The McKnight Foundation is unusual in being one of the country's largest foundations while remaining anchored in one state and still under the direction of the family board.
Program interests include regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, early literacy, youth development, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods. The primary geographic focus is the state of Minnesota, with significant support also directed to strategies throughout the U.S. and in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the foundation had assets of approximately $2.2 billion and granted about $87 million in 2016.
The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. They use all the resources to attend, unite, and empower those they serve.
The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, collaboration, and encouragement of strategic policy reform.
The Foundation makes grants in support of regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, early literacy, youth development, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience and international crop research, and community-building in Southeast Asia.
For more than 60 years, its primary geographic focus has been the state of Minnesota.
The Foundation was established in Minneapolis in 1953 by William L. McKnight and his wife, Maude L. McKnight. One of the early leaders of 3M, William L. McKnight rose from assistant bookkeeper to president and CEO in a career that spanned 59 years, from 1907 to 1966. The McKnight Foundation, however, is an independent private philanthropic organization; it is not affiliated with the 3M Company.
In 1974, shortly after his wife's death, William L. McKnight asked their only child, Virginia McKnight Binger, to lead the Foundation. Working with Russell Ewald as executive director, Mrs. Binger established the formal grantmaking program and community-based approach that remain the Foundation's legacy today. In 2015, Meghan Binger Brown was elected chair of the board of directors, succeeding Ted Staryk and becoming the Foundation's seventh chair since it was established in 1953.
McKnight had assets of approximately $2.2 billion and granted about $87 million in 2016. The Foundation has granted more than $2.3 billion (not adjusted for inflation) since its founding.
Where is McKnight Foundation