About The McKnight Foundation


Mission Statement

The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Through grantmaking, collaboration, and encouragement of strategic policy reform, we use our resources to attend, unite, and empower those we serve.




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.

McKnight assists nonprofit organizations and public agencies to improve the quality of life for all people, particularly those in need. Through grantmaking, collaboration, and encouragement of strategic policy reform, we aim to build and maintain vibrant communities; enrich people's lives through the arts; encourage protection of the natural environment; and promote research in selected fields.

The Foundation had assets of approximately $2 billion and gave about $86 million in grants in 2013.

The McKnight Foundation subscribes to the Minnesota Council on Foundation's Principles for Minnesota grantmakers. (A printable PDF version is available at the MCF website.)

The Glasspockets Initiative


Glasspockets is a Foundation Center initiative that champions philanthropic transparency and accountability practices in an online world. The McKnight Foundation is among the 60+ foundations who have been identified as having "glass pockets" according to Foundation Center's set of 23 indicators. Learn more.