GiveMN Board of Directors

Current GiveMN Board of Directors

Sami Pelton - Chair

Carlos Abler
Chief Relevance Officer LLC

Joe Campbell
M Health Fairview

Stephanie Dilworth - Treasurer
University of Minnesota College of Design
Lola Mercedes Parker Foundation for Economic Empowerment of Business and Professional Women

Tracy Fischman
Minnesota Department of Revenue

Sara Flick
Mayo Clinic

Darla Kashian - Secretary
RBC Wealth Management

John Larsen
Design Forty Five

Meghan McInerny
Best Buy
Cordale Q. Handy In Remembrance of Me Foundation
Still Kickin

Carmen Means
Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization

Melissa Pelland
Phoenix Fixtures

Jenna Ray - Vice Chair
West Central Initiative
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians

Michael Russell

Dr. Michael Self, Sr.
Metropolitan State University

Dominick Washington
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Chris Wentzlaff
University of Minnesota Foundation

Lindy Yokanovich, Esq.
Cancer Legal Care

Rob Zeaske
Harvard Business School

February 1, 2021 -- The GiveMN Board of Directors is searching for up to three new members to join for three-year terms beginning in July 2021, and open the search to nominations from our community of stakeholders, including donors, nonprofit and school staff and volunteers, and anyone who is passionate about Minnesota philanthropy and the vibrancy of our nonprofit sector.

 Learn more about our board and the nominations process below, including the responsibilities of board members, the strengths and perspectives we are seeking, how to nominate yourself or someone in your network, and a note from our current Board Chair and Governance Committee Chair.

Priorities in the FY2021 board member selection process

The GiveMN Governance Committee is seeking board members who are passionate about Minnesota philanthropy and the vibrancy of our nonprofit sector. Priority will be given to nominees with a variety of strengths and perspectives that deepen our connection to our communities and reflect our organizational values.

First and foremost:

  • We are seeking nominees who are committed to and passionate about the work of GiveMN.

We are prioritizing nominees who represent the following communities:

  • Nominees with expertise in technology, human-centered design, and/or e-commerce
  • Nominees with legal expertise*
  • Nominees who identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color
  • Nominees living in Greater Minnesota, outside of the Twin Cities Metro area

We also believe that nominees who represent the following communities may be good candidates for the board:

  • Nominees who are corporate leaders
  • Nominees who are regarded as leaders of formal or informal communities
  • Nominees who are entrepreneurs
  • Nominees who are philanthropic leaders
  • Nominees who are over 60 years of age
  • Nominees under 35 years of age (but at least 18 years of age)

GiveMN works to live out four core values in our programs and in our governance of the organization and is seeking nominees with whom these values also resonate positively.

  • Operate from Abundance | GiveMN operates from a place of abundance, not scarcity. We believe that philanthropy is not a zero-sum game and that our resources are best invested in ideas that ‘grow the pie’ and bring more people to the philanthropic table.
  • Connected to Community | GiveMN is accountable to and connected with the communities we serve. We believe that our ideas are improved by listening and responding to the needs of our stakeholders and that when making strategic decisions, we will be informed by the organizations and donors we serve and the funders who support our work.
  • Equity in Action | GiveMN has a responsibility to actualize systems, practices, and services that create more equitable access to resources, acknowledging that structures of inequity exist in philanthropy. We apply multiple equity lenses to our decision-making and prioritize serving communities and individuals with less access to resources.
  • Courage to Try | GiveMN strongly values informed action over prolonged analysis and believes that the substantial change we want to realize in our state requires courage, innovation, and calculated risk. Our team is reflective and persistent in pursuing results and strives to learn from both our successes and our failures.

* The GiveMN Board of Directors is seeking and prioritizing community members whose perspectives and contributions as volunteer board members might be informed by their legal training, background, and experience. GiveMN retains separate outside counsel and is not seeking a board member to serve as the organization’s attorney.

Board member responsibilities

Members of the GiveMN Board of Directors are asked to engage with the organization’s mission and stakeholders in the following ways.

  • Represent the vision, mission, and values of GiveMN as a representative of the organization.
  • Serve a three-year term beginning on July 1, with the possibility of renewing for a second term.
  • Participate in meetings of the board of directors approximately six times per year on a weekday afternoon.
  • Participate in meetings of at least one board committee approximately four times per year. Committees currently include the executive committee, finance and audit committee, governance and board engagement committee, earned revenue development committee, mission and program pursuit committee, and organizational leadership design committee.
  • Review board and committee meeting materials in advance and fully participate in meetings.
  • Serve on ad hoc committees as needed.
  • Be an active user of to make contributions to your favorite causes.
  • Make personally meaningful financial contributions to support GiveMN.
  • Assist in fundraising efforts by connecting the executive director and staff with prospective donors.
  • Connect with diverse and under-resourced communities to help identify and cultivate relationships to broaden GiveMN’s impact for donors, organizations, volunteers, funders, and advocates.
  • Participate in the annual performance and compensation review of the executive director.
  • Assist in the recruitment and nomination of new board and committee members.
  • Be available for consultation by staff at the discretion of the executive director.
  • Be informed about issues impacting Minnesota organizations and the donors who support them.
  • Serve without compensation or expense reimbursement.

How to nominate yourself or others

The deadline for nominations was 11:59 pm CT on Monday, March 1, 2021.

A Note from GiveMN Board Leaders

On behalf of the GiveMN Board of Directors, we are delighted to invite you to submit nominations for up to three open positions on our board with terms beginning in July 2021.

This marks the second year of our public nominations process, part of our ongoing effort to continue building deep connections to our communities. Last year, we welcomed four new members to our board after reviewing dozens of strong candidates nominated by donors, nonprofits, schools, and those who care about philanthropy in Minnesota. Learn more below about our newest class of board members—Carmen Means, Jenna Ray, Dr. Michael Self, and Lindy Yokanovich. 

Our board of directors is a group of committed volunteers who help guide the strategic direction of GiveMN. Since our founding 12 years ago, they have been integral in the creation of our programs such as RaiseMN, Give to the Max Day, and 

The nomination process is open for the month of February, and we invite you to nominate people—including yourself—who you think would help us in our mission of igniting generosity and growing giving. Nominations are due by March 1. Then our board’s governance committee will review all nominations as we work to bring new members onto the board this summer.

Thank you for being a part of philanthropy in Minnesota. We look forward to learning more about you and the leaders you most respect through this process.

Sami Pelton, GiveMN Board Chair
John Larsen, Governance Committee Chair


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