YWCA Mankato

Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women

aka YWCA Mankato   |   Mankato, MN   |  www.mankatoywca.org


The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Natasha Lopez-Rodriguez

Main address

127 S 2nd St, Suite 200

Mankato, MN 56001 USA

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NTEE code info

Women's Rights (R24)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

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

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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?

New American Families Home Visiting

New American Families (NAF) has been evolving to meet the needs of the immigrant and refugee community in the Mankato area since 2006, when the program Walking in Two Worlds began. The aim of this program was to build connections and understanding among long-time and new residents as the population became more ethnically diverse. As immigration continued to add culture and new perspectives to not only the greater Mankato area, but also Minnesota as a whole, education for children of immigrant and refugee families became a clear priority.

In 2012, NAF piloted early childhood educational program, Ready to Learn for children ages 0-5 for kindergarten readiness to address educational gaps among children of color and provide early childhood education for underserved low-income immigrant and refugee families. Today, NAF provides home visiting for immigrant and refugee women and their families with three impact areas in mind: health and safety, empowerment and economic advancement, and racial justice and civil rights.

Why home visiting?
Through home visiting, women and their families are able to connect one-on-one with a culturally competent and bilingual Outreach Worker, who is their main point of contact. Guided by our three impact areas, our program connects caregivers to local healthcare providers and services, addresses economic well being through early childhood education, illuminates the experiences of immigrant and refugee women and their families, and empowers them to lead lives with peace, justice, freedom, and dignity.

Population(s) Served

Women’s Leadership programming includes the Elizabeth Kearney Women’s Leadership Program (EKWLP) and the annual Women’s Leadership Conference. EKWLP is a gender specific program designed to strengthen and enhance the leadership of women in their workplaces and the community. It takes a cohort of women through ten months of facilitated leadership training and skill building led by community leaders. Each participant creates an individual leadership plan to focus their leadership and impact. The next phase of the program is to work with the business community to address the wage and leadership gap between women and men. The program reaches about 500 women a year through a variety of events with a class of 20 to 30 taking the ten month training.
The EKWLP goals include: Increase leadership skills and capacities in the Greater Mankato area; prepare women to meet the challenges unique to women leaders as well as common leadership challenges; increase participant's ability to live intentionally and be strategic about reaching for their goals and dreams; Increase participant's ability to balance and fulfill family, work and community commitments; prepare women for leadership in business and corporations, on Boards of Directors, elected office and foundations; increase the number of women in local corporate/business and other leadership roles; and build a strong and collaborative network of powerful leaders.
The Women’s Leadership Conference encourages over 200 women to recognize how they lead differently. As the pace and frequency of change accelerates, the need for a different kind of leadership abounds. It helps women explore with open minds how women lead, build meaningful connections through learning from stories, and support each other on their leadership journey.

Population(s) Served

Programming for girls includes Girls on the Run, Girls Inc and Girls Empowerment Day.

The Girls on the Run program inspires girls in third through sixth grade to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experienced-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. The curriculum incorporates training for a non-competitive 5k run/walk with lessons that encourage girls to develop essential life skills.

The program’s focus is to build capacity and strengthen girls in the community. The objective is to reduce the display of at-risk activities among its participants. The goal is fewer adolescent pregnancies and eating disorders, less depression and suicide attempts, as well as fewer substance/alcohol abuse problems and confrontations with the juvenile justice system. Research on the Greater Mankato area documents a need for enhanced support and gender-specific programming for girls. By reaching girls at the age they are most adaptable, we are able to contribute to resiliency during adolescence.
It is a character development program that assists in physical, emotional, mental and social development. It is a unique curriculum in the genre of youth programs. It addresses each girl’s individual identity, her personal connection to others as well as potential feelings of powerlessness within herself and her community. The program offers lessons in goal-setting, without competition, and a connection to caring adult mentors (community members) that support and encourage girls throughout their Girls on the Run experience.
The program ends with a 5k run/walk event. The YWCA Girls on the Run 5k is held for community members as well. This events serves over 900 people which include children, youth, adults, women and men.

Girls Inc has a mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold with a vision of empowered girls and an equitable society. Girls Inc has helped girls (with an experience based curricula) navigate gender, economic and social barriers since 1864. The YWCA of Minneapolis has committed to provide the program training to the YWCA Mankato, which will reduce overhead costs.

The Girls Inc Curricula includes: Economic Literacy (management, investment and how to save money); Friendly PEERsuasion (how to resist harmful substances and substance abuse); Leadership and Community Action (girls leadership skills and making social change in the community); Media Literacy (awareness of media and its affects); Operation SMART (providing science, technology, education and mathematics (STEM) opportunities for girls); Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy (knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about safe sexual health); Project BOLD (safer lives at home, relationships and online, also addresses self-defense); Sporting Chance (physical activity, sports and adventure throughout life). Currently, the YWCA is trained in the Leadership and Community Action Curriculum.

Population(s) Served

YWCA Mankato's work in Racial Justice is dedicated to equipping and empowering individuals to confront policies, attitudes, and actions that generate racial inequity within our society. Through facilitated dialogues, innovative exercises, and thought-provoking video excerpts, skilled trainers move teams from a place of limited, initial knowledge to a comprehensive understanding of the social constructs of race and racism. Racial Justice Educates about facets of racism, equity and inclusion, Engages in dialogue, discussion and self-reflection, and Empowers communities to lead sustainable change. The recognition that not all women, or all people, are treated equally is at the core of YWCA’s work. A common thread that unites YWCAs across the country is a commitment to racial justice and civil rights. The wage gap still exists and women of color are far underrepresented in corporate, governmental and non-profit leadership roles. Demographic trends point toward women of color becoming the majority among all women in the United States by 2050. (YWCA USA Racial Justice Training Manual 2017) At our Annual It's Time to Talk™ event, Diverse citizens and leaders from business, education, and community service come together to move Greater Mankato forward through honest conversation about race. Hundreds of attendees join us to learn from a keynote speaker, and participate in round table discussions with local racial justice facilitators. Human Race Radio is a collaborative effort with KMSU 89.7 FM which provides an intentional platform to discuss numerous aspects of the issue of race. The monthly program features at least one guest who will speak on a distinct dimension of race in America.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

The YWCA Strategic Plan includes three main goals for the next 5-10 years. Goal one: focus on continual improvement, delivering quality, consistent and relevant programming aligned with the YWCA mission and vision; Goal two: increase how to tell the YWCA story and translate it into support for programs; Goal three: intentionally identify, develop, document and maintain relationships with targeted constituent groups; Goal four: address internal organizational needs to achieve operational excellence.

The YWCA Mankato has indicated objectives and initiatives within each goal in order to successfully accomplish the goals that are outlined in the strategic plan. Objectives have a 3-5 year time frame in mind and are reviewed on a monthly basis to help keep focus. The initiatives under each objective are to be completed in the current year.

The YWCA not only utilizes its staff, Board Members, interns and volunteers but it also uses many community partners that help make our programming possible.

A few of the community partners we have include but are not limited to: Greater Mankato Area United Way, First Steps Collaborative, Coughlan Companies, ChildCare Resource and Referral/Parent Aware, the City of Mankato, Greater Mankato Growth, MSU, Open Door Health Center, Women Executives in Business (WEB), The Workforce Center, Independent School District 77, ISJ-Mayo Health System. Our partners also include many businesses within the community.

The YWCA formed the strategic plan in August 2013. The goals listed will be carried out over 5-10 years. The objectives will be main the focus for the next 3-5 years. Many of the items are currently in progress. Many of the initiatives have been completed for the current year. The strategic plan is revisited by staff on a monthly basis to ensure the goals are being met.


YWCA Mankato

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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YWCA Mankato

Board of directors
as of 09/23/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jennifer Lurken

Gilsason & Hunter

Beth Dittbenner

Mayo Clinic Health System

Kelly Peterson

People Driven Performance

Tami Reuter


Heather Thielges

Eide Bailly

Pratibha Damala

Taylor Corporation

Brenda Flannery

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Jim Gullickson

Retired - Minnesota State University, Mankato

Dr. Cuong Huynh

Discover Chiropractic

Lisa Kaye Wood

Radio Mankato

Kenneth Reid

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Leah White

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Anne Willaert


Alison Zelms

City of Mankato

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