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Communications & Brand Guidelines 

Logo & Boilerplate | For Grantees | For Designers | Special Partnerships

Before publicizing activities or grants supported by The McKnight Foundation, please review these communications guidelines. Contact the communications team at or 612-333-4220 with any questions or concerns.

McKnight logo usage

Current grantees are welcome to include McKnight’s logo in print materials or online.

Click on the logo below to download a compressed file containing all current McKnight logo options. The logo is available in two colors (red and black), two orientations (wide and stacked), and three file types (.eps, .tif, and .png). Beyond these parameters, no variations in the logo's appearance or treatment are allowed. Please use whichever option works best for your project.

Within research reports or other publications supported by McKnight, you may include our logo or name as a funder. Funding credits should clearly reflect grant support, while avoiding possible misinterpretation that McKnight co-authored or is otherwise responsible for research or content development. In any case, do not display McKnight’s logo on the cover of materials produced independently by your organization.

Boilerplate language (updated 2017)

If you would like to include footer text about McKnight at the end of your release or announcement, please use the following pre-approved boilerplate language:

The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Program interests include regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, education equity, youth engagement, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods. 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.

Grant announcements timing and process

We strongly encourage grantees to share news of grant awards, grant-supported activities, and program impact and outcomes. Sharing information about your supported activities can foster visibility for important issues, maintain or increase positive momentum, and encourage widespread use of best practices and lessons learned. In this, we endorse use of internal, local, and national media.

For the first public announcement of funding, we generally request that grantees wait until after McKnight has distributed its own official grants announcements, about one month after board approval. However, we are open to making reasonable exceptions as necessary. Grantees wishing to announce earlier for a particular strategic purpose are asked to contact the communications team at or 612-333-4220.

Beyond the above, the Foundation does not impose restrictions on how or if grantees announce McKnight funding. Although grantees are not required to list us as a funder, we assume The McKnight Foundation will be listed among other current funders where appropriate. We can provide an official logo, boiler information, or other resources for grantees to use in press materials or marketing.

McKnight does not expect to review or approve grantees’ independent media or marketing materials. Upon grantee request, however, we are available to verify accurate representation of McKnight or our grant in your materials.

How we share news about grants

Within one month of board approval, McKnight staff will email each grantee an official notice of approved funding, outlining the scope of funded work, noting any restrictions, and detailing the Foundation’s expectations for future reporting and/or additional payments. At roughly the same time, McKnight will publicly announce all new grants via a news release that is:

  • emailed to relevant media;
  • emailed to McKnight’s opt-in, e-news subscribers;
  • distributed via email or postal mail to all newly approved grantees; and
  • posted online at

For each grantee, the Foundation’s grantee database publicly details:

  • Organization’s name
  • City
  • Amount of funding approved
  • Year approved
  • One-line description of supported grant
  • Relevant McKnight program area
  • Organization’s web address, if provided by grantee

McKnight’s online grantee database currently dates back to 2004.

Contact via email with McKnight updates

As a grantee, your organization is an important and valued partner to The McKnight Foundation. In addition to tracking your current grant activity, we keep in touch with grantees to periodically share Foundation announcements, including field-specific developments, news across program areas, and details around website updates or new publications.

To reach you, we may use any email address your organization provides as part of your grant application process. If relevant staff changes, please contact our grants administration team at Additional staff or partners can also sign up on our website to receive McKnight’s e-news mailings.

Please be sure to add the following addresses to your "safe senders" list: and

McKnight Graphic Standards (for designers)

Designers working on communications projects for McKnight should download and consult McKnight's graphic standards manual (PDF, 309 KB). The manual includes important guidelines and requirements related to logo usage, fonts, color palette, and other aspects of the McKnight brand. (Click image at left to download.)

Special partnerships

For broader, ongoing collaborations or more intensive communications strategies and materials, please contact the communications team at


If you have questions about McKnight’s communications policies, please contact the Foundation’s communications team at 612-333-4220.