Annual Report 2014

We know the most effective way to apply our innovative approach to civic engagement – putting citizens and communities back in the driver’s seat of democracy – is to work with organizations whose reach, skill, and expertise complement ours. That’s why we thoughtfully and consistently pursued collaborative programs with policy organizations, government agencies, academic researchers, and other engagement practitioners throughout the year.

2014 was all about our partnerships.


We kicked off 2014 by collaborating with Healthy Democracy to design and test a streamlined version of the award-winning Citizens’ Initiative Review in preparation for its expansion beyond Oregon. This new format was used in Colorado, Arizona, and Oregon during the 2014 election.


In partnership with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, we conducted the first Rural Climate Dialogue in Morris, Minnesota. Community members came together in June in a multi-day deliberative event to recommend action addressing climate change. Since then, Morris residents have organized a composting program, begun efforts to build a community solar installation, and are pursuing funding from foundations and state agencies to implement other recommendations.


In Fall, we began our Student Civic Leadership program with Minneapolis Community & Technical College. In collaboration with Professor Lena Jones, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and the Native American Community Development Institute, MCTC students developed and hosted Minnesota’s only student-led candidate forum for a statewide office, hosting the Secretary of State candidates in early October.


With support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, we’re teaming up with researchers from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine to enhance healthcare policy and decision-making through patient education and deliberation.


We worked with staff and Museum Diversity Fellows at the Minnesota Historical Society to strengthen MHS’s community engagement and public participation efforts. Our efforts culminated in the nation’s first Department of Inclusion & Community Engagement at a state historical society.

Financial Innovation

No, we didn’t become investment bankers. We did, however, diversify our fund development efforts in 2014. We tapped into federal and private foundation grants, reached new individual donors, and expanded our earned income program.

We’re now in a position to double our program budget for 2015.

Income Trends

red-ghost Earned Income & Program Service Fees
pink-ghost Individual Contributions
blue-ghost Grants & In-Kind Contributions
pac Founder/Family Contributions (as % of annual budget)


Founder Contributions =$225,297
Grants & In-Kind Contributions =$1000
Individual Contributions =$400
Total Budget =$226,697



Founder Contributions =$171,000
Individual Contributions =$12,658
Grants & In-Kind Contributions =$1,919
Total Budget =$185,578



Founder Contributions =$121,000
Earned Income =$50,512
Individual Contributions =$21,749
Grants & In-Kind Contributions =$14,650
Total Budget =$207,965


2015 (Projected)

Founder Contributions =$90,000
Grants & In-Kind Contributions =$228,455
Earned Income =$121,800
Individual Contributions =$56,500
Total Budget =$496,755


Dependence on our founder and his family’s generous support has declined every year since 2012. Conversely, we have seen major gains year after year in earned income, grants, and individual contributions. The number of individuals supporting the Jefferson Center has increased eight-fold since 2012.

Thanks to you!

There’s no way we could have had such an amazing 2014 without the passion and dedication of our donors, partners, participants, and supporters. Thank you for making a commitment to us and to a strong democracy – a democracy that actively includes all Americans.

You may download our Annual Report as a pdf formatted for your printer or for your screen.

2014 Annual Report (PRINT)
2014 Annual Report (ONLINE)