Minnesota Foundations Launch Effort to Advance Public Service Reform

A group of six Minnesota foundations has announced the launch of a new initiative to support decision makers in advancing strategies designed to reform public services in the state.

To assist public and private efforts to evaluate and promote reform proposals, the Blandin, Bush, Minneapolis, Northwest Area, and Saint Paul and Minnesota Community foundations will work together through the Imagine Another Way initiative to advance three principles that can serve as a framework for successful reform: encourage government to make more strategic choices; innovate and experiment with program structures and delivery systems; and deliver better outcomes for every tax dollar spent.

As part of the initiative, the Public Strategies Group, with support from the participating foundations, has developed a series of policy and systems change ideas that can serve as examples of positive reform. A report based on those ideas, Beyond the Bottom Line (55 pages, PDF), includes sixteen recommendations that, together, have the potential to save the state more than $2 billion every two years while improving service outcomes for the Minnesota residents. Minnesotans are invited to offer their own suggestions at the Citizen League's CitiZing! Web site, which is designed to foster conversations among people statewide.

"We understand that Minnesota's budget challenges did not develop over one month or even one year, and effective solutions will take time," said Northwest Area Foundation president and CEO Kevin Walker. "But we are convinced that the best solutions will come when the public and their elected leaders start from a core set of principles that will unite us, and have the broadest range of options in front of them."