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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
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.
Best Buy tops St. Jude's holiday donor list with $18.2M

Best Buy tops St. Jude's holiday donor list with $18.2M

Charity reports that tech retailer raised $18.2 million as "Thanks and Giving" donor.
Charitable gambling nonprofits say tax bills bigger than money left

Charitable gambling nonprofits say tax bills bigger than money left

Some nonprofits pay more in taxes on pulltabs, other gambling than they give out to community.
Blind passenger shares video of dispute with Metro Transit bus driver

Blind passenger shares video of dispute with Metro Transit bus driver

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled last summer that Metro Transit had to turn the video over to the passenger.
Life coaches fill gap for young adults exiting foster care

Life coaches fill gap for young adults exiting foster care

Nonprofit life coaches partner with state and counties to help them thrive
Record $25M gift to U will fund immigration law center's work

Record $25M gift to U will fund immigration law center's work

The University of Minnesota Law School's Center for New Americans has filed lawsuits on behalf of immigrant families and dispatched attorneys and law students to the airport in the wake of efforts to bar some immigrants.
Minnesota nonprofit council opposes lifting political gag rule

Minnesota nonprofit council opposes lifting political gag rule

But the Minnesota Family Council called the proposal "a welcome change."
Headhunters reshaping leadership at Minnesota nonprofits

Headhunters reshaping leadership at Minnesota nonprofits

More of them are following the corporate world, using headhunters.
Harvey Glommen, who inspired changes for seniors and people with disabilities, dies at 88

Harvey Glommen, who inspired changes for seniors and people with disabilities, dies at 88

Social worker Harvey Hamilton Glommen dedicated his life to helping society’s most vulnerable members. He developed innovative and lifesaving programs for seniors, including a meal…
Otto Bremer Trust gave away a record amount in 2016

Otto Bremer Trust gave away a record amount in 2016

Three metro organizations each received $1 million grants.
New St. Paul shelter offer paths out of homelessness

New St. Paul shelter offer paths out of homelessness

St. Paul's Higher Ground facility goes beyond crisis management to keep people off the streets.
New leader of rural Initiative Foundation has small-town roots

New leader of rural Initiative Foundation has small-town roots

Matt Varilek left a job in Washington D.C. to lead the Little Falls-based Initiative Foundation.
Audit: State not following equal opportunity laws

Audit: State not following equal opportunity laws

Despite affirmative action laws, audit says state hiring of "targeted groups" lags behind.
Rights leader at Mpls. event: Young people saying 'no more'

Rights leader at Mpls. event: Young people saying 'no more'

Civil rights more important than ever, says activist and widow of Medgar Evers.
Republican control of Legislature fuels anxiety among nonprofits

Republican control of Legislature fuels anxiety among nonprofits

A Republican leader told organizations: "Be ready to deliver accountability."
Charitable gambling in Minnesota tops $1.5 billion in 2016

Charitable gambling in Minnesota tops $1.5 billion in 2016

Pulltabs, raffles, bingo and other forms of charitable wagering jumped 13.2 percent.
The Minneapolis Foundation funds equity initiatives

The Minneapolis Foundation funds equity initiatives

Minneapolis Foundation focused on boosting education, economic vitality.
Minnesota families afford the cost of adoption with nonprofit's help

Minnesota families afford the cost of adoption with nonprofit's help

Gift of Adoption has awarded $5.4 million nationwide to help 1,820 families adopt.
Holocaust survivor who settled in St. Paul left enduring legacy

Holocaust survivor who settled in St. Paul left enduring legacy

In the last two decades, the E. David Fischman Scholarship has awarded $3.1 million to 71 Israelis pursuing doctorates at American universities.
Anonymous donor pays off lunch balances at Maple Grove High

Anonymous donor pays off lunch balances at Maple Grove High

"It warms your heart," says school district spokeswoman.
Salvation Army in "dire need" of more bell ringers

Salvation Army in "dire need" of more bell ringers

The charity is short thousands of volunteers to staff its red kettles.
Over Dayton's objections, Civil War paintings to stay displayed at Capitol

Over Dayton's objections, Civil War paintings to stay displayed at Capitol

Despite Gov. Mark Dayton’s objections, six massive paintings depicting Minnesota soldiers in Civil War battles will be rehung in the Governor’s Reception Room and anteroom…
Minn. Historical Society gets ready to settle Capitol art dispute

Minn. Historical Society gets ready to settle Capitol art dispute

On Thursday, the 30-member executive council of the Minnesota Historical Society is expected to decide the future of six massive and priceless paintings that depict Minnesota soldiers in Civil War battles.
Center of the American Experiment ramps up in Minnesota

Center of the American Experiment ramps up in Minnesota

John Hinderaker, in remaking the conservative think tank, also sees a surge in donations.
Innovative Walk-In Counseling Center thriving after nearly 50 years

Innovative Walk-In Counseling Center thriving after nearly 50 years

Founded in 1969, clinic follows no-fee, anonymous model that has reached thousands.
From A to Zany: Troupe uses theater to teach complex topics to kids

From A to Zany: Troupe uses theater to teach complex topics to kids

The Minneapolis-based nonprofit National Theatre for Children is the creative middleman connecting companies, schools and perhaps their toughest customers: children.
Dorothy Day Center holds last Thanksgiving dinner in old, cramped space

Dorothy Day Center holds last Thanksgiving dinner in old, cramped space

The mood is upbeat as staff prepares a move to the more spacious Higher Ground.
GiveMN promises a complete accounting for online glitches

GiveMN promises a complete accounting for online glitches

The nonprofit expects its technology vendor to find out what went wrong on the site.
Some Minnesota nonprofits ride post-election surge

Some Minnesota nonprofits ride post-election surge

Some leaders attribute uptick in donations and volunteers to postelection anxiety.
Overloaded servers don't keep Give to Max Day from passing last year's total

Overloaded servers don't keep Give to Max Day from passing last year's total

Even with topping $18 million, donors and nonprofits express frustration with GiveMN site.

Two North Side nonprofits get Bush awards for innovation

Six Upper Midwest nonprofits with bold missions to transform the communities they serve, including the Northside Achievement Zone in north Minneapolis, will divide up a…

Give to the Max strategies get playful, creative

Partake in a little sledgehammer therapy in St. Paul. Help some duct-tape wielding students stick it to their teacher in St. Louis Park. Laugh it…

Minnesota's homeless vet population declines

Registry identifies individuals in need and helps them find housing.
Minneapolis, St. Paul energy conservation nonprofits merge

Minneapolis, St. Paul energy conservation nonprofits merge

The two conservation groups will continue to help metro area residents save on energy bills.
Minn. polling places prepare for evening turnout

Minn. polling places prepare for evening turnout

Twin Cities voters went to the polls in a steady stream Tuesday evening, but by about 5 p.m. there were few signs of a late rush like the one that polling places saw in the early morning.

Local spelling bee is again spelling SOS

For the second year in a row, the Twin Cities’ regional spelling bee could be in peril if it doesn’t find a patron. The Scripps…
For millennials, a new way to give

For millennials, a new way to give

The 50 members of the nonprofit Fourth Generation pool their dollars and time to make smarter, focused donation decisions.
Blind wild mustangs with 15th-century bloodlines sent to Minnesota sanctuary

Blind wild mustangs with 15th-century bloodlines sent to Minnesota sanctuary

Hastings-based sanctuary took the seven – plus two mares – from S.D. refuge.
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity expands into fixer-uppers

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity expands into fixer-uppers

For the first time, Habitat will allow an expanded pool of families to shop for homes on the open market and then assist with the purchase and renovations.
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