“…for the benefit of future generations.”

Our Partners work hard to change the lives and trajectories of individuals, families, and communities. They are innovative, responsive, and caring. They collaborate with partners and look for sustainable solutions. They align with our values and demonstrate how philanthropy is making a positive impact on some of our community’s greatest challenges.

Northside Achievement Zone

Expanding Opportunities for Youth and Families

The Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) strives to end multigenerational poverty in North Minneapolis. Using a comprehensive collaboration of organizations and schools to partner with families, NAZ is successful in preparing children for school, equipping parents to be student advocates, and recognizing family and community assets will lead to a strong North Minneapolis community.

“NAZ families would not have the opportunities and support they have now, and our community would not have the potential it has now, without the Mortenson Family Foundation. There truly are no words powerful enough to thank you for that.”

Sondra Samuels
NAZ President and CEO

St. Croix River Association

Nurturing Vital Resources

The St. Croix River Association (SCRA) was founded in 1911 by civic leaders who recognized the need to steward the St. Croix River– a unique, federally designated “Wild and Scenic” waterway that forms the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Through effective public/private partnerships, SCRA has minimized contaminants from washing into the St. Croix and substantially increased state investment in land and water protection.

“The Mortenson Family Foundation’s generous support has allowed the St. Croix River Association to build the infrastructure to expand its reach, helping it become a regional leader and the “go to” organization in conservation efforts in the St. Croix River and watershed.  The St. Croix River Association is grateful for the many ways the Mortenson Family Foundation helps to ensure a thriving St. Croix River and watershed, forever accessible, wild, and scenic.”

Deb Ryun
Executive Director


Strengthening Developing Communities

Through five pillars of early and primary education enrichment, rural secondary education, vocational and life skills education, food security and nutrition, and community well-being and development, Fabretto strengthens underserved children and their families in Nicaragua. Across the pillars, Fabretto is achieving results: the primary education programs have more than doubled the percentage of children reading at or above grade level from 2011 to 2013; nutrition programs have ensured that 92% of students increased their height and weight; and 92% of students have been retained in the Rural Secondary Education program, in a country where as few as only 20% of students who complete the 6th grade continue to secondary school.

“The Mortenson Family Foundation’s contribution of unrestricted funding, ongoing guidance and communication, together with the understanding that sustainable change takes time have had a major impact on Fabretto’s program delivery and implementation."

Kathy Baczko
Vice President, Fabretto

Cheetah Development

Impact Investment

Africa’s future begins on the farm, but that future can’t begin until the tens of millions of subsistence smallholder farmers there become commercial farmers feeding not only themselves, but the rest of Africa. Cheetah Development works to make that a reality by offering two solutions: 1) provide credit to poor farmers for high quality seeds and fertilizer to increase their crop yields, and 2) invest in Small/Medium Enterprise African agricultural companies that buy from smallholders. Cheetah capitalizes those solutions through two impact investment funds: the Africa Farmers Collateral Fund and the Africa Agriculture Equity Fund. 

“As an early investor in the Africa Farmers Collateral Fund, the Mortenson Family Foundation’s Impact Investment is creating a double return - a financial return and a strong social return on investment. African farmers, who had $20 in annual income can make $200 in a single growing season after working with Cheetah Development and, with that rise in income comes better healthcare, education, and housing for the farmer and his or her family. Cheetah Development is grateful to the Mortenson Family Foundation for its commitment to put all its assets, grant making and endowment investment to work for its social mission.”

Ray Menard
Founder and CEO

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