Constellation was founded in 2018 to bring a more evidence-driven approach to poverty alleviation to local philanthropy, harnessing the power of analytics alongside on-the-ground community insights to find, fund, and empower the nonprofits shown by evidence to be creating the biggest impacts in the fight against poverty. The organization’s modern, innovative approach has resonated, quickly attracting the support of a diverse group of business and community leaders and allowing the organization to double its fundraising total in each of its first years of operations. Constellation’s metric-backed work also allows it to measure the impact of that generosity: on average, the nonprofits that Constellation supports are projected to turn every dollar that they receive into over five times worth of long-term health and wealth improvements for individuals and families experiencing poverty in the Twin Cities. And since Constellation’s Board of Directors pays for the organization’s operating costs, 100% of its own donations are invested into these nonprofit partners.
The momentum behind Constellation’s vision for an updated approach to charity was on full display at Bright Night, a free virtual event that raised over $2 million from 235 donations in just 90 minutes. In keeping with the evening’s iconic venue, the program included performances from locally- and nationally-acclaimed musicians—Amos Lee, Kiss the Tiger, and Ujamaa Music Group, the musical arm of one of Constellation’s grantees, Ujamaa Place—and welcome remarks from Dayna Frank, the owner and CEO of First Avenue Productions. Other Bright Night speakers included: Susan Bass Roberts, the Executive Director of The Pohlad Family Foundation, Renay Dossman, the President of Neighborhood Development Center, and Andrew Dayton, Constellation’s founder and CEO.