United Way of Olmsted County’s Culturally Powered Communities is a transformational capacity building program designed to strengthen the education, health, and financial stability of Olmsted County’s cultural communities by strengthening the organizations that serve them.
Help us build back a better, more equitable Olmsted County
Culturally specific organizations (CSOs) are the best advocates for their communities because they understand the cultural norms, beliefs, and traditions of the people they serve; effectively engage community members; recognize and remove barriers to accessing services; and bridge norms between communities and institutions. These strengths of CSOs are often challenges for established mainstream organizations seeking to better serve a diverse cross-section of the community. At the same time, a lack of resources often keeps CSOs from developing capacities in areas such as data management, fundraising, technology, HR, or board development.
As communities know and research verifies, CSOs play a vital role in communities’ wellbeing. Studies indicate that people of color, Native Americans, and immigrants often prefer to interact with organizations that reflect their culture and traditions. However, these organizations are less likely than their mainstream counterparts to receive grant funding and tend to be smaller in size.
Culturally Powered Communities is principally designed to support CSOs through significant funding, individualized organizational and professional development, peer learning, and strengthening networks of leaders and organizations. The program also supports mainstream organizations with project-based mini-grants, support and training in organizational development to improve equity, and peer learning.
Read our supporting research about inequities in our Olmsted County community and how we can create a thriving community where all people reach their full potential.
Here's what our staff are reading these days:
- Belonging, Support, and Trust: Racial Equity at Work from Bain & Company
- Building supportive ecosystems for Black-owned US businesses from McKinsey & Company
- Navigating Race and New Leadership in a Time of Upheaval by Michelle Rhone-Collins
- Obstacles and Opportunities in Addressing the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap from the Building Movement Project
- On the Frontlines by the Building Movement Project
- Racial Equity and Philanthropy by The Bridgespan Group
- Transformational Capacity Building by April Nishimura et al
- Who Leads in Minnesota? From Minnesota Compass and the Bush Foundation
Culturally Powered Communities is an equity strategy made possibly through a collaboration between United Way of Olmsted County and Mayo Clinic. CPC is powered in partnership with Otto Bremer Trust. We appreciate the support of our partners at Cradle 2 Career, The Diversity Council, Emmright Consulting, Intercultural Mutual Assistance Association, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Rochester Area Foundation, Sports Mentorship Academy, and Zumbro Valley Health Center.