There are two essential aspects to the constellations that we see in the night sky: the astrology and the astronomy or, to put it plainly, the stories and the science. Both of these elements carry fundamental truths that are key to truly understanding the significance of the stars. The same is true for philanthropy.

Pressing social issues like poverty are filled with complexity. On the one hand, there is the invaluable wisdom that can only come from on-the-ground lived experiences. On the other hand, there is a growing body of knowledge that exists in data from and research into countless poverty-fighting interventions conducted in communities across the country. Together, the qualitative and the quantitative, the stories and science, underscore what we know – and expose what we don’t – about improving the lives of those living in poverty. And, if thoughtfully used together, this information can point us toward better outcomes.

The Constellation Fund is designed to do just that. We institutionalize the best available information – qualitative and quantitative – into our grantmaking. In doing so, Constellation uses evidence to find, fund, and empower the most impactful nonprofits in our community in order to help our best poverty-fighting assets flourish and scale.



The Constellation Fund has a growing staff of individuals committed to identifying and investing in the most impactful poverty-fighting assets in the Twin Cities.

Rose Carr

Impact Officer

Andrew Dayton

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Jose Diaz, Ph.D.

Chief Impact Officer

Kate Genereux

Director of Partnerships

Amal Karim

Impact Officer

Ryan Petersen

Chief Advancement Officer

Carsen Verdin

Operations Manager


Our Board of Directors and Leadership Funders have generously underwritten our administrative and operational costs so that every dollar donated to the Constellation Fund will directly support the most impactful poverty-fighting organizations in the Twin Cities.

Susan Bass Roberts

Pohlad Family Foundation

Andrew Dayton

The Constellation Fund

Eric Dayton

Askov Finlayson

Stephen Hemsley

UnitedHealth Group

Wendy Nelson

The Carlson Family Foundation

Marcia Page

Värde Partners

Robert Pohlad*

Pohlad Companies

Lynne Redleaf

Lynne & Andrew Redleaf Foundation

Tim Welsh

U.S. Bancorp
* Denotes Leadership Funder


The Constellation Impact Council works to continuously develop and improve Constellation’s evidence-driven evaluation framework, helping to ensure that best-in-class metrics are used to bolster our grantmaking.

Aaron Sojourner, Ph.D.

Carlson School of Management

Judy Temple, Ph.D.

Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Department of Applied Economics

Mark Wright, Ph.D.

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Richard Chase, Ph.D.

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation


The Constellation Fund is grateful to partner with a number of incredible organizations whose generous support makes our work possible.


The Constellation Fund is driven by a core set of values, which inspire and inform every aspect of our work.


We make every decision with one question in mind: what will have the greatest impact for those living below the poverty line in the Twin Cities?
We go to great lengths to carefully select our partners, and then we trust them.
We make informed, reasoned choices in the face of ambiguity or pressure.
We seek to identify root causes and to move beyond treating symptoms.


We follow the best available evidence, even when it’s uncomfortable.
We are willing to be respectfully critical of the status quo.
We make tough decisions, take smart risks, and are open to possible failures.
We question actions inconsistent with our values.


We challenge prevailing assumptions and suggest better approaches.
We use effective tools and new insights to better address pressing challenges.
We appreciate stability but welcome disruption and thrive on progress.


We strive relentlessly to improve our organization and our community.
We invite and accomplish remarkable amounts of meaningful work.
We engender confidence by demonstrating consistent results.


We seek and embrace diverse perspectives to make better decisions.
We recognize that we all have biases and work to grow past them.
We prioritize cooperation and build strong partnerships.


We are detail-oriented and take pride in our internal and external interactions.
We listen well and seek to deeply understand before reacting.
We provide polite, candid, and timely feedback to colleagues and partners.
We share information and assets openly and proactively.


We treat everyone with kindness, respect, and compassion.
We admit mistakes freely and openly.
We make time to help colleagues and give due credit to our partners.