
Books for Africa sends record 3.1 million books in a year

Books for Africa sends record 3.1 million books in a year

The number of books shipped by the St. Paul group jumped by 26 percent — nearly 636,000 books — in a year's time.
Animal Humane Society to close Buffalo shelter

Animal Humane Society to close Buffalo shelter

Officials say facility was 'underutilized,' and group is in good financial shape.
Minnesota mom works to take 'fear out of food allergies'

Minnesota mom works to take 'fear out of food allergies'

Peanut-free sports games, epinephrine in schools part of Nona Narvaez's advocacy work.
Walking among the bluebirds of Northfield

Walking among the bluebirds of Northfield

St. Olaf and Carleton colleges are part of an effort to restore the native bluebird population.
Super Bowl nonprofit leaving legacy of parks, play space for MN kids

Super Bowl nonprofit leaving legacy of parks, play space for MN kids

Hugo teaching kitchen and organic farm for Indian teens lands Legacy Fund award.
Mounds View's Mark Braun: From abandoned baby to athlete, advocate

Mounds View's Mark Braun: From abandoned baby to athlete, advocate

Braun, 23, is one of the fastest wheelchair sprinters in the United States and has his sights set on the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo.
For Minneapolis skating legend, sport was the 'love of his life'

For Minneapolis skating legend, sport was the 'love of his life'

Christopher "CJ" Tambornino brought home his first skateboard around the age of 7 and grew into a larger-than-life figure in the Twin Cities skate scene,…
Historians pick through former downtown Daytons

Historians pick through former downtown Daytons

The Macy's department store in downtown Minneapolis, once the flagship of the Dayton's retail dynasty, has entered the annals of history, and the Minnesota Historical Society is there to preserve its memory.
Summer Eats app helps Minnesota kids take bite out of hunger

Summer Eats app helps Minnesota kids take bite out of hunger

New app helps kids find the nearly 700 sites across the state serving free summer meals.
Habitat for Humanity welcomes first family in new open market program

Habitat for Humanity welcomes first family in new open market program

The family becomes the first locally to pick their own Habitat for Humanity home.
Minneapolis nonprofit aims to stop summer skills slide with simple solution: free books

Minneapolis nonprofit aims to stop summer skills slide with simple solution: free books

On the eve of summer vacation, two Minneapolis management consultants will give away 40,000 new books to Minneapolis first- and second-grade students — no strings…
Greater Twin Cities YMCA offers free summer access to teens

Greater Twin Cities YMCA offers free summer access to teens

In an effort to stem the rise of risky behaviors during the idle hours of summer, the Greater Twin Cities YMCA is offering free memberships…
Minn. Historical Society losing its preservation authority

Minn. Historical Society losing its preservation authority

Gov. Mark Dayton has succeeded in stripping the Minnesota Historical Society of its statutory authority as the state's preservation office, thanks to an omnibus bill passed by the House and Senate that awaits his signature.
Hennepin County, YMCA partner on water survival skills for kids

Hennepin County, YMCA partner on water survival skills for kids

New program will give swim lessons to low-income kids.
Pohlad Family Foundation to give $1 million in emergency grants to nonprofits hit hard by United Way shortfall

Pohlad Family Foundation to give $1 million in emergency grants to nonprofits hit hard by United Way shortfall

Several nonprofits funded by the United Way were told they would be cut.
Minn. venues meant for child's play take a timeout to give adults a chance

Minn. venues meant for child's play take a timeout to give adults a chance

Several Twin Cities attractions geared toward children are trying to broaden their appeal (and add to their bottom line) by offering more adults-only events.
Charges: Minnetonka couple ran national ring for sex trafficking from home

Charges: Minnetonka couple ran national ring for sex trafficking from home

Underage prostitution network spanned many states, investigators say.
Report: U fundraiser inappropriately touched, hugged female employee

Report: U fundraiser inappropriately touched, hugged female employee

The university's Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action determined Randy Handel "created an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment."
Nonprofit picks up the pieces after Community Action of Minneapolis falls to scandal

Nonprofit picks up the pieces after Community Action of Minneapolis falls to scandal

This month, Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin County dropped the suburban from its name and announced its "relaunch."
BLM leader DeRay Mckesson: 'Minnesota Nice' hurts equity efforts

BLM leader DeRay Mckesson: 'Minnesota Nice' hurts equity efforts

Mckesson, known for his protest work and activism across the country, was the keynote speaker at the Charities Review Council Forum in Minneapolis.
What's a fair salary to run a nonprofit? CEOs explain

What's a fair salary to run a nonprofit? CEOs explain

Many say top talent translates into the ability to help more people and spend donor money more strategically. Others say social service organizations should be appropriately modest.

Catholic Charites reaches $40M goal for new Dorothy Day Place in St. Paul

The next step is persuading legislators to provide $27 million in state bonds for the project.
Less than 1% of donations to Kars4Kids goes to Minnesota kids

Less than 1% of donations to Kars4Kids goes to Minnesota kids

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is taking aim at Kars4Kids, a New Jersey charity that spent less than one percent of the $3 million it raised from Minnesota donors on charitable programs in the state.
Greater Twin Cities United Way cuts its family violence program

Greater Twin Cities United Way cuts its family violence program

Groups are scrambling to close the gap after United Way's decision to pull back millions in funds.

Minnesota foundations create investment fund for financial, social returns

A group of foundations is coming together to invest in social, economic gains.
Dayton wants to strip Historical Society of its preservation role

Dayton wants to strip Historical Society of its preservation role

The agency would be more efficient and accountable if moved under state control, Gov. Mark Dayton says.
With $6M gap, United Way tells nonprofits they'll be getting less

With $6M gap, United Way tells nonprofits they'll be getting less

Hurt by targeted giving, the Twin Cities branch called 150 nonprofits to let them know their funding will be cut.
Greater Twin Cities United Way misses giving goal, lays off 9

Greater Twin Cities United Way misses giving goal, lays off 9

Greater Twin Cities United Way laid off nine staff members this week and will leave two vacant positions unfilled after missing its 2016 fundraising goals,…
Twin Cities nonprofit is offering $1 million for your big ideas

Twin Cities nonprofit is offering $1 million for your big ideas

Minneapolis-based GHR Foundation is upending conventions with its BridgeBuilder Challenge, which is offering $1 million annually for outside-the-box ideas.
Hennepin County's 10-year plan to end homelessness falls short

Hennepin County's 10-year plan to end homelessness falls short

A 10-year plan to end homelessness in Hennepin County has concluded short of its goal, with the number of homeless actually increasing slightly since 2007.…
Worst crisis in 70 years stirs Minnesotans to fight African famine

Worst crisis in 70 years stirs Minnesotans to fight African famine

Local agencies and individuals are moving quickly to feed the starving before the crisis in Africa becomes a large-scale catastrophe.
Minneapolis Foundation vows $50,000 for Jewish security measures

Minneapolis Foundation vows $50,000 for Jewish security measures

"The Faith in Each Other Fund" will help Jewish schools, community centers and synagogues increase security. Foundation leaders will set up a parallel defense fund for Muslims this spring.
Hospitals, teachers turn to play to help vulnerable kids build optimism, resilience

Hospitals, teachers turn to play to help vulnerable kids build optimism, resilience

Training based on science helps adult caregivers model resilience and optimism for their young clients.
Food-focused nonprofits cater to socially conscious couples

Food-focused nonprofits cater to socially conscious couples

A trio of Twin Cities food nonprofits eager to satisfy the appetites of socially conscious consumers has branched out into the catering business, and business is brisk.
U.N. global goals push Minnesota foundations to 'think globally, act locally'

U.N. global goals push Minnesota foundations to 'think globally, act locally'

Message of foundation leaders was to think globally but act locally.
Twin Cities charities compete March Madness-style in their own tournament

Twin Cities charities compete March Madness-style in their own tournament

Brackets for Good seeds 64 nonprofits in a tournament where they compete to be the highest fundraiser.
Torture victims find solace at St. Paul nonprofit center

Torture victims find solace at St. Paul nonprofit center

Now in its 33rd year, the Center for Victims of Torture has helped develop and lead the international rehabilitation movement, with U.S. and U.N. support.
Bush Foundation unveils plan to customize how students learn

Bush Foundation unveils plan to customize how students learn

The St. Paul-based foundation will devote most of the $7 million-plus it spends annually on education to the "School Design for Individualized Learning" initiative.
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