McKnight Foundation

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McKnight Foundation
McKnight Foundation
Founded 1953
Founder William L. McKnight and Maude L. McKnight
Area served
Key people
Meghan Binger Brown, Board Chair; Kate Wolford, President[1]
Endowment $2.2 billion USD[2]

The McKnight Foundation is a philanthropic organization based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the US. In 2015, McKnight awarded around $88 million in grants. The foundation’s 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. McKnight’s 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.[2]

The McKnight Foundation was founded in 1953 by William L. McKnight, an early leader of the 3M Corporation, and Maude L. McKnight,[3] and was independently endowed by the McKnights.

Bolstered by the estates of William and Maude McKnight, the foundation's assets grew substantially in the 1980s. In 2015, the foundation assets were approximately $2.2 billion.[2] The McKnight Foundation was ranked twenty-second on the Foundation Center's list of the largest private foundations in America.[3]

In April 2013, the foundation announced a new program area focused on regional climate and energy issues, granting $25 million to two longtime partners working in those areas.[4]


  1. ^ "Staff & Board". McKnight Foundation. Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  2. ^ a b c "About The McKnight Foundation: Overview". Retrieved 2016-10-18. 
  3. ^ a b Colleen Frankhart "DEEP Pockets," Planning, volume 75, issue 1, January 2009.
  4. ^ "McKnight Foundation Launches Climate and Energy Program, Announces $25 Million in Grants". Retrieved 18 October 2016. 

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