Gary Cunningham

Prosperity Now

Currently the president and CEO of Prosperity Now, Cunningham came to the post with more than two decades of holding various leadership positions in other philanthropic arenas, including education, healthcare, and public policy. He led the NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. He was also the Associate Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools and the Deputy Director of Civil Rights for the City of Minneapolis. He acted as CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association and has chaired the Community for Economic Committee for the Twin Cities. While working as Prosperity Now’s CEO, Cunningham also serves on several association boards, like the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, the Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity, and the Community Advisory Council for Capital One. 

Why They Made the Worthy 100: After such a long career in public service, Cunningham assumed the CEO position at Prosperity Now in 2019. The organization has evolved from basic aid to a much more sophisticated approach based on strategic testing, investing, and deploying aid solutions at scale. In 2022, Prosperity Now released a groundbreaking Inclusionary Zoning Report designed to expand public awareness of zoning and how it can directly affect racial and economic inequality. It also announced a partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies to launch a Black Wealth Data Center, which will feature a new racial wealth equity database. 

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