Thank you for your interest in seeking a grant from the McKnight Foundation. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with our varied Programs and their specific strategies and grantmaking criteria. Please note that some programs are invitation-only. In addition, McKnight has ended four program areas: Education, Region & Communities, Mississippi River, and Southeast Asia.
Arts & Culture
The Arts & Culture program supports organizations, programs, and projects that provide support structures for working artists and culture bearers to develop and share their work, and to lead in movements and communities. These artists and culture bearers spark our collective imagination, enrich the quality of our lives, and enhance the vitality and vibrancy of Minnesota.
Our strategies include: supporting partnerships that provide direct support for individual artists and culture bearers; developing and sustaining the presence and visibility of underrepresented artists and cultural institutions, including Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Latinx artists, and those in rural areas, Tribal Nations, and across Greater Minnesota; and supporting working artists and culture bearers advancing justice.
Organizations that fit our eligibility and selection criteria can apply directly through McKnight’s website.
Individuals can apply for a grant through the Regional Arts Councils or an Artist Fellowship through one of our fellowship program partners. Minnesota-based public artists can apply for a grant from our partner Forecast Public Art. Once a year, a committee selects one artist to receive a Distinguished Artist Award.
The Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) anchor’s McKnight’s International program, which works to ensure a world where all people have access to nutritious food that is produced locally and sustainably. The program supports participatory, collaborative research on agroecological intensification in 12 countries on two continents—Africa and South America—where poverty and food insecurity have created “hunger hot spots.”
CCRP projects generate technical and social innovations to improve productivity, livelihoods, nutrition, and equity for farming communities. Large-scale impact is realized when new ideas, technologies, or processes are adapted to different contexts, when insights from research catalyze change in policy and practice, and when innovation inspires further success.
CCRP has a closed application process with occasional targeted calls for concept notes. Requests for funding are accepted only from organizations that have been invited to apply or in response to a targeted call.
Midwest Climate & Energy
The Midwest Climate & Energy (MC&E) program strives to take bold action on the climate crisis by dramatically cutting carbon pollution in the Midwest by 2030.
The program takes a systems change lens, focusing on shifting the conditions that perpetuate the climate crisis, which include structural racism. Grantmaking is directed toward work that shifts mental models, changes power dynamics, engages communities, and advances transformative policies, practices, and resource flows, in order to dramatically cut carbon pollution in the Midwest by 2030.
Our strategies include:
- Strengthen Democratic Participation
- Transform the Energy System
- Electrify Transportation and Buildings
- Sequester Carbon on Working Lands
MC&E has a closed application process. Proposals for funding are accepted only from organizations that are invited to apply.
The McKnight Endowment Fund for Neuroscience is an independent charitable organization that funds research on diseases of the brain and behavior. The Endowment Fund supports innovative research through three competitive annual awards for individual scientists in the United States.
Vibrant & Equitable Communities
The Vibrant & Equitable Communities (V&EC) program fosters shared power, prosperity, and participation through four strategies:
- Accelerate Economic Mobility
- Build Community Wealth
- Cultivate a Fair and Just Housing System
- Strengthen Democratic Participation
Within these strategies, we seek to achieve systemic improvements in individual, community, and societal outcomes. We look to the ingenuity of people working together across Minnesota to craft solutions that meet community-defined needs, address local context, and shift policies, practices, and institutions in lasting ways.