Reporter | Nonprofits, charity and philanthrophy

Kelly Smith covers nonprofits/philanthropy for the Star Tribune and is based in Minneapolis. Since 2010, she’s covered Greater Minnesota on the state/region team, Hennepin County government, west metro suburban government and west metro K-12 education.

Smith was born in Duluth and grew up in the Twin Cities. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn., and worked for the Forum newspaper in Fargo, N.D., before coming to the Star Tribune in 2010.


First trial in Feeding Our Future federal fraud case starts Monday

It's the first Feeding Our Future case to go to trial since the more than $250 million fraud scheme was publicly revealed in January 2022. The seven defendants' lawyers have argued they didn't knowingly commit a crime.


Why do so many Minnesota homeowners get free roofs after a hailstorm?

Stormy weather has been beating up local roofs lately. But insurance companies are also scaling back coverage, arguing that "something's got to change."


Buy Nothing meets GoFundMe: How a new Eden Prairie website aims to 'revolutionize' philanthropy

RedLadder is a new online marketplace where people trade free household items, resulting in donations to Twin Cities nonprofits.


Some of Minnesota's largest companies have quietly closed their foundations

3M, General Mills and Thrivent have closed their foundations in recent years, changing how they give back to the community.


An 18th defendant pleads guilty in Feeding Our Future fraud case

Hoda Abdi, 53, of Burnsville pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.


Minnesotans traveling to see Monday's solar eclipse hope to catch 'cosmic dance'

Many Minnesotans are embarking on road trips across the country to witness three or four minutes of a total solar eclipse on Monday.


Minneapolis media arts nonprofit Pollen Midwest shuts down after nearly 15 years

The small nonprofit was well-known in the nonprofit sector for its events, storytelling and jobs board.


Bloomington nonprofit leader tied to Feeding Our Future agrees to step down

In a settlement agreement, Ayan Abukar agreed to step down from the nonprofit she continued to be involved with despite federal criminal fraud charges.


YWCA Minneapolis sells Uptown fitness facility to nonprofit creating workforce development hub

Tending the Soil, a coalition of nonprofits and unions, plan to close on the sale in June.


Homelessness in Minnesota declined slightly in 2023, according to new study

For the first time in five years, Wilder Research has released a count of homelessness in Minnesota.