Building long-lasting, nonpartisan change

Teresa Morrow and Dale Pippin. Photo/Teresa Morrow

Teresa Morrow and her husband Dale Pippin began their giving journey with Fresh Energy as small donors to the organization, early on in its history. From there, Teresa went on to partner with Fresh Energy for several community events she was managing on behalf of the Minneapolis Foundation at the time.

From the earliest days of her convergence with Fresh Energy’s work, Teresa remembers a central theme that drew her to Fresh Energy: “I was really struck by how nonpartisan Fresh Energy is, and how they recognize that, particularly in a very consumer-driven world, there needed to be a business case for why electrifying the world and powering it increasingly with clean energy was the right path. And Fresh Energy was there to build out that business case and make it an effective one, highlighting climate change as a human issue—something we all have to tackle together—and not a partisan issue.”

Over time, Teresa’s involvement in Fresh Energy’s clean energy and climate advocacy grew—in particular, she notes the 2016 presidential election as a pivotal moment. “Where I really jumped into the deep end of the pool with Fresh Energy was after the 2016 election. I remember waking up the morning after, and wondering to myself: ‘What’s something I can do to help?’ So I picked up the phone, and I called Michael Noble. And that’s when Michael asked me to serve on the Development Committee.” Teresa eventually joined Fresh Energy’s Board of Directors and later helped to launch the Fair of the Future at the Fresh Energy annual Benefit Breakfast while she served as Event Chair. Teresa’s work on this event for the Development Committee played a key role in Fresh Energy’s growth and evolution for many years.

Since launching her own brand-building and audience engagement business, ELEVATION Communications, Teresa has continued to serve on the Fresh Energy Development Committee. In 2022, she orchestrated the participation of locally headquartered Toro—leading worldwide provider of innovative solutions for the outdoor environment, including turf and landscape maintenance—as well as local hardware and garden supplier Frattalone’s—a pillar of the Minnesota community—in Fresh Energy’s Fresh Frolic event, an all-electric, end-of-summer celebration.

To Teresa, pairing this hands-on action with her and Dale’s annual giving through Fresh Energy’s Power Circle program is critical to expanding Fresh Energy’s reach and impact. And they decided to take their commitment further by joining the Fresh Future League and making a planned giving commitment to Fresh Energy earlier this year. She notes, “When my husband and I were working on our estate planning, we were very aware of the fact that we’re not gazillionaires,” she says with a laugh. “So, we asked ourselves, where can our giving have the greatest impact? And Fresh Energy was one of the organizations that rose to the top of our list.” Teresa adds, “We approached our estate planning with the mindset that it’s every person’s obligation to put back into the world at least as much as they took out, and our giving to Fresh Energy ensures that the dollars we commit go twice as far because of the efficacy of this team, and the steadfastness of Michael Noble as its legacy leader.”

Teresa and Dale see their giving to Fresh Energy as a way to mobilize long-lasting change. In Teresa’s words: “I think about what Barack Obama has always said—that ‘Change won’t come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the change that we’re seeking.’ I see Fresh Energy as being a change agent, as helping really turn the conversation around to impress upon people the importance of clean energy as a climate solution.”

She adds, “Fresh Energy isn’t waiting for anyone else or for another time. They keep pushing and keep showing up, building lasting relationships with partners most climate organizations wouldn’t work alongside—because the Fresh Energy team knows that we must work together, all of us, to drive the model that will hopefully help save our planet. This team is the little engine that could. An investment in this organization today and tomorrow is an investment that will keep paying dividends for many years to come.”

To join Teresa and Dale in leaving a clean, sustainable legacy for future generations with a gift to Fresh Energy, please contact Senior Director of Individual Giving, Meggie LaValley at