The goal of the Foundation’s leadership work is to inspire, equip and connect leaders to effectively lead change that makes a difference in our region. We believe in investing in the development of leaders to meet the needs of our ever changing region. We do this by investing in individuals through our Fellowship and Rebuilder programs and by investing in other organizations developing leaders in our region. This investment in the development of leaders has been at the core of the Bush Foundation for nearly 50 years, dating back to the days when founder Archibald Bush was guiding the Foundation.

Communities are collections of individuals. For our communities to make progress on the critical issues we face, we need more individuals to see themselves as leaders able to drive action and make an impact. Leading change in an environment with complex challenges that cut across many cultures, sectors and disciplines requires a different, more adaptive set of leadership skills than the traditional model of “top down” leadership. We also wish to lift up that leaders cannot address these tough challenges alone. Effective leadership requires the ability develop and maintain relationships to inform their perspectives and strengthen their capacity to make change and have an impact.

Our work in this area

The Bush Fellowship Program is distinctive in its flexibility, allowing individuals to articulate what they need to become better leaders and providing them with the resources and guidance to make it happen.

Leadership Network Grants increase access to leadership development programs that share the Foundation’s philosophy about the importance of developing and supporting culturally agile leaders.

Rebuilders is a leadership development program for tribal citizens who want to strengthen their nation-building knowledge and learn how to implement positive changes at their Native nations.

The Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellowship prepares high-potential individuals from communities underrepresented in leadership positions in philanthropy for careers in the field. Fellows are employed by the Minnesota Council of Foundations and placed at participating foundations for three years.