You are here

The MCF Philanthropy Fellowship prepares individuals from communities underrepresented in philanthropy for careers at foundations. The Fellowship's immediate focus is on increasing racial diversity. Fellows are employed by the Minnesota Council on Foundations and placed at the Bush Foundation to work either with its Community Innovation or Education team. Over the course of a three-year appointment, Fellows receive significant professional development and networking opportunities.

But the Fellowship is about more than changing the face of leadership in philanthropy; it’s about infusing new ideas and viewpoints into the work of philanthropy. We seek high-potential leaders with at least five years of professional experience who will push themselves and the Bush Foundation to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in the region we serve – Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography. 

Applications for the 2015 Fellowship will open later this year. If you have any questions about the MCF Philanthropy Fellowship, contact Alfonso Wenker.

2014 MCF Philanthropy Fellows


Carly Bad Heart Bull is part of the Foundation's Educational Achievement team. Before receiving her fellowship she served as an attorney in the child protection division of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. A registered member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, Bad Heart Bull has worked as a teacher in a Dakota language immersion program.  

“I am inspired by the support that the Minnesota Council on Foundations and the Bush Foundation have provided in their efforts to strengthen our communities. I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to learn from the individuals behind this work and excited to get the opportunity to obtain new tools to assist in this important endeavor toward creating positive change for our communities and supporting long-term systematic change to benefit our future generations.”


Venessa M. Fuentes is part of the Foundation's Community Innovation team. Prior to her fellowship she was a philanthropy writer for Project for Pride in Living, a nonprofit that works with lower-income individuals and families to achieve greater self-sufficiency through housing, employment training, support services and education.

“I wanted to become an MCF Fellow because, as a queer woman of color who grew up in the Twin Cities, I rarely see people who look like me in leadership positions. What I do see, however, are people who look like me struggling to find living wage work, provide for their children, and access services that make life easier. For the next three years, I get to address those disconnects through this Fellowship. Amazing! I want to see my Twin Cities become a more empowered, more visible place to work, create, grow, play, learn and live. MCF and the Bush Foundation are giving me the chance to do that, and I’m ready to get started!”


Dameun Strange is part of the Community Innovation team. A native of Washington, DC, Strange is cofounder and artistic director of Hopewell Music Cooperative North, a community classical music education program.

“I believe the fellowship will provide me the opportunity to talk about the importance of making sure that those who are being provided programs and funding are represented at the table creating those very programs. This serves to create more equity, transparency and accountability in the field of philanthropy.”


Coya H. White Hat-Artichoker is a founding member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective, a coalition working to expand the understanding of sovereignty within the larger LGBT community. She grew up on the Rosebud Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. White Hat-Artichoker is part of the Community Innovation team.

“The MCF Fellowship is the doorway of access to places I would not traditionally find myself within the funding world. It will allow me to sit on the other side of the table. It will give me the opportunity to use my knowledge base to help think about how funding works or could be changed to work better for communities across the Upper Midwest.”