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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Minnesota 4-H Foundation update

In June, Cara Miller left her position as executive director of the Minnesota 4-H Foundation and Jane Johnson, Extension’s chief development officer, agreed to serve as interim executive director for the 4-H Foundation, as well as continuing her work on major gifts for Extension.

During this interim time, the Minnesota 4-H Foundation Board and Extension leadership are reviewing and assessing the needs of the Foundation and Extension. There have been many changes since we last hired an executive director in 2003. Specifically:
  • Extension has created a development office and is actively growing our Extension-wide philanthropic work.
  • The University of Minnesota Foundation has shifted focus from annual giving to major gifts, and they are asking colleges to do the same.
  • The Minnesota 4-H Foundation executive director and staff are University of Minnesota Extension employees, and funded to a large extent by Extension.
  • The University is preparing for a major fundraising campaign. Extension and 4-H will be actively involved in the campaign.

The Minnesota 4-H Foundation board has identified a subcommittee that is looking at several important questions:
  • How can we be most efficient?
  • How do we grow our major gifts?
  • How do we ensure that the 4-H and Extension development efforts are coordinated?
  • How can we better align the Minnesota 4-H Foundation with the University of Minnesota Foundation resources?
I will be working closely with the board and subcommittee over the coming months to ensure that the generous gifts of our donors have the greatest positive impact on our programs, education and research. If you would like to share your ideas, please feel free to contact me or Jane Johnson.

Bev Durgan
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