Staff Directory 188067161

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
The Minnesota Historical Society and the American Institute of Architects Minnesota will launch public tours and lectures about the state’s architec

Minnesota Historical Society to offer architecture lectures, tours

Historical society, architects plan tours of iconic structures.
Anne Webb, historian and college professor

Anne Webb, professor who researched women on the frontier, dies at 87

One of the original faculty members of Metro State, Webb was a pioneer in her own right.
An artist's creation of a chuppah, which is what the bride and groom stand under during a Hasidic Jewish wedding ceremony.

Couple plans traditional Jewish Hasidic wedding, a rarity in Minnesota

The bride and groom have been separated for the week leading up to the wedding. They will come together minutes before the ceremony so the…
Teens play basketball at a branch of the Greater Twin Cities YMCA. The YMCA is offering free summer memberships to high school students. Signup starts

YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities expands its free summer program for teens

The nonprofit is giving away 6,250 teen memberships valid from June 4 to Aug. 31.
Essence Bell-Williams, left, 10, kept the ball from Helena Wheeler, 10, during after-school gym time at Plymouth Christian Youth Center in Minneapolis

After-school program cuts leave thousands of Minnesota kids without somewhere to go

As funding continues to decline, thousands have nowhere to go.
Kera LaSure played with her daughter Thalia Mims, 2, in their Maplewood split-level, which LaSure was able to buy through Habitat for Humanity’s ope

Habitat for Humanity's new Open Market buying program gives families more choice

Habitat for Humanity finds success in helping families buy homes.
Susan Haigh

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity CEO Sue Haigh retires after 13 years

Her tenure included helping 681 families buy homes, opening two Habitat Restores, and repairing and painting nearly 1,500 homes through its national trailblazing Brush With Kindness program.
Scott Fischbach, left, of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, and Jennifer Aulwes of Planned Parenthood.

Minn. reacts to Trump's move to block federal funds for clinics with abortion services

Minnesota opponents of abortion celebrated the move, while Planned Parenthood warned of upheaval for patients.
A cyclist on the West River Parkway bike path rode beneath the Short Line bridge.

Thousands expected to pedal to the office for Twin Cities Bike to Work Day

The Friday event includes pit stops and downtown celebrations for cyclists.
Heather Rome shopped for her fifth-grade classroom. She teaches at Learning for Leadership charter school in Columbia Heights. Twenty five teachers we

Roseville foundation gives away $1 billion in school supplies for kids in need

The Kids In Need Foundation provides school supplies and a sense of normalcy for kids.
Greater Twin Cities United Way CEO Sarah Caruso will retire in July.

Twin Cities United Way CEO to retire as fundraising lags

Sarah Caruso has been president and CEO for nine years, leading the agency to record revenues in 2014. But fundraising has fallen sharply in recent years.
At 360 Communities Food Shelf in Burnsville, Sophia Bond stocks the produce bins with yams. Minnesotans visited food shelves 3.4 million times in 2017

Minnesota food shelves are serving more people than ever

Even as people have returned to work after the recession, food shelf use by adults has risen 11 percent since 2012.
The Minnesota Historical Society announced that its governing board has appointed Kent Whitworth as director and CEO, effective July 1.

Minnesota Historical Society names new CEO from Kentucky

Kent Whitworth has helped the Kentucky Historical Society broaden the stories it tells.
William Carlson waited outside Catholic Charities on Wednesday for the shelter to open. Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis is dropping its

Catholic Charities cuts refugee resettlement, adoption work

The charity will instead focus on fighting homelessness and helping at-risk kids.
Ayub Mohamed, center, 14, gets his hands dirty mixing together ground beef with blueberries, oatmeal and spices to make healthy burgers during class a

Twin Cities YMCA focuses on food along with fitness

Fresh food is helping teach fresh habits about nutrition.
Maya Tackaberry, in red, posed for a photo with fellow inductees following an induction ceremony to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society Thursday.

Foundation's microgrants help young women lead change

The Women's Foundation says this funding can help move ideas into action.
Jon Slock, above, who got several requests for photos of his duct tape suit at a recent gala.

Why Twin Cities charities are ditching black-tie galas for informal fundraising

Nonprofits are refashioning their black-tie fundraising galas as more informal evenings with themes that tie guests to their broader missions.
Audrey Kenyon, with son Mason, has steadied her finances with help from Prepare + Prosper. “It’s completely life-changing.”

Nonprofit Prepare + Prosper helps Minnesota families claim $24.6 million at tax time

Group offers free tax prep as a path to savings, security.
Registered nurses and staff teach high school students about caring for patients in a training room at Childrenís Hospital in Minneapolis.

Big Brothers Big Sisters expands to reach teens, young adults

Nonprofit stretches to help more kids, offering guidance even into adult years.
R.T. Rybak, president and CEO of the Minneapolis Foundation

Minneapolis Foundation enjoys record year, raising $100 million

The Minneapolis Foundation raised a record $100 million in charitable gifts last year as Minnesotans increasingly used the foundation's donor-advised funds to give to good causes. Over the years, those donations have gone to educational institutions, environmental conservation, arts and community health.
“United Way used to be our primary funder, and we relied heavily on them,” said
Theartrice Williams, interim executive director at Phyllis Wheatle

In wake of United Way cuts, nonprofits dive into fundraising

  Merrick Community Services has unveiled a new logo and website touting its nonprofit community roots — caring for St. Paul’s East Side since 1908…
Mark Scheidhauer

Mark Scheidhauer, banker and community leader, dies at 61

Giving back was a guiding principle of Mark Scheidhauer's life.Scheidhauer, a banker at Wells Fargo, used his business acumen to lead the Wayzata Area Crime…
United Way President and CEO Sarah Caruso

Revenue drops by $10 million for Twin Cities United Way

CEO Sarah Caruso said the decline comes as no surprise as the way people choose to give is changing dramatically. "This is the new reality," she said.
97 million pounds: The amount that Twin Cities-based Second Harvest Heartland, among the nation’s top two food banks, gives away each year, nearly h

Innovative food rescue efforts allow food bank to give away fresh food

Twin Cities-based Second Harvest Heartland food bank is a national leader in the movement.
Osman Mohamed Ali, center, gave a tour of the Somali Museum of Minnesota to a visiting delegation including Donald Yamamoto, acting assistant secretar

First-ever Somali exhibit at Minnesota History Center opens in June

The new display at the St. Paul museum aims to help teach Minnesotans about their Somali neighbors.
Detrick Cheairs, above, said he and his 7-year-old daughter, De’Liyah, “are so blessed” to have moved into Minneapolis’ Hawthorne EcoVillage.

EcoVillage provides infusion of affordable, green housing in north Minneapolis

The idea: Safe, affordable homes are essential to improving student performance, which leads to better-paying jobs, happier families and more vibrant neighborhoods.
Minnesota Sen. Scott Dibble got a hug from Monica Meyer, executive director of OutFront Minnesota at a 2016 vigil. OutFront is partnering with Dibble

After marriage victory, OutFront Minnesota pivots to transgender rights

OutFront Minnesota turns its attention to transgender rights, safety after marriage equality win.
Mayor Jacob Frey helped cut the ribbon on the newest $30 million investment on Nicollet Mall Tuesday — the Douglas Dayton YMCA at Gaviidae.A dramati

YMCA opens new $30M downtown Minneapolis location at Gaviidae

Mayor Jacob Frey led the cheers for the new facility, named for the late retail magnate and Y benefactor Douglas Dayton.

Report: State, not the historical society, should control preservation office

Legislative Auditor James Nobles said the preservation office influences development and should be controlled by the state government, not the independent Minnesota Historical Society.
Carter Chabot, 6, of Plymouth admired his creation with his mom, Melissa.

St. Paul's Science Museum to focus on homegrown science, events

It is turning away from traveling blockbusters like "Body Worlds," and shows on Pompei and King Tut.
Statements made by Charles Lindbergh in the 1930s and ’40s have tarnished his image, but efforts to tell a more complete story are taking shape.

Minnesota Historical Society broadens how it tells the state's history

The group is part of efforts to tell a fuller, if sometimes painful, story about Minnesota's past.
Minnesota engineers Greg Brucker and Kellen O’Brien work with local men to prepare the building site for a new water storage tank in Milla Tres, Hon

Minnesota volunteers bring water to people around the world

The Minnesota chapter of Engineers Without Borders is helping a mountain village in Honduras build a new water treatment and distribution system.
Malik Staples, left, Carieon Curry-Lerma, Mya Hairston and Malaya Perry tried on heart shaped sunglass at the early childhood services center at Phyll

Theartrice Williams returns to restore confidence in Phyllis Wheatley Center

The former civil rights leader said he wants the venerable north Minneapolis nonprofit to find new community partners, shore up existing programs and expand.
Justin Timberlake performs at the Super Bowl hafltime show at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

Enthusiastic fans settle in to the Super Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium

The mood in the stadium was enthusiastic at kickoff, and the crowd continued to roar as the game got underway. Eagles fans seemed to outnumber Patriots fans — or at least have a louder fan base, chanting in the concourses, waving handkerchiefs and offering hugs and high-fives to surrounding fans.
Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes attended Saturday night’s Big Game Big Give party in Edina. The charity gala was emceed by Jamie Foxx, with a goal

Big Game Big Give party in Edina attracts celebs

Party proceeds go to a dozen Minnesota charities and a national fund designed to promote philanthropy.
Anne Doepner, Vikings director of football administration, addressed people attending the NFL “In the Huddle” Women’s Summit on Friday at the Pa

Women are playing a bigger role in NFL

Women are the fastest growing segment of the NFL's fan base with 86 million tuning in last season.
Rapid results: Costume crafts artisan Sam Haddow, top, and scenic artist Rebecca Pavlenko prepared for the Guthrie’s production of “Indecent,” o

Twin Cities foundation has unusual goal for its money: Spend it all

The Robina Foundation, started in 2004 by former Honeywell executive James H. Binger, could be out of business by decade's end on explicit orders from the late Binger himself.
“If we are still punishing someone for a 40-year-old mistake, what does someone just leaving prison face?” asked Emily Hunt Turner, whose restaura

Gourmet grilled cheese eatery aims to give ex-offenders a 2nd chance

Nonprofit restaurant will help ex-offenders rise above the stigma.
Construction workers installed part of the spa in the pool area at the new Douglas Dayton YMCA at Gaviidae in Minneapolis, which opens on Friday. Work

New downtown Minneapolis YMCA offers fitness facilities and centers for wellbeing, equity

Unique YMCA on Nicollet Mall, opening Friday, to hone body, mind and spirit.
Marla Butler of Plymouth sorted books at St. Paul-based charity Books for Africa, which Tom Warth started 30 years ago and turned into one of the stat

For 30 years, Books for Africa gets Minnesota books to the neediest in the world

Since 1988, Books for Africa has sent 40 million books across the Atlantic, stocked nearly 100 African law libraries and shipped electronic tablets loaded with nearly two million title
The church’s evening services include candles, poetry and scripture, and music in a contemplative setting.

St. Paul night services speak to those who feel exiled from church tradition

Pilgrim Lutheran Church offers night services in Celtic, Nordic and compline traditions.
FILE - This Jan. 5, 2017, file photo shows Jamie Foxx at the premiere of "Sleepless," in Los Angeles. The Oscar-winning actor soon will jet into the T

Big Game Big Give promises lavish Super Bowl party in Edina

Annual Big Game Big Give event attracts some of the world's biggest celebrities.
Holocaust survivor Dora Zaidenweber laughed when she saw her portrait among those in the “Transfer of Memory” exhibit.

MSP Airport features Transfer of Memory Holocaust exhibit during Super Bowl

"Transfer of Memory," portraits of survivors who came to Minnesota, to be shown through Super Bowl.
Coon Rapids High School assistant principals DeMann Seals (left) and Shannon Madison dressed up as superheros to launch the school’s “Kindness Mat

Coon Rapids High School launches kindness campaign

It consists of contests, challenges, charity drives, pep fests, posters and more throughout the year.
Quentin Moore, right, directs annual giving at the YMCA. Here he’s part of a meditation class at the soon-to-open Y.

Wellbeing Center to be part of new downtown Minneapolis YMCA

George Family Foundation is a partner behind the first-of-its-kind center focusing on self-care.

Former UW-Stout basketball player dies in Costa Rica plane crash

Amanda Geissler among 12 people who died on small plane in Costa Rica.
A cross-country skier streaked past the Trailhead, the year-round lodge that’s being built at Theodore Wirth Park. It will rent equipment for all fo

The Trailhead at Wirth Park to offer year-round outdoor fun

Winter sports enthusiasts at Wirth were getting an early taste of what's to come. Trails are open and cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals are available seven days a week.
Clinicians work at Allina Health's full service clinical testing lab in Minneapolis on Dec. 20, 2016. Allina Health is restricting visitors at its 12

Allina restricts hospital visitors during flu season

With flu season upon us, infections easily transmitted in health care settings.
Simmie Hinton

Obituary: Longtime Metro Transit driver Simmie Hinton engaged everyone in his path

Simmie Hinton was a master of the art of casual conversation.Hinton chatted up thousands of folks during his 28 years as a Metro Transit bus…
Firefighters battled this fatal house fire in Hibbing that left four people dead.

Minnesota fire deaths look to spike in 2017 after fatal blazes at year's end

Authorities say cooking and candles often are to blame for more fires near the holidays.
From left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump applaud as House Speaker Paul Ryan of W

Minnesota nonprofits and foundations fear more pain with new tax law

The groups worry that as fewer taxpayers itemize, donations will plummet.
Cookies with Santa is one of several joint events regularly hosted by WHY Church and the Elk River YMCA.

WHY Church welcomes those questioning, new to organized religion

Elk River Christian congregation is eager to help folks tackle deep, sometimes thorny questions and experience church in a different way.
Breanna Buckhalton shops for groceries with her 4-month-old daughter Celina. Breanna Buckhalton was sexually abused as a child and was in the criminal

Twin Cities YMCA expands the circle for girls escaping trauma

YMCA going beyond gyms to offer social services.
A young resident at People Serving People didn’t quite know how to handle the excitement of sitting with Santa Claus on Tuesday morning.

Amazon elves drop off $15,000 of gifts and supplies at Minneapolis shelter for families

Amazon's elves dropped off $15,000 in gifts and supplies at a Minneapolis homeless shelter.
This check, with identifying information obscured at the donor’s request, gave the Salvation Army’s seasonal campaign a big boost.

$200K check lands in Salvation Army kettle in south Twin Cities metro

The donor wished to remain anonymous, the Salvation Army said.
The 2019 Final Four logo features four shimmering stars (representing its four trips to Minneapolis), four green trees and a little Mississippi River

2019 Final Four logo pays tribute to past tournaments in Mpls.

The organizing committee revealed the logo Friday as part of its official launch.
Kate Mortenson, president and CEO of 2019 Minneapolis Final Four Local Organizing Committee.

Madness for 2019 Final Four in Mpls. will launch Friday

On Friday, planners will unveil event logo more than a year ahead of March Madness.
Christy Vasquez bagged potatoes with Lonnie West, left, last month at the Union Gospel Mission. In years past, the mission, which relies solely on pri

After waves of disasters, some nonprofits fear donor fatigue during critical holiday fundraising

Some worry that donors will be too tapped out just when groups get the bulk of their gifts at the end of the year.
Is Minnesota charitable? It depends on the numbers

Is Minnesota charitable? It depends on the numbers

One analysis has state as third most charitable while another has us 41st.
D. Stephen Elliott, director and CEO of the Minnesota Historical Society, will retire from his position, effective June 1, 2018.

Minn. Historical Society CEO who pushed Native American initiatives is retiring

Elliott raised attendance, pushed for more inclusive view of state's history.
The recovery of 11-year-old Gavin Pierson, who says you have to “just keep fighting,” is one of CaringBridge’s inspirational healing stories.

CaringBridge starts national conversation on 'How We Heal'

CaringBridge's new campaign explores how storytelling and medicine can work together.

Hot Friday: Twin Cities hits record high of 60 degrees

Coats were unnecessary attire as late November warmth enveloped the region.
Jewish Community Action organizer Rachel English spoke to volunteers at Beth Jacob Congregation in Mendota Heights in early November. Volunteers used

Jewish Community Action tries 'deep canvassing' to move needle on racism

Volunteers and staffers are fanning out into suburban Twin Cities neighborhoods and sharing their own stories of feeling "other."
“We are living in the era of individuality. More and more we want to have a direct relationship with individuals. We don’t feel we need to have an

United Way wants to expand its fundraising out of the office

Younger donors prefer to target giving to causes.
Some of the thousands of grocery bags packed by volunteers at the Union Gospel Mission, each with all the fixings to make a Thanksgiving meal. The cha

Union Gospel Mission serves Thanksgiving to 50,000

Union Gospel Mission provides holiday meals for those in need.
Twin Cities Salvation Army board member Debbie Beck is one of the nonprofit’s most successful and flamboyant red kettle bell ringers. One year, she

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.
The Current’s Mark Wheat shared a laugh with Emma Strub as they joined listeners and other staff help pack rice at Second Harvest Heartland on Thurs

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.
Maddy Morehouse, right, could not have attended the University of St. Thomas without the scholarship she earned.

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.
Gerald and Henrietta Rauenhorst on their wedding day in 1950. Provided

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.
Lily Vraa and Joseph Romero lashed the floorboards to the frame of the kayak they were building at Urban Boatbuilders in St. Paul during a 2015 Give t

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.
The Vikings’ Stefon Diggs played with children at a grant celebration event last spring at St. Paul’s Conway Community Center.

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

So far, 16 community groups have benefited.
The sweeping tax overhaul proposal in the U.S. House could have devastating consequences on the nonprofits by lowering incentives for charitable givin

Minnesota nonprofits, foundations come out against House tax plan

State's nonprofit sector fears the worst from proposed GOP overhaul.
Brianna Miller

2017: Phyllis Wheatley Community Center director says she was forced out

Brianna Miller says she resigned against her will after only four months.
Matt Reuvers posed at Augsburg University in Minneapolis. Reuvers graduated last year after living in the sober dorm on campus.

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.
Kellen Feeney, a physical therapist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, used RobALT (robotic assisted locomotor training) techn

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.
Read our comment standards welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune