Dianna and Joel Grebenick
Investing in Equity
While neither of us were born in Minnesota, this state is our home. With careers in the financial services sector, we both moved here over a decade ago to work in a community with a robust economy and a high quality of life. While we have found that and more in the Twin Cities, we are keenly aware that many of our fellow residents have not shared in that same good fortune.
As people who care about improving our community, we have donated to charity since arriving in the Twin Cities. Yet our approach to giving looked much different than our approaches to our jobs in finance, which involve the use of rigorous and objective diligence as a means to achieving returns on invested capital. When it comes to philanthropy, though, we are by no means equipped to evaluate and identify the nonprofits that are poised to create the biggest impacts with our donations.
Fortunately for us – and for our community – we don’t have to be experts in philanthropic measurement in order to have a measurable impact. Through the Constellation Fund, we have found a vehicle to channel our donations toward nonprofits shown by evidence to be moving the needle in the fight against poverty.
“Through the Constellation Fund, we have found a vehicle to channel our donations toward nonprofits shown by evidence to be moving the needle in the fight against poverty.”
Constellation’s approach provides us the opportunity to give with confidence, knowing that every dollar is being carefully and impactfully invested across our community. And it has also provided us with the opportunity to go deeper … or, in Constellation’s parlance, to go beyond dollars! Through his work at the investment firm Northern Lakes Capital, Joel has participated in the Beyond Dollars program, which connects Constellation’s impactful grantees with skills-based capacity-building support from local professionals. Joel was so inspired by his experience working alongside one of those nonprofits that he has since joined its board of directors.
We love the Twin Cities and plan to be here for the long haul, but it must become a more equitable place for everyone who calls it home. It is a responsibility that is shared by each of us, but it is also hard to know how to help and where to start. Like a growing number of our peers, we have found in the Constellation Fund a modern toolkit for using our dollars and talents to effectively invest into our community.