On Friday morning, March 11th, Congressman Keith Ellison joined us at MACC for coffee and conversation.
Congressman Ellison discussed the challenges of immigrants, refugees, and the organizations supporting them. He spoke about how the challenges faced by immigrants and refugees are multifaceted and acknowledged that there can be gaps in the funding to support the programs people need.
Congressman Ellison discussed the rising tide of Islamophobia and the impact on our communities, families, and youth. He spoke about the fact that while hate crimes overall have fallen, in the past years hate crimes against Muslims have increased – the only group to see an increase. He spoke about the importance of continuing to talk about this issue and the need for everyone to speak up and be part of the solution. “We’ve seen this ugly thing happen – it can never happen again” Congressman Ellison said.
The morning was a great opportunity to hear directly from and speak directly with one of our Representatives. Many thanks to Congressman Ellison for taking the time to speak with us.
In January, MACC members gathered for our annual member meeting and celebration.
The event was an opportunity to reconnectwith MACC colleagues, celebrate our networks' accomplishments, eat some great food, and tour Ghandi Mahal's sustainable food aquaponics system.
Here's to a great 2015 and an even better 2016!
Banyan Community joins MACC in December jumping into Client Data services.
More about Banyan from their website: " Banyan Community is a Christian Community Development Organization that builds relationships and transforms the lives of both youth and adults living in Phillips neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Banyan's programming focuses on youth development, strengthening families, and building connections within the community.
Ignite Afterschool joins us in January as a newly formalized 501c3 organization having been fiscally sponsored by MACC member Youthprise. Ignite's employees have been supported by our HR team for some time under Youthprise.
More about Ignite from their website: "Ignite Afterschool is Minnesota's Afterschool Network- working collectively to ensure every community and every youth has access to high-quality afterschool opportunities."
This Fall, MACC staff and members were invited to be a part of the ceremonial groundbreaking of Hennepin County's newest human service center.
The south Minneapolis human service center is the sixth in a series of projects that decentralize services beyond downtown Minneapolis, making access to county resources more convenient for residents by locating them in areas where they live, work and attend school.
MACC’s Service Network provides drop-in childcare at the existing human service locations and will be expanding operations to include the new south Minneapolis site. Current members participating in the MACC Service Network Childcare Collaborative are Eastside Neighborhood Services, Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, and The Family Partnership.
The development also encompasses a transit plaza, more than 500 residences, retail space, parking, and a public gathering space that will serve as a permanent home for the Midtown Farmers Market.
Pictured above: Darlynn Benjamin- MACC, Kay Tellinghuisen- The Family Partnership, Molly Greenman- The Family Partnership, Patti Dailey-Ruddy- The Family Partnership, Shane Miller- MACC, and Ellen Whitted- MACC
Photo provided by Hennepin County
In Fall of 2015, MACC convened a forum on social enterprise- including members and nonmembers interested in exploring the potential of social enterprises to create financial sustainability for nonprofit organizations and economic opportunity for those we serve.
Over the last year or so, MACC has heard from members and others in the community that there is a growing interest in developing these types of ventures. This convening brought together thought leaders from our community to help advance the best practices and knowledge in social enterprise.
Attendees learned about the nuts and bolts of social enterprise and learned about the key differences and lessons learned in both commercial nonprofit social enterprise and social enterprise business.
As a follow up to the event, MACC continues it's work to identify strategies to potentially provide support, learning, and technical assistance to our members and their enterprise initiatives. Stay tuned for our next steps!
Interested in learning more?
On the Job: Reflecting on the First Five Months
joined the MACC staff in February of 2015 as our new Vice President of Service Network Innovations and Collaboration. We asked her to share a few reflections on her time with MACC thus far.
You've been on a listening tour of MACC members during your first few months on the job. How would you characterize the power of the MACC membership?
"The MACC membership is a powerful association of organizations that individually are doing incredible work, but collectively through the MACC, they can have a more powerful voice and impact in community. Our membership is powerful in action and in its diversity. By working together, we can reduce the number of people living in poverty, elevate the number of people living safe and healthy lives, and place more people on the pathway for success in attaining education and employment. Our membership is deeply committed to working together to enhance the lives of children, adults and families."
What have you heard from members about what they value in their MACC membership experience?
"Members place a high value on the networking opportunities- the ability to meet with peers to amplify knowledge, expertise and share innovative ideas. While members have shared that the quality of services and programs have been incredibly valuable and have helped their organization a great deal, there is a real need for MACC to provide more resources and opportunities for its membership."
What has resonated most with you in your conversations with members so far?
"There has been incredible growth and momentum without intentionally marketing the benefits of MACC membership. I believe we're thriving largely because we're offering what is needed by small to mid-sized nonprofits. As we build out our merged organization's programs and services, we'll need to remain committed to enriching the member experience and always checking in with members to ensure that we are providing value."
We're excited by the work ahead and for Darlynn's role in connecting members with one another and supporting collaboration.
Summer Membership Update: MACC Welcomes BWLAP and House of Charity
This summer, we are excited to welcome two new members to the MACC network- Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project and House of Charity.
Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project
BWLAP has joined MACC as a member jumping quickly into our finance services and with a strong interest in building relationships outside of the domestic violence network.
More about BWLAP from their website: "BWLAP is a state-wide program that serves battered women, their advocates, attorneys and the general public in Minnesota. BWLAP provides legal information, consultation, state-wide training, litigation support, technical assistance and develops model policy for domestic violence programs around confidentiality, record keeping, conflict of interest and children's records, to name a few."
House of Charity
House of Charity joins MACC and is kicking off their membership by getting started with our Behavioral Health Billing service. As MACC's longtime neighbor downtown, located just down the block, we're looking forward to building strong ties within the membership.
From their website: "One of our primary goals is to help struggling individuals meet their basic human needs of food and shelter while reducing barriers to their long-term self-sufficiency. Their facility currently houses 116 men and women who have experienced homelessness. Additionally, they operate a food center which feeds more than 350 people each day.
Our Affinity Teams gather to share best practices, share training, ideas and resources- these are networking groups with intentionality.
Our Food Shelf Affinity Team is an opportunity for our members that have food shelves to gather and think about the ways they can work together and learn from one another.
In May, the MACC Food Shelf Affinity Team visited with sustainable food social enterprise Spark-Y Youth Action Labs. Representatives from members The Food Group, East Side Neighborhood Services, Pillsbury United Brian Coyle Center, PRISM and a guest from Neighbors Inc. all gathered to hear from Spark-Y Executive Director Zachary Robinson.
Zach gave the group a tour of their Sustainable Education Lab and talked about their work to engage youth through education on sustainable food production techniques. A dialogue followed- members talked about the ways that our food shelves could incorporate sustainable food production practices into our work and potentially partner with Spark-Y.
Interested in Learning More?
This spring, we are excited to welcome two new members to the MACC network- Community Emergency Service and Ujamaa Place.
Community Emergency Service (CES) has already jumped into the network and has been participating in both our food shelf and senior affinity teams. For CES, joining MACC represents a commitment the staff and board have made to building new networks and partnerships for the organization. We’re excited to have them stepping in so quickly into the affinity teams!
More about CES (from their website): "Since its origin, Community Emergency Service (CES) has provided high-quality direct service to people in need. Through direct aid relief, advocacy, referral, guidance and prayer support, if desired, CES seeks to strengthen families and individuals. The goal of CES is to move them beyond crisis to financial stability, as well as emotional health, personal growth and spiritual depth.”
Ujamaa Place has joined MACC as a member jumping quickly into an implementation of the Client Data services within their programs. We are particularly excited to begin to connect them with our members doing economic opportunity work across the network.
More about Ujamaa (from their website): "The mission of Ujamaa Place is to assist young African American men primarily between the ages of 18 and 30, who have experienced life challenges… programming is made available at no direct cost to participants, but it is a program that demands mutual accountability. It helps men develop the skills it takes to be a successful individual, father, employee, and citizen."
2014 Year in Review & a Look Ahead to 2015
It's been a big year for MACC Alliance and MACC CommonWealth. Having announced a merger this spring, a lot of work has been done to prepare for 2015. At our recent Annual Member Meeting and Merger Celebration, members got a look at all of the accomplishments of 2014 as well as a sneak peak at what's ahead for our merged organization in 2015.
We're excited by the power and potential of the new organization- bringing together the best of MACC Alliance and the best of MACC CommonWealth for a greater community impact.
Merger Update: MACC CommonWealth/ MACC Alliance Hiring a New VP of Service Network Innovations and Collaborations
On June 19, 2014 the Boards of Directors of the Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities and its subsidiary, MACC CommonWealth Services, Inc. announced that the organizations will merge into a single entity, effective January 1, 2015. The combined nonprofit entity will be a membership organization whose purpose will be to provide quality services, collaborative programs, and powerful connections for its member organizations, that empower them to excel in helping communities, families, and individuals thrive.
As part of this merger, a new VP will be brought on board to inspire innovation in the delivery of high quality services and best practices among the diverse membership of the MACC Alliance. The VP works with members to develop effective strategies to further impact in community, and uses the power of the membership to bring networked solutions to issues and opportunities. As a result of this position’s efforts, a growing number of collaborations and cross-sector partnerships will be developed, and MACC Alliance’s visibility will be greatly enhanced throughout the nonprofit, public, private and philanthropic sectors. The VP - Service Network Innovations and Collaboration serves as a member of the Senior Management Team and collaborates closely with the VP’s overseeing all other areas of the organization.
While the position posting has closed, please watch for updates from us regarding this exciting are of work. As we make investments into the strategies of the merged organization, we're excited about the power and potential of the opportunities in front of us- please stay tuned!
CommonWealth Welcomes a New VP of Finance
We are pleased to announce that David O. Milton, CPA has accepted the position of Vice President – Financial Services at MACC CommonWealth
MCW conducted a thorough search for this position, with nearly 30 qualified candidates submitting applications. Following an extensive review process and multiple rounds of interviews, the final decision was made by a Committee consisting of member CEOs and representatives from MCW’s Senior Management Team.
David brings a great mix of skills and experience for the role, having served for nearly 30 years in Finance and Accounting roles in outstanding corporations including Cargill, Johnson Controls, and Amoco. Since 2010 David has done consulting work as interim CFO in several organizations, and most recently served as interim VP-Finance at Goodwill Easter Seals of MN. David is a certified Six Sigma (process improvement) black belt. He is active in the Nonprofit Financial Group of the Twin Cities, and currently serves as Board Treasurer of Mastery Charter Schools. He is also active in the African American Leadership Forum. David holds an MBA in Finance and Statistics from the University of Chicago, and a BS in Accounting from DePaul University. He is also a part-time Associate Professor of Finance, Economics, and Accounting at University of Phoenix (Twin Cities campus) since 2007.
Speaking about his new role with us, David said: “I enjoy learning about all of the great services that our members provide and look forward to supporting their mission by delivering prudent financial leadership, strategic insight and stewardship.”
Please join us in welcoming David to the team!
MACC CommonWealth Releases 2013-2014 Report to Members
Growth, merger, new connections & enhanced services!
Read about how we are working to improve services for our members.
to read the full Report
Or click the image below.
Nonprofits will combine to provide greater benefits to members
updated June 23, 2014
The Boards of Directors of the Metropolitan Alliance of Connected Communities
(“MACC Alliance”) and its subsidiary, MACC CommonWealth Services, Inc. (“MCW”) have announced that the organizations will merge into a single entity, effective January 1, 2015.
The combined nonprofit entity will be a membership organization whose purpose will be to provide quality services, collaborative programs, and powerful connections for its member organizations, that empower them to excel in helping communities, families, and individuals thrive.
“MCW was founded as an initiative of MACC Alliance, as a separate organization with its own board and operating structure. While MCW has been effective operating separately, we believe that combining with our parent organization will provide additional benefits and collaboration opportunities to members, without any sacrifice to the quality and value of the services already being provided”, said Mike Wynne, Board Chair of MCW and CEO of Emerge Community Development.
“While both organizations operating separately have provided valuable collaboration opportunities and services to their respective members, we believe that combining the organizations into a single entity will create synergies,
streamline approaches, and enable members to connect more easily to opportunities for collaboration”, said Chanda Smith Baker, Board Chair of MACC Alliance and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities.
A joint leadership team with representatives from both organizations will work together over the next several months to prepare the legal and financial components necessary to merge, refine the future business model, and complete strategic planning for the combined entity. The name of the new organization will be announced later this year.
Merger due-diligence support was provided through this process by Cincinnatus Consulting. Linda Ewing, Cincinnatus partner and lead consultant for this effort, offered her perspective on the merger, as follows: "Often times during a merger due diligence process there is self-interest that comes into play that can cause stress and sometimes failure for a successful merger. True to the missions of the MACC Alliance and MCW, this process was truly collaborative and focused on value for the members of both organizations. I predict this newly merged organization will do great work for the benefit of it members.”
Steve Houtz, President and CEO of MACC CommonWealth, will serve in the same role for the combined organization. Yvonne Olsen, Executive Coordinator of MACC Alliance, will serve as Senior Vice President.
About MACC Alliance: Founded in 1999, MACC Alliance is a 501(c)(3) organization that facilitates joint program development, fundraising in support of joint programs, training, affinity groups, and other forms of collaboration to its 39 members.
About MCW: Founded in 2006, MACC CommonWealth Services, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization whose purpose is to provide back-office management services to members of the MACC Alliance. Since its inception, MCW has grown to nearly $4M in annual revenue supporting 34 members with an array of management functions including Finance, HR, IT, Behavioral Health Billing, Facilities, Client Data, and others.
Questions about the merger can be directed to:
|Chanda Smith Baker, Board Chair, MACC Alliance
President and CEO, Pillsbury United Communities
|Mike Wynne, Board Chair, MACC CommonWealth
President and CEO, Emerge Community Development
CommonWealth Welcomes a New VP of HR Services
We are pleased to announce that Karl R. Starr has accepted the position of Vice President – Human Resources Services at MACC CommonWealth. Karl brings a great mix of skills and experience for the role, having served for 25 years at Thrivent Financial in a variety of human resources-related roles, ultimately serving as Director, Human Resources Services from 2004-2006. Since that time, Karl has been working in a consulting capacity for several organizations, in areas including information technology, business process improvement, organizational change management, and communications. Karl holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Mathematics and Religion, from St. Olaf College.
Speaking about his role with us, Karl said: “I enjoy relieving our members of some of the risk and worry associated with human resource management, so that they can focus on making a bigger difference in our community.”
During the fall of 2013, MACC CommonWealth’s Strategic Planning Committee has been hard at work developing an engaging process for creating a new strategic plan. Outreach to MACC CommonWealth members, partners, and community leaders has begun, building energy for what will be our second strategic plan since our founding.
In October, over seventy members, staff, partners and community leaders gathered at Hallie Q. Brown Community Center for a strategic visioning session.
In this half-day session, we:
- began to uncover the best of what MACC CommonWealth has been
- began to explore the needs and opportunities of those we serve
- and we began to investigate what MACC CommonWealth is being called to become.
Thank you to all that invested time into this work session with us! We heard from participants that the time was incredibly valuable to connect with other members and to see the power and potential of our work together. MACC CommonWealth is incredibly grateful to all those that participated!
As MACC CommonWealth works to co-create a compelling vision for our next chapter, we’ll be working to connect with our stakeholders and keep you a part of this process. Watch for more updates and outreach from us in the coming months!
If you’ve visited the MACC CommonWealth website over the past few days, you’ve noticed some changes. At the end of September we quietly launched a newly designed website, and after spending a few days testing functionality and navigation we are excited to share it with our members and the general public.
Member Services Vice President Trisha Reinwald shared, “we’re excited to take a big step forward in how we represent our mission, showcase our members, and tell the world about the amazing accomplishments of this unique organization. Our new look helps us communicate that we are a welcoming, dedicated team committed to collaboration with our members.”
If you look closely, you will likely see some familiar faces and recognize some names throughout the site. We are grateful for the many members who supported this process by contributing testimonials, sharing their first-hand experiences with our services and staff. These testimonials are a vital endorsement to others looking for collaborative management services, considering CommonWealth membership and learning what you already know – we are better together!
You will see some of those testimonials here on the website either on pages or in information sheets and FAQ documents for each of the service areas.
Other features of the site include:
- A design showcasing the refreshed logo and branding introduced in late 2012.
- Rotating banner graphics on the home page featuring member representatives and quotes
- Testimonials from our members can be seen on the home page banner graphics and within the services content
- A section showcasing the “CommonWealth Story”
- A dynamic listing of our members, their websites, and Facebook pages
- Within the Contact Us content section you will find easy to use inquiry forms for current members in need of support with a service line and also for non-members requesting information about services.
The launch of this new site is an important milestone as we continue to identify ways to better support current members, as well as provide a better experience for nonprofits looking for collaborative management services. We hope you find this website to be informative and easy to navigate. Contact Trisha at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments or information requests.
As we developed the concept for our new website, one thing became clear. We wanted to showcase our members in their element, with their missions in mind.
We spend many weeks this summer having conversations with members about their experience with CommonWealth services. We’re grateful for the many members that contributed quotes and testimonials for our website and marketing materials. A few members were gracious enough to devote time and participate in photo shoots allowing us to use their images throughout the site. This important element helps communicate that we understand our greatest impact is providing you services that allow you to focus on your missions.
The collage of photos you see here is a behind the scenes look at those photo shoots.
A big thank you goes out to our members for helping to make this happen!
MACC CommonWealth Releases 2012-2013 Report to Members
So what has MACC CommonWealth been up to this past year? Growth, strategic plan implementation, new member resources and a new president!
Check our our Report to Members for details on our collaborative accomplishments.
Preparation for the Affordable Care Act
MACC CommonWealth Human Resources is helping members prepare for the next mandates, which begin January 1, 2014. Our HR team will support member clients by preparing a Health Care Reform "packet" for leadership of participating member organizations including detailed information on how the mandates will impact each organization specifically.
Additional levels of support offered to our human resources member clients:
- Our Benefits Specialist will work directly with each leadership team in 2013 to advise on decisions and inform on the potential impacts of the changes
- Member round table events for discussion and resource share on health care reform
- Access to Employee and Manager Resource Library to prepare for implementation
- FAQ development
Learn more about our Human Resources services.
On January 28, 2013, the CommonWealth welcomed Steve Houtz as its new President and CEO. Steve’s prior experience includes leadership roles at Thrivent Financial and Accenture, and he has served on the Board of Directors for CommonWealth members Pillsbury United Communities and CEAP.
Speaking about his new role with us, Steve said, “I would like to congratulate Stan Birnbaum on his retirement and recognize him for his invaluable contributions to MACC CommonWealth. The organization would not be where it is today without Stan’s vision and leadership.” Houtz went on to say, “I am thrilled to join the CommonWealth in this role. I was really drawn to the opportunity to help support our member nonprofits, and in turn all the people they support through their various unique missions. I will do everything I can to ensure that MCW continues to provide high quality administrative services to our members in the future.”
Connect with Steve for questions or suggestions about our array of services: email@example.com
Ban the Box Reduces Discrimination in Hiring Practices, CommonWealth Takes Action
Did you know that Minnesota is the first state to “Ban the Box,” which narrows employer liability for criminal records when hiring? Many nonprofits in our community, including CommonWealth member Emerge Community Development, have been leading the way to prevent discrimination in hiring. The legislation passed back in 2009 in large part due to the grassroots organizing efforts of the Second Chance Coalition, a diverse coalition of twenty-four community organizations.
CommonWealth has and will continue to work with our members to ensure we lead the way in implementing best practices that go above and beyond to prevent discrimination in hiring.
Learn more about our Human Resources services.