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Mandy Ellerton

Mandy Ellerton

Mandy joined the Bush Foundation in 2011, where she created and now leads the Foundation's Community Innovation programs. The programs allow communities to develop and test new solutions to community challenges, using collaborative approaches that include the people most directly affected by the problem. In the past five years the programs have invested over $40 million across a wildly inclusive issue portfolio and are transforming the way the region approaches problem solving. She also helps lead the Foundation’s Social Business Ventures initiative that aims to foster a powerful social business ecosystem in the region. She is particularly passionate about shifting capital structures to increase positive social impact and advance equity. Mandy came to the Bush Foundation from Grassroots Solutions, a national grassroots organizing consulting firm where she worked on legislative advocacy and led some of Minnesota’s early experiments in crowd-sourcing, including the inaugural “Minnesota IdeaOpen” idea contest. She got her start in community change work by working on domestic violence issues with several Twin Cities nonprofits. A first-generation college student, Mandy holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Minnesota, with a concentration in community organizing, and a B.A. degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. She is also a licensed social worker and a trained nutritional therapist. In her spare time she dotes on her fermentation projects almost as much as she dotes on her children.