EdAllies 2017 Annual Report

Intro From Our Board Chair

As a parent and an educator, I know that all children are capable of greatness. It’s this knowledge that makes Minnesota’s achievement and opportunity gaps all the more heartbreaking—and the work of closing these gaps all the more urgent. When we assume that, because some children are not excelling in school, it reflects more on them than it does on the system that’s educating them, we are not helping those kids achieve greatness. When, instead of giving these children more resources, opportunities, and effective educators, we actually give them less, we are perpetuating the system that has too often left them behind.

I helped launch EdAllies in late 2016 because I was tired of waiting for change. Our underserved kids need an organization that is willing to not just name the hard truths about what’s not working for them in schools, but to change those truths, too. As the founding board chair, I envisioned that EdAllies would become that organization. As I look back on 2017, our first full year in operation, I am proud and humbled to share the ways in which we lived up to that vision.

In the highlights below, you’ll see that we worked on many fronts, from elevating issues and voices that may have otherwise been overlooked, to advancing policies that will make sure our most underserved students move front and center. I hope you’ll see, too, that we picked our name, EdAllies, with purpose and intent, to stress our commitment to working in genuine partnership with families, educators, and community members who know that our state’s children can’t wait any longer.

That’s why as I reflect on 2017, I am most thankful for you: the partners who helped us get off the ground and who believe, like us, in every child’s greatness, and share our urgency in helping them achieve it.

Thank you.

Ann Johnson
EdAllies Board Chair

Our Mission

EdAllies partners with schools, families, and communities to ensure that every young Minnesotan has access to a rigorous and engaging education. We advance policies that put underserved students first, remove barriers facing successful schools and programs, and foster an inclusive conversation about what's possible for students.

  1. Advancing equity
  2. Removing barriers
  3. Changing the conversation

Our Core Values

Equity Inventiveness Humility Honesty Courage

2017 Highlights

Our Team & Supporters




We take our name, and our role as an ally, seriously. We partner closely with community leaders, families, school and district leaders, classroom teachers, students, and other education stakeholders, and, when a project or campaign winds down, seek to learn from them what we did well and what we didn’t. Through our annual partner survey, we gather concrete feedback so we can become a better partner in the work ahead.

2017 Partner Survey Highlights


local partners
completed the survey


agreed or strongly agreed that EdAllies
is a valued partner


agreed or strongly agreed that we are
responsive & reliable

How well are we living up to our core values?

Our strength is courage

where 91% rated our team as good or excellent

Our biggest area for growth is humility

where 69% rated us as good or excellent

Where can we do better in the coming year?

We will focus on deepening partnerships

with parents and community-based organizations


Foundations and Corportations

  • 3Mgives
  • Advance Consulting LLC
  • The Douglass Brandenborg Family Foundation
  • Bush Foundation
  • Carlson Family Foundation
  • F R Bigelow Foundation
  • General Mills Foundation
  • GHR Foundation
  • Graves Foundation
  • The Joyce Foundation
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Microsoft
  • Minnesota Comeback
  • National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
  • Otto Bremer Trust
  • The Walton Family Foundation
  • WEM Foundation

Individuals and Family Funds

  • Albright Foundation
  • Chancey Anderson
  • The Julie and Doug Baker, Jr. Foundation
  • Nicholas and Liz Banovetz
  • Shannon and Jeanette Blankenship
  • Thomas Borman
  • Caleb and Mollie Bousu
  • The Brown Family Foundation
  • Amy and Matt Buckley
  • Darrel Burris
  • Brandie Burris-Gallagher
  • Jay and Page Cowles
  • Josh Crosson
  • Ella Daniels
  • Madaline Edison
  • Elizabeth and David Finch
  • Warren Gallagher and Stella Pagonis
  • David and Stephanie Garry Garfunkel
  • Paul and Elizabeth Gunderson
  • Troy Haugen
  • Ben and Kathleen Heupel
  • Maren Hulden
  • Ann Johnson
  • Brent Kent
  • Ariana Kiener
  • Holly Kragthorpe
  • Matt and Katie Barrett Kramer
  • Conor and Cameron Leonard
  • Dick and Joyce H. McFarland Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation
  • Andrew Minck
  • Shannon Mitchell
  • Joe Nathan
  • Michael O’Connell
  • Olson Family Fund
  • Tim and Sandra Penny
  • Piper Family Fund II of The Minneapolis Foundation
  • Morgan and Tiegan Rapp
  • Josh Reimnitz and Daniella Vassan
  • Remele Family Fund
  • Andrea Roethke
  • Don and Sondra Samuels
  • Katie and Jeremy Schroeder
  • Daniel and Stacy Sellers
  • Karen and Dick Sellers
  • Nathan Sellers and Kendahl Moser-Bleil
  • Smikis Foundation
  • Ed and Val Spencer
  • Eric and Lauren Stavenger
  • Jill and Richard Stever-Zeitlin
  • Bo Thao-Urabe
  • Allison Welch
  • Ben and Mary Whitney
  • Dan and Ginny Wright

2017 Financials

Functional Expenses

What's next?

We’re already hard at work on our 2018 goals, from advancing policies that support great teachers and school leaders, to bringing more nuance to local education conversations, to making it easier for families to understand—and access—their school options.

You can support this work by:

Download a PDF of this report