aka AFDN   |   MINNEAPOLIS, MN   |


The mission of AFDN is to assist African immigrant families with economic, affordable housing for all, social and cultural development, education, health programs and services in order to ensure their self-sufficiency and overall well-being.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Jama Mohamod

Program Manager

Ms. Dalal Ahmad

Main address

2323 11TH AVE S


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NTEE code info

Family Services (P40)

Children's and Youth Services (P30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Housing Assistance

Our housing assistance programs help families and individuals find affordable housing through rentals, home ownership, or rent-to-own properties. Our homebuyer education classes provide instruction and training on: budgeting, saving, setting financial goals, and understanding and managing credit; the home buying process including securing a mortgage loan, shopping for a home with realtors, and how to make an offer; and how to maintain and protect a home and make timely payments after purchase. We offer scheduled Home Stretch Classes, which qualify potential homeowners for a variety of affordable mortgage loans and down payment assistance programs. To make our classes accessible to the broadest audience, we also offer an Online Homebuyer Education Certification Course FRAMEWORK™. We provide individual counseling to help clients become financially self-sufficient and overcome obstacles to home ownership. Our Housing Counselors work with clients to create customized action plans with specific, manageable steps to help achieve goals related to economic security and housing. Our counselors help our clients repair credit, address rental disputes, secure a down payment, and understand critical housing topics such as predatory lending and fair housing. Last year, we improved the health, safety, durability and energy-efficiency of seven properties in the Ventura Village and Phillips neighborhoods by rehabilitating with Minnesota Green Communities Standards thus improving and stabilizing Minneapolis neighborhoods. Annually, AFDN serves 250 individuals through housing and financial counseling, offers 24 homeownership workshops, and facilitates 100 new homeowners.

Population(s) Served

Improving academic success among youth is central to our effort to build safer communities and limit social exclusion. Navigating and succeeding in the American education system is proving to be a challenge for many of the families in our community. In Minneapolis, many high school seniors from African immigrant families are not passing state requirement tests and are therefore are not securing their degree. AFDN is addressing this challenge by supporting the academic success of Somali youth through after-school tutoring, group study sessions, college readiness courses, and English Language Learning Courses. Our youth enrichment department regularly schedules special events such as motivational speeches, career-planning sessions, and various after school arts, social, cultural, and academic activities that engage students with learning opportunities.

Population(s) Served

In tandem with our Housing Assistance and Youth Education Programs, AFDN leverages the arts to help immigrants and refugees integrate into the greater community, transition into Minnesota life, and become a functioning part of Minnesota’s culture. Under the umbrella of our Arts and Culture Program, AFDN advocates for and supports Somali artists in Minnesota, empowers Somali youth through the arts and cultural exchange, develops and promotes arts programs that preserve Somali traditions, and facilitates participation in community-wide arts and cultural activities. Though Somalia has a rich artistic history, arts providers in Minnesota haven't been successful in consistently engaging Somali immigrants, and our community’s ability to initiate their own arts activities is often constrained by finite resources. The mission of our Arts and Cultural Program is to leverage the arts to integrate African immigrants into Minnesota’s social and cultural life by promoting cultural and social exchange between Somalis and non-Somalis and by teaching the greater community about Somali culture while preserving Somali traditions.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1) Better ensure safe and affordable housing and financial stability for Minneapolis' African immigrant community
• Increase the number of individuals served annually though our housing assistance programs from 150 to 250 with increased marketing and outreach resulting in more families understanding their housing rights and options and living in more ideal conditions.
• Rehabilitate 10 properties in the Minneapolis zip codes 55407, 55408, and 55409 where African immigrants are beginning to settle. This will help immigrants integrate by moving out of the Cedar Riverside bubble into neighborhoods with a greater diversity of residents while maintaining ties to their cultural community.
• Leverage a new partnership with CommonBond to renovate a 40-unit structure for African immigrants resulting in more affordable housing options.
• Increase organizational capacity by hiring more counselors and provide training to ensure high quality service.

2) Improve the academic success of our youth
• Increase the number of youth served to 25 students per day by partnering with more schools. This will result in more students receiving homework help and engaging in positive extra-curricular activities.
• Accommodate an increase in students by increasing our number of volunteers from five to 20 by partnering with more local colleges. As a result, more youth in our community will have mentors and positive role models.
• Explore a larger and more central space for our youth enrichment activities to accommodate increased participation in our programs and improve the quality of our services.
• Hire a staff person to oversee youth programming, which is currently volunteer-run, to better ensure the stabilization and growth of our youth programs.
• Create a youth advisory group to help inform our programming and to provide youth with leadership opportunities and skills.

3) Better integrate African immigrants into the greater community through arts and cultural opportunities
• Work with partners to create arts opportunities for our clients resulting in shared experiences.
• Support African musicians by:
o Partnering with Artspace to facilitate practice and recording space.
o Hire a part time contractor to secure grant and resource opportunities.
o Work with presenting partners to provide additional performance opportunities.
This will result in increased prolificacy of the African artist community and more opportunity to share our culture with the general public.

4) Strengthen our services to seniors through our Home Health Care Program
• More widely advertise this available service, resulting in more seniors receiving the additional care they need.
• Partner with adult day care centers to offer a smooth transition to residential care and to make their facilities available for our clients resulting in increased quality of living for seniors.

The following are current strategies that will support our goals and objectives:
1) Recruit additional board members
Recruiting more board members will not only support the organization's priorities by building our human resources and allowing for further division of responsibilities, but it will provide a more robust system for checks and balances, thus making the organization more accountable overall. The demographics of the board of directors should reflect the constituents that we serve.

2) Secure an Americorps Vista
Americorps maintains a program that provides nonprofit organizations with human resources in the form of a full or part time employee, typically a recent college graduate. The employee's salary comes out of Americorps budget, which means the staffing is free for the organization.

3) Forge new partnerships in order to reach more Somali youth
In order to more comprehensively serve African youth in the Metro Area, we should identify charter, private, and public schools that serve a student population of more than 30% Somali. These partnerships will allow us to more effectively reach our target audience and have target students ready when programming becomes available.

4) Develop a comprehensive marketing plan to serve and engage more clients

5) Flesh out our strategic plan that drive capitalization strategies
The primary responsibility of any nonprofit board is to ensure that the organization has enough resources to drive its mission and sustain its programs. Here are some suggested capitalization strategies:

1. Sponsors
AFDN will develop a sponsorship program that will encourage local businesses to support our mission.

2. Individual Donors
First, we should identify any individuals and families in the African community that have capacity. Second, identify individuals and families who have capacity and an investment in the African community. Perhaps start with faculty of African studies departments at the local Universities or prominent developers or property owners in the neighborhoods where we work.

3. Earned Revenue
In order to secure the organization financially, AFDN should identify at least one source of earned revenue. A good goal would be for 20% of the total budget to come from earned revenue. Ticket and event admission is one obvious source of earned revenue for organizations that host entertainment and arts activities, but the nature, mission, and vision of AFDN means that free programming should be a top priority. AFDN is currently exploring a partnership with the restaurant next door to its office space that could potentially result in a revenue stream

4. Grant Seeking
Continue our grant seeking momentum using the advice of a hired consultant.

AFDN has been in operation since 2008. A major strength of the organization is the substantial Somali immigrant community that is growing. This community shows a demonstrated interest in and need for our services. We have a strong board of directors with experience in social work, project management, education, and leadership. One of our strategic goals for 2013 is to grow our board of directors. Other resources are our strong and growing partnerships with schools and community organizations. These partnerships allow us to engage the youth who could benefit most from our services, provide our community with engaging arts and cultural activities, and advertise our services.

Our organization is unique because we help immigrants and refugees beyond just finding housing. We help them transition into Minnesota life and become a functioning and integral part of Minnesota's culture and economy. We do this by facilitating job opportunities and participation in community-wide arts and cultural activities. Facilitating integration in cultural and social as well as economic life invests in our future by better ensuring sustainable self-sufficiency.
One major limitation of AFDN is our limited organizational capacity. AFDN is a relatively new organization: Our budget has grown to just over $200,000. However, we have built a strong and effective program with several small charitable sources including small grants, United Way funding, and several individual donors. We recently hired a fundraising consultant and are embarking on a comprehensive organizational capitalization plan that will explore earned and unearned revenue opportunities through partnerships, annual fund campaigns, and corporate and private foundation grants. With these initiatives in place, we are confident that we can continue the organization's momentum and make progress towards our goals. Our short-term success will be measured by progress towards our outputs, which will lay the groundwork to fulfilling our overall goals and achieving long-term success.

Though only about five years old, AFDN has positive momentum in supporting African immigrants, specifically those from East Africa, by facilitating financial stability, self-sufficiency, and affordable and appropriate housing opportunities thus strengthening our greater community. AFDN's proven results demonstrate that our work is meeting a strong community need. As we embark on a new phase of improved infrastructure, increased capitalization, and a more comprehensive organizational plan, we seek charitable support that will make our future work possible.
AFDN has demonstrated its commitment and achievements as follows:
January 2014 - March 2015:
24 workshops conducted and completed
125 individuals successfully completed housing counseling, resulting in
101 new homeowners



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Board of directors
as of 5/13/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Mohamed Mohamud

Gaar Transportation, LLC

Term: Feb 2016 - Jan 2019

Mohamed Mohamud President

Gaar Transportation, LLC

Anwar Hassan Secretary

JUBA Graphics, Inc

Fatima Mohamud Treasurer

Wellshare International

Guled Mohamud Member

African Community School

Ahmed Elmi Member

Lighthouse Academy

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes