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MINNEAPOLIS, MN., [June 10, 2020] — In response to the murder of George Floyd and the deeply ingrained systemic racism in our country, the Pohlad Family announced today that it is committing $25 million to racial justice, bringing to bear resources of the Pohlad Family Foundation, Pohlad family members, and Pohlad Companies in a two-phased, community-based approach.

“Black people have experienced oppression and racism for far too long in this country,” said Bill Pohlad, president of the Pohlad Family Foundation. “We condemn racism in all its forms, and we are firmly committed to helping to enact meaningful change. We know this will take time and effort, and we are committed to this work beyond this seminal moment in our country’s history.”

In the short term, the Pohlads are focused on providing immediate relief and rebuilding organizations in impacted communities. In addition to encouraging employee volunteerism and matching employee donations across Pohlad Companies, the Pohlad Family Foundation will support grassroots organizations doing this important work. The Pohlad organization also plans to work with local government, philanthropic organizations and the business community to help rebuild businesses that have been destroyed, with the goal of ensuring the continued cultural diversity and affordability of the local areas.

Over the long term, the Pohlad family will focus on impacting structural change through the Foundation. We will partner with other equally committed organizations to help change the systems that create racial inequities and marginalize people of color.

The commitment of $25 million is in addition to the ongoing work of the Pohlad Family Foundation in the areas of homelessness and housing stability.

“As we undertake these additional efforts in racial justice, we will take the time to listen and learn from the community first. We believe that people are experts in their own lives, and to make lasting change, we must learn from their lived experience,” said Susan Bass Roberts, vice president and executive director, Pohlad Family Foundation. “Our goal is to work in community to identify and support solutions that reflect the input of those closest to the issue and address their greatest needs.”

“While we are determined to help affect change in our community, we also know that any real change must start from within,” added Pohlad. “And so, we acknowledge that we have our own work to do and are working to strengthen diversity and inclusion in our organization.”

 

About Pohlad Family Foundation

The Pohlad Family Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life and opportunities for those most in need in the Twin Cities region. Our strategic focus is to improve housing stability with the goal of preventing and ending homelessness among families and youth in the Twin Cities. We use four strategies: 1) catch youth and families before they experience homelessness; 2) fund housing affordability solutions; 3) address systemic change; and 4) create awareness and galvanize support. To learn more about the Foundation’s history and focus, visit pohladfoundation.org.

 

About Pohlad Companies

Founded by Carl R. Pohlad in the 1950s, the Pohlad Companies had its start in the banking and soft-drink bottling industries. Now managed by his three sons Jim, Robert and Bill, with third generation family members actively involved, the organization has four primary business groups. Operating Companies includes ownership and management of firms in diverse industries such as commercial real estate mortgage banking (NorthMarq), automobiles (Carousel Motor Group) and automation (PaR Systems); Real Estate includes commercial real estate development and investment activities, principally through United Properties LLC.; Sports and Entertainment comprises investments in the sports and entertainment industries including the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball Club; and Investments includes direct and non-control investments in privately held companies and in financial instruments of varying duration and type. The Pohlad family and the Pohlad Companies have a deep commitment to the communities where they live and work, demonstrated through the Pohlad Family Foundation, along with the giving and engagement initiatives of its operating businesses and employees. To learn more, visit pohladcompanies.com.

 

Media Contact:

Susan Bass Roberts, Vice President and Executive Director, Pohlad Family Foundation

(612) 661-3811

sbassroberts@pohladfoundation.org

MINNEAPOLIS – May 23, 2017 – The Pohlad family, through their private family foundation, has earmarked $1 million for one-time transitional support to nonprofit organizations impacted by Greater Twin Cities United Way cuts.

The foundation has invited 40 nonprofit organizations experiencing a budget reduction of 40 percent or more to apply for the one-time transitional support grants. Invited agencies are focused on the Reading by Third Grade and Out of School Time programs, as well as domestic violence prevention.

“We were aware of the challenges faced by these agencies, and wanted to do something to help. This is our way to ensure that the agencies have a little more time to figure out next steps for their future,” said Bill Pohlad, president, Pohlad Family Foundation. “We also hope other foundations will join us in helping cover this unexpected funding gap.”

The foundation expects to award 15-20 grants of up to $100,000, according to Susan Bass Roberts, vice president and executive director, Pohlad Family Foundation.

“The Pohlad family believes in the United Way and understands the challenges it faces. At the same time, they are sympathetic to those nonprofit organizations that provide quality social services to our community’s most vulnerable populations,” Bass Roberts noted.

Applications are by invitation only and are due June 9, and grant notifications will be made the week of July 1.

About the Pohlad Family Foundation
Founded by Carl and Eloise Pohlad in 1993, the Pohlad Family Foundation has a broad mission to help improve the quality of life in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region with an interest in youth programs, community programs and special initiatives. As a family foundation, grantmaking is motivated by needs in the community that intersect with the philanthropic interests of the Pohlad family.

MINNEAPOLIS — (Aug. 16, 2016) — The Pohlad Family Foundation announced today that Susan Bass Roberts has joined the organization as its vice president, executive director. Her appointment is effective immediately.

Most recently, Bass Roberts served as executive director of the Best Buy Foundation in her role as senior director of community relations/diversity inclusion for Best Buy.

In her new role for Pohlad, Bass Roberts will oversee all aspects of the Foundation’s giving and community outreach activities, working closely with family members representing both the second and third generations of the Pohlad family.

“Our commitment is to helping improve the quality of life in our communities, and we are confident that, under Susan’s leadership, the Foundation will be well positioned to continue its work addressing important issues and needs,” said Bill Pohlad, president of the Pohlad Family Foundation.

“I am very excited to join such a prestigious organization whose mission is to improve quality of life in the Twin Cities,” Bass Roberts said. “The Pohlad family has a long history of giving back to our community, and I’m honored to help continue that legacy.”

Bass Roberts brings 20 years of experience in philanthropy, community relations and communications to the Foundation. Since 2010, she has served as senior director of community relations for Best Buy, where she oversaw community outreach and the Foundation. She added responsibility for diversity and inclusion in 2013. Prior to that, she owned a boutique agency specializing in foundation management, community outreach and communications strategy for five years. From 2002-2005, Bass Roberts was vice president of communications and community relations for the Atlanta Falcons Football Club in Atlanta, where she managed public relations, community relations and the Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation. She also worked as director of community affairs and philanthropy for Limited Brands, Inc. Her early career involved stints with media companies, a public school system and a public relations agency.

Bass Roberts holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. She has a long history of community involvement; she currently serves on the boards of the Twin Cities YWCA, Minnesota Council on Foundations and Breck School. She and her family reside in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

In 1994, the Carl & Eloise Pohlad Family Foundation began its support of deserving nonprofit organizations throughout the Twin Cities. Nearly $120 million later, they’ve marked 20 years of giving. The Foundation has sought to be nimble and responsive through its mission to “improve the quality of life in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region by supporting organizations and leading initiatives that address important issues and needs.” Indeed, most nonprofits that receive support for their important work have accomplished great things for the people they serve over these first 20 years.

The 20 year report shares stories and background about the work the Foundation does, as well as accountability for the funds distributed. The report shares work that the Pohlad family and Foundation staff are eager to continue and build on in the future.

Download the Pohlad Family Foundation 20 year community report here.