Wilder Joins Interest for Others Giving Platform

Interest for Others LogoWilder is one of 33 Minnesota charities selected to participate in the launch of the Interest for Others online giving platform. 

Interest for Others is an idea brought to life by retired Briggs and Morgan attorney Bill Dolan as a way for financial institutions’ customers to donate interest earned in their accounts to charities of their choice. Individuals can also make outright gifts. Dolan’s vision was that small amounts of interest could be aggregated and become much larger sums, all helping nonprofit organizations. The Interest for Others Foundation was created in 2014 and has become a 501c3 tax-exempt public charity. 

Interest for Others will pay all credit card and transaction fees for outright gifts made at

Celebrating the Life of the Rev. Mary McMillan

Reverend Mary McMillan, the first woman elected to the Wilder Foundation Board of Directors, has passed away at the age of 97. Reverend McMillan served on the Wilder Board from 1973 to 1989 and continued to be a friend of Wilder throughout the years. She was an outstanding community leader and volunteer, serving numerous organizations during her lifetime.


Dr. Fayneese Miller Joins Wilder Board of Directors

Dr. Faynesse Miller
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr. Fayneese Miller, President of Hamline University, has joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Dr. Miller joins 11 other Board members comprising the governing body of the Wilder Foundation.

Dr. Miller joined Hamline University on July 1, 2015, becoming that institution’s 20th president. She is the first African American president in the history of Hamline and the university’s second female president. She has 30 years of academic and higher education experience. Dr. Miller was the first coordinator of education studies and the founding chair of ethnic studies at Brown University, where she served on the faculty for 20 years. More recently she served as the dean of the College of Education and Social Services at the University of Vermont for nearly 10 years.

“We are excited to have Dr. Miller join our Board of Directors, “ says Alex Cirillo, Wilder Foundation Board Chair. “Her extensive experience in education and youth and her broad perspective will undergird our work with children, youth and families. We are extremely pleased to have this tie with Hamline University, another longtime Saint Paul institution. Dr. Miller’s commitment to community will help guide Wilder’s mission and increase its impact today and into the future.”

Wilder Announces New Vice Presidents of Programs

Pahoua YangNona Ferguson

The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation is proud to announce Nona Ferguson and Dr. Pahoua Yang have been promoted to serve as Vice Presidents of Wilder Programs.

Wilder’s direct services and programs offer hope and support to more than 10,000 of people each year, helping them reach their full potential. Under the leadership of Nona and Pahoua, Wilder Programs will expand to support even more children, adults and families in our community, particularly related to mental health and economic stability.

Nona Ferguson has been with the Wilder Foundation for 21 years and has held numerous leadership positions during her tenure. She has served as the Director of Family Supportive Housing Services for the past five years. In her new role she will oversee Wilder’s supportive housing and programs addressing basic needs, early childhood and aging services.

Dr. Pahoua Yang has been with Wilder seven years and has served as the Director of Community Mental Health since 2014. She will lead Wilder’s community mental health and school success programs.

Nona and Pahoua bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their respective roles. They have dedicated their careers to community service. “After launching a formal search, I was even more convinced that we had the right people here at Wilder that we could promote. Nona and Pahoua are extraordinarily committed to our mission, and have the critical leadership skills and competencies to bring us into the future,” says Dr. MayKao Y. Hang, Wilder Foundation President and CEO.

View the full press release here.

Nonprofit and Philanthropic Organizations Hold Moment of Silence

Thanks to all of the organizations and individuals who joined in a moment of silence on July 14. It was a powerful time for members of the nonprofit and philanthropic sector to come together as a community following all of the recent tragic events around the country and world.
Organizations that participated in the moment of silence are listed below. If you joined in this moment and are not listed here, please contact to be added. Thank you:
Bush Foundation
Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis
CommonBond Communities
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy 
Girl Scouts River Valleys
Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota
Hope 4 Youth
Lifetrack Resources
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
McKnight Foundation
The Minneapolis Foundation
Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless
Minnesota Council on Foundations
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits AmeriCorps VISTA Program
Minnesota Council of Churches
Minnesota Philanthropy Partners
Minnesota Women's Consortium
Nonprofits Assistance Fund
Northside Funders Group
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
Pillsbury United Communities
PRG, Inc.
Project for Pride in Living
Saint Catherine University Center for Community Work and Learning
Second Harvest Heartland
Springboard for the Arts
Springboard for the Arts - Lakes Region 
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity
Volunteers of America of Minnesota
Walker West Music Academy
YMCA Twin Cities
YouthLink Minnesota

Related Resources

Wilder Receives $170,000 Grant to Support Kofi Families

The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation has received a grant from The William and Connie Carroll Endowment Fund of The Saint Paul Foundation to support families experiencing health and financial challenges.

The grant will support a rental assistance fund to subsidize housing for Kofi families with children struggling with mental health and behavioral challenges due to experienced childhood trauma. Kofi Services are culturally specific, school and home-based programs developed to increase the positive functioning of African-American youth.

“Health equity for our communities means our neighbors don’t have to make a choice between paying their rent and paying their families' medical bills. The Saint Paul Foundation is grateful to the donors who empowered us to help the network of nonprofits supporting families through challenging times,” said Ann Mulholland, vice president of Community Impact for Minnesota Philanthropy Partners.

Read more about this grant funding at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners.

Youthprise Awards Wilder 3-year Opportunity Reboot Grant

Youthprise announced today $3.75 million in grants to connect Minnesota’s opportunity youth with services and support that will lead to careers in high demand, like IT, health care, construction and manufacturing. Opportunity Reboot, a Social Innovation Fund (SIF) program, targets youth ages 14-24 who are either homeless, in foster care, involved in the juvenile justice system or disconnected from school and work. The Amherst H. Wilder Foundation is one of six organizations across Minnesota to receive a 3-year Opportunity Reboot grant. The grant will support culturally competent employment and educational programs and wraparound services for 44 to 65 homeless youth at Prior Crossing, a youth housing facility in Saint Paul.

“Opportunity Reboot will provide homeless youth a foundation for a better life. By focusing on the strengths of youth at a critical time in their lives, we will support youth in achieving their goals and reaching their full potential. Stable housing is essential to any education or employment gains these youth will make,” says Nona Ferguson, Director of Wilder's Family Supportive Housing Services.

Learn more about Prior Crossing.

View the full press release here.

2015 Homeless Study Finds 9,312 Homeless People in Minnesota

​Every three years, Wilder Research conducts a one-night statewide survey of homeless people in Minnesota to better understand the prevalence, causes, circumstances, and effects of homelessness. The most recent study was conducted on October 22, 2015.

Homeless Study Trend Data 1991-2015

Key Findings

The study counted 3,296 homeless children with parents, down 7 percent from 2012; and 1,542 families, down 12 percent. However, children with their parents still represent 35% of the overall homeless population, and remain the most likely age group to be homeless.

  • Youth on their own age 24 and younger make up 16% of the homeless population, including:
    • 471 young adults age 22-24
    • 779 young adults age 18-21
    • 213 unaccompanied minors
  • Homeless adults age 22-54 decreased 13% since 2012 to 4,108 people in 2015.
  • The number of homeless adults age 55 or older increased 8% since 2012 to 843 in 2015. The percentage increase is similar to the overall population growth for this age group. Older adults remain a small proportion of the overall homeless population, and the group least likely to be homeless.
  • The number of people in emergency shelters dropped 8 percent and the number of people in transitional shelters dropped 5 percent, while the number of people in domestic violence shelters increased 15 percent.

The numbers reflect homeless people counted on the night of the study. The count should be considered a minimum, since many homeless people outside the shelter system are not found on the night of the study, especially people in rural areas and youth. Estimates of the total homeless population will be released when additional analyses are completed.

View fact sheet (pdf).

These are initial findings from the 2015 study. Detailed data on the background and characteristics of homeless people will be available in May. Reports about specific populations will be released through 2016.

Our previous study conducted in 2012 counted 10,214 Minnesotans experiencing homelessness., and estimated more than 14,000 people are homeless in Minnesota on any given night.

View the full press release.

Groundbreaking at Prior Crossing: September 21

Prior Crossing Sketch

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held September 21 for Prior Crossing, a 44-unit supportive housing development for homeless youth. When completed, Prior Crossing will be the largest permanent supportive housing development for homeless youth in the East Metro.

Wilder Research's 2012 Statewide Homeless Study counted more than 1,000 homeless youth age 18-21 throughout the state. ​Homeless youth are some of the least visible and most vulnerable people in our community. They frequently have histories of abuse and/or neglect, and are at great risk for exploitation or other forms of trauma.They also have unique needs: They are still finishing school, seeking a career path and developing their independence.

Wilder will provide on-site services at Prior Crossing, connecting with the youth to heal from the trauma of homelessness, build a positive community environment, set and achieve personal and educational goals and find and keep jobs. Prior Crossing is not transitional housing or shelter; its 44 studio apartments are leased to homeless youth with no time limit.

Prior Crossing is the result of Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative’s work with The House of Hope Presbyterian Church and other local congregations and the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation. The congregation donated $500,000 in initial funding to leverage further private and public capital and operating funds. Other notable private funders are the Archibald Bush Legacy Grant and the Hardenbergh Foundation.

Visit Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative's website for more information about Prior Crossing and the groundbreaking ceremony on September 21.

Mississippi Market Raises $10,000 to Support Twin Cities Mobile Market

Throughout the month of August, Mississippi Market Co-Op shoppers raised more than $10,000 in support of Twin Cities Mobile Market.


The  co-op's Positive Change program offers shoppers the opportunity to donate their 10 cent reusable bag credit and round up their total bill in support of a different cause each month. This summer generous Mississippi Market shoppers contributed their bag credit and rounded up to support Twin Cities Mobile Market, a program of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation that brings fresh, affordable foods directly into under-served neighborhoods. 

Thanks to Mississippi Market and to everyone who contributed to the Positive Change program in suport of the Mobile Market. Together we're making fresh, healthy foods more accessible to thousands of Twin Cities residents!

1 - 10Next

 Media Contacts

For Wilder Foundation inquiries:
Andy Brown
Phone: 651-280-2448
For Wilder Research inquiries:
Wendy Huckaby
Phone: 651-280-2720

 Looking for Data?


 Press Releases