Star Tribune | Some nonprofits, hurt by the recession, are now expanding

By Neal St. Anthony and Patrick Kennedy

Banyan Community, after a three-year fundraising campaign, is building a $6 million center that will allow it to serve at least 100 more low-income children in the Phillips neighborhood

Avenues for Homeless Youth has gone from bleeding money in 2007 to expanding into a new Brooklyn Park facility this year.

The Bridge for Youth, which in 2009 could not afford the staff to operate all the beds in its south Minneapolis facility, this year opened an additional center in Chanhassen.

The expansions are evidence of a turn in fortunes for successful small nonprofits that bit the bullet during the Great Recession and the lean years following when donations dipped.

Times are better for grass-roots non- profits in the Twin Cities, but it took several years — as commercial business sectors were building stadiums, office towers and luxury housing — to raise the capital for facilities improvements and expansions, said Kate Barr, a former community bank executive who is executive director of the Nonprofit Assistance Fund, a business-supported organization that works with small nonprofits on management and financial issues.

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