Minnesota is a place where people and businesses tend to give generously to charities, foundations and non-profit organizations. A new report suggests that those doling out grants should pay more attention to advocacy and community organizing as a way of getting more return on the philanthropic dollar.
At the same time a survey of the Twin Cities metro area finds understandable concern about jobs and the economy, and an equally strong attachment to the region's green spaces and higher-education offerings.
The second report is an opinion survey by Gallup for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Soul of the Community Study. It focuses on what people like and are concerned about in their hometowns, and tries to see how great a percentage of residents are strongly attached to where they live.
As we read it, people are somewhat conflicted.
The USA's teetering economy is a top concern for millions of people, but it has had little effect over the past year on how connected they feel to where they live, a survey shows.
Rather, the findings, released today by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, suggest that three other factors bind people to their communities, much as they did last year:
Despite the widespread pain caused by the economic downturn, Santa Clara County residents generally remain positive about their local parks, the quality of education here and the openness with which immigrants and members of minority groups are treated, according to a Gallup survey being made public today.
The Soul of the Community survey — the second year in a three-year study financed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation — also found the 400 people interviewed by phone this year were more upbeat about some things than last year's survey respondents.
Based upon a scoring system Gallup devised for comparing this year's responses with last year's, Santa Clara County scored higher this time in the perceived extent of civic involvement by residents, the availability of basic services — especially affordable housing — and the community's general well-being.
People like where they live for any number of reasons, but there are several stand-out qualities that ignite residents' passion for their communities - and how the area is dealing with the recession isn't one of them, according to a report released Tuesday by Gallup and the Knight Foundation.