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YPN5Q: Minneapolis Foundation donor experience director Robyn Schein

This week we hear from Robyn Schein, manager of Fourth Generation, The Minneapolis Foundation’s experiential program for the next generation of givers.


YPN5Q is a weekly Q&A series spotlighting the state’s top young business and civic leaders and creative minds — professionals propelling change through entrepreneurship, the arts, public service, social media, and community involvement.

This week we hear from Robyn Schein, director of donor experience and engagement at The Minneapolis Foundation.

Recently named a Community Connector and an Under the Radar Leader by Pollen, Schein is an expert in family philanthropy and outreach to younger donors. She coordinates the Foundation’s experiential giving program for young professionals, Fourth Generation, and is the point person for efforts around social media and philanthropy.

Schein has been a featured speaker on helping families bridge generational differences to make the most of their giving at two national  Council on Foundations conferences and is a certified consultant with 21/64, an organization offering services to multi-generational families in philanthropy.

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Involved with the work of the Minnesota Council on Foundations and the Council on Foundations, Schein currently serves on the Committee on Family Philanthropy and the planning team for the 2012 Family Philanthropy Conference, in addition to serving on the board of Students Today Leaders Forever.

Robyn Schein
Courtesy of Robyn ScheinRobyn Schein

Name: Robyn Schein
Age: 34 
Residence: Minneapolis
Current job title: Director of Donor Experience and Engagement
Current employer: The Minneapolis Foundation

1. What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
I was just promoted from client services at The Minneapolis Foundation into a new position as the director of donor experience and engagement, a role that brings greater focus to the services we offer to our donors and value of working with The Minneapolis Foundation.

I create ways to support our donors in their charitable giving that are innovative, fresh, and most importantly, meaningful. This is particularly challenging in such a busy a world when we are all trying to absorb so much information through different communication channels and being pulled in multiple directions to balance our time.

Fortunately for me, I like a good challenge.  I am driven by the opportunity to try new things and the potential that comes with taking some risks.

2. How do you start each day?
After herding my kids (ages two and four) out the door to daycare, I commute to work with my husband.

It’s the best time of the day. We get 15 minute alone to go over our calendars, coordinate schedules and just talk.

My husband is my biggest cheerleader and most trusted advisor, so I am grateful for the time with him to prep for the day.

If I’ve had coffee first, our conversations are far more productive.   

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3. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having a growing career and growing family at the same time.  

4. What’s a new interest of yours?
I am obsessed with my Couch to 5K app on my iPhone. I really wanted to get into running and this has been a great way to start.

I just ran the Get Lucky 7K on St. Patrick’s Day with three colleagues. I wasn’t fast, but I crossed the finish line and it was awesome.  

5. What’s your favorite book?
“Llama Llama Mad at Mamma” by Anne Dewdney.

Read it. It makes you appreciate that even the most mundane chores can be fun when you are with your favorite people.

It’s the favorite book around our house these days.  I’m a working mom, so my reading consists of kids lit, some parenting blogs, “The Hunger Games” and a periodic New York Times magazine.

To nominate a young professional for “YPN5Q,” email with the nominee’s full name, employer or contact info, and one or two brief sentences supporting your nomination.