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Region & Communities

Program Background


Minnesota's success depends on a 21st-century competitive region. For McKnight’s Region & Communities program, this means attention to developing and maintaining a region where all the important pieces align — vibrant neighborhoods, regional growth, housing, transit, and more. Our funding in this program area aims to increase efficient and sustainable regional metropoli­tan development that creates livable com­munities and expands opportunities for all to thrive.

The Foundation’s Strategic Framework motivates the direction, learning, and adaptation reflected both in the specific program guidelines and in the overall approach. Alignment of government/public and private sector partners and resources creates leverage critical to further systems change and policy reform, especially given the resource constraints of the public sector. Greater understanding and connection to the private sector and market forces bolster attempts to scale efforts, amplify impact, and sustain change. Collaboration — critically important to creating competitive advantage across issue- and place-based siloes and among like-minded funders — increasingly becomes an important platform for our work.

Today, McKnight works to achieve its Region & Communities program goal through grantmaking, collabora­tion, and encouragement of strategic policy reform around sustainable regional devel­opment, homes for all, and economically vibrant neighborhoods. Across all funding strategies, we promote integration, align­ment, and balanced participation from all sectors: nonprofit, government, private, and civic. Our primary geographic focus is the Twin Cities metropolitan area.