Letter from our Co-Founders

Annual report season is one of our favorite times of the year.

Our mailboxes and inboxes are filled with the good and important news of what nonprofits have been doing, and the impact they are having on their sectors and their communities. Lives are improved. The world is better. An annual report is no place to be shy!

Quite often, we read the financials first. When organizations are transparent with their data, they build trust. When they show where their money goes—how they leverage grants, donations and other resources—it builds confidence that they are stable. It builds hope that they may scale.

In a time where there seems to be more evil than good in the world, our nonprofits continue to bring us hope. Hope builds trust. Trust leads to commitment. Commitment—sustained over time—transforms the world.

In this, our own annual report, you can learn more about our commitments. In 2023, we discovered new partners and we continued to support those we know and love. After nearly three decades of giving, we wrote our largest single grant check in our history: $2 million to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. To be clear, we have funded much larger commitments—and that check was just the first in a multi-year commitment—but we have never written a single check that large.

Of course, we asked ourselves, Why this gift? Why now?

The answer was consistent with our history. We recognized a beautiful three-part harmony: our long-standing commitment to education and the environment, our trust in the leader who we have worked with before, and our belief in the organization. How could we resist?

We have many people to thank in 2023. From our staff who work tirelessly each and every day, to our nonprofit leaders who are creating new solutions to their communities’ toughest problems.

We are filled with gratitude to John’s parents, who continue to mentor us, and to our children who have embraced our family foundation and are funding great projects of their own.

Thank you for joining us on our journey!

Carrie and John on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon on a trip with American Rivers and Colorado Mountain College

MFF’s impact

At MFF, we track our cumulative impact over time, and also the difference we are making each year. Here’s a look at the numbers.

Grants since inception



142* partners

Grants under $25k


Grants in 2023



25* states and the District of Columbia

Grants over $25k


* in 2023

MAP Fellows meet and bond in Miami at their kickoff event.

2023 Grants by Sector

Public and Societal Benefit$2,200,119
Arts and Culture$2,105,500
Health and Wellness$1,329,100
Human Services$274,806
Women and Girls$79,509

2023 Direct and Indirect Impact by Sector

Each year, we survey our partners to learn how our dollars have been used and how many lives have been impacted, directly and indirectly. We are thrilled when we see the ripple effect of our grants.

Direct Impact: 2,087,261 lives

Indirect Impact: 8,527,108 lives

Arts and Culture

230,000 2,000,000


1,124,000 1,124,000


157,263 2,015,411

Health and Wellness

153,521 2,112,025

Human Services

150,802 20,207

Public and Societal Benefit

271,475 1,234,950

Women and Girls

200 20,515


$25K – $99K26 Gifts
$100K – $249K12 Gifts
$250K – $499K9 Gifts
$500K+5 Gifts

At MFF, we like to spend time outdoors with our partners. Here is Carrie (center) in Montana with members of the Rieschel Foundation.

Managing Director John Farnam leads MFF’s annual back-to-school shopping spree to benefit A Precious Child

MFF and Colorado Mountain College cut the ribbon at the Morgridge Teaching Kitchen in Aspen, Colorado

List of our 2023 partners $25K and greater

We are so very grateful for the entrepreneurial spirit and generosity so very evident at The Morgridge Family Foundation. Their compassion toward those in need, coupled with a fundamental desire to disrupt systems and support frontline groups striving to attain excellence, is so very fresh and gratifying.

Charles Bender, Founding CEO,
 Place of Hope


As 2024 unfolds, we are even more excited about the partners we fund and the projects we continue to refine and support in house.

As the Morgridge Acceleration Program continues to mature, our alumni have an even greater impact on the social sector as they keep building on the skills they learned in their fellowships. Our Child Welfare Initiative has expanded. We are convening people with lived experience and leaders from government, industry and philanthropy to find community-driven solutions. For more than 20 years, the Student Support Foundation has inspired and empowered the next generation of young American philanthropists. MFF Publishing will have two new books in 2024, amplifying the work of leaders who are changing the world.

It takes time and patience to disrupt and create change. As we follow our curiosity, and go deeper with our network partners and the individual nonprofits we fund, we continue to learn more about our passions, and where we can have the greatest impact.

We see promise for the future.