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Native American and Tribal Communities Recovery Program: Report on Pilot Program 2020 & 2021

January 1, 2022

This report is intended to provide a review of the first two years of the Native American and Tribal Communities Recovery Program. It is intended for use by this program's funder, Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) funders, disaster funders and other organizations working with Native communities. It also provides a snapshot of accomplishments, learnings and areas that need more work. The Native Program just completed its second year of focused disaster recovery work in Native communities. Eight grants were awarded to Nativeled organizations totalling $750,000. Also, technical assistance was provided with the goal of increasing local disaster recovery capacity.

The Power and Problem of Criminal Justice Data: A Twenty-State Review

June 30, 2021

Despite accounting for a substantial portion of local, state, and federal budgets, our criminal justice institutions are among the least measured systems in our country. In an effort to bring transparency to this sector, MFJ has collected, standardized, and made public 20 states' worth of criminal justice data.The purpose of this report is to share what we have learned through this effort, including: (a) what we cannot see when data are missing, and (b) the value that data can provide when they are available and comparable. In particular, we identify patterns around the following:There is a substantial lack of data around pretrial detention and release decision-making, as well as individual demographics (particularly indigence).New data privacy laws are also making it needlessly difficult to obtain certain data. This poses challenges to understanding how individuals experience the system in cases that do not result in conviction.There is great variation in how counties dispose of and sentence nonviolent cases; how financial obligations are imposed on individuals; and the collateral consequences that individuals face when convicted.Across many of these findings, where demographics are available, we have an opportunity to identify and respond to significant disparities in group outcomes.This report challenges stakeholders and policymakers to dig deeper into these patterns and missing data. It also implores policymakers and legislators to improve criminal justice data infrastructure to ensure a more transparent, fair, and equitable implementation of justice.

2021 Report to the Community

June 1, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic was first making its impact felt in our region, we were able to assert our financial resiliency and be among the first charitable institutions in the nation to act boldly, quickly establishing a $50 million emergency fund through our subsidiary, Community Benefit Financial Company (CBFC). This platform was structured to provide desperately needed assistance to organizations as they worked to support those whose lives were suddenly buffeted by unprecedented health, economic, and racial justice challenges.Over the ensuing months, CBFC emerged as a trusted partner to a network of frontline agencies working in collaboration with other organizations to provide financial support and emergency services throughout the region, including community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and community development corporations (CDCs).Between our responsive grantmaking and emergency fund distributions, in 2020 OBT invested more than $71 million in 900+ organizations across the region.

bMagazine 2020

July 14, 2020

bMagazine is part annual report and part showcase of people thinking bigger and thinking differently about what's possible in communities across the Bush Foundation's region of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share that geography.

Otto Bremer Trust 2018 Annual Report

May 20, 2019

Otto Bremer Trust 2018 Annual Report.

Native Nations Investments- 2018 Report

January 1, 2018

This report aims to share and illustrate the ways we invest in the Native nations and people in our region. One of our guiding values is to seek to do more good every year. This report will help us look internally at how we can do more to make the region better for everyone, including the Indigenous people of this land

Effective Leadership for Tribal Child Welfare - An Overview for Tribal Leaders

April 1, 2017

This guide provides some basic information on how to establish effective tribal governance and the role of tribal leadership in tribal child welfare systems.

Is Federal Crop Insurance Policy Leading to Another Dust Bowl?

March 23, 2017

As the southern Great Plains get hotter and drier, is federal policy that encourages farmers not to adapt to climate change leading to another Dust Bowl?That's the troubling question raised by a new EWG report that shows how a provision in the federal crop insurance program provides a strong financial incentive for growers to plant the same crops in the same way, year in and year out, regardless of changing climate conditions. What's worse, this program is focused on the same southern Great Plains counties hit hardest by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the worst man-made environmental disaster in American history.The federal crop insurance program guarantees farmers' earnings from their crops won't fall below a percentage of their usual income. The percentage is set based on a multi-year average of a farmer's actual crop yields. Averaging good and bad years grounds the program in reality.But a provision called the Actual Production History Yield Exclusion – snuck into the 2014 Farm Bill during conference negotiations – allows growers to drop bad years from their average crop yield calculations. The government simply pretends these bad years didn't happen. In some cases, more than 15 bad years can be thrown out when calculating the average yield, resulting in artificially inflated insurance payouts.It makes sense for crop insurance to give growers a break if they're occasionally hit by one or two bad years, but keeping growers on a treadmill of failed crops and insurance payouts is foolish. Helping farmers adapt to the new weather conditions would be considerably better, and was exactly what helped growers survive the Dust Bowl and return to productivity.The southern Great Plains are getting hotter and drier. Drought has been common over the last 10 years and forecasts show the number of days above 100 degrees quadrupling by 2050. Implementing conservation practices to adapt to changing climate conditions is vital for growers who want to stay in business.Some, but not enough, growers are already adopting conservation techniques in this region. Savings from ending the misguided yield exclusion policy could be used to help more growers change the way they farm to face the challenges posed by a changing climate.

Shared Success: Great Lakes 2016 Philanthropy Report

March 9, 2017

At Great Lakes we work to make postsecondary degrees, credentials and certificates accessible to as many students as possible. Specifically, we focus our philanthropy on helping those who traditionally have the most to gain from college, but who often have the least support in getting there: students from low-income homes, students of color and first-generation students.This Report highlights our belief that overcoming barriers to graduation requires engaging both students and colleges—with success being their shared goal. In it you'll find details on many of the 50 grants we launched in 2016, several key findings and our goals for the coming year.

State Profile North Dakota: Assets and Opportunity Scorecard

January 28, 2016

The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.

Lessons Learned From the Native Nations Initiative

June 1, 2015

The Bush Foundation launched the Native Nations Initiative in 2009 to support governance reform efforts of all 23 Native nations that share geography with Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Five years into this 10-year initiative, the Foundation hired Wilder Research as an independent evaluator to assess our progress and challenges. Wilder interviewed program participants, tribal leadership and regional leaders from the field. This learning paper summarizes Wilder's evaluation.

Invest Northwest: Eight -Year Social Performance Review

September 2, 2014

Impact measurement is central to the practice of mission investing, allowing mission investors to understand if their investments are meeting their goals and furthering their mission. The Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF) has worked with PCV InSight for eight years to evaluate and understand the impact of its mission-related investment, Invest Northwest. In this white paper, we detail how the fund has delivered consistent social impact since its inception, including: strong job growth; steady increases in annual median wages; and higher employee wages than at other private businesses nationally and regionally.