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For Grantseekers

We offer funding in a variety of program areas, each with its own application procedures and guidelines. Below, you’ll find a brief summary of the funding opportunities we make available. We encourage you to review the program section and funding FAQ page for more details.


The Arts program supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities in the state of Minnesota. We fund organizations, programs, and projects that fuel exceptional and diverse artistic practice. We also fund and leverage local and national collaborations, knowledge, and policies that maximize the value of artists’ work in their communities.

Nonprofit organizations that fit our eligibility and selection criteria can apply directly through McKnight.

Individuals can apply for a grant through the Regional Arts Councils or an Artist Fellowship through one of our fellowship program partners. Minnesota-based midcareer 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.

How to Apply for an Arts Grant
McKnight Artist Fellowships
Regional Arts Council Grants
Nominate an Artist for the McKnight Distinguished Artist Award
Midcareer Public Art Grants


The Education program advances equitable, sustainable systems change in education by building pipelines of diverse, effective educators and engaging families.

Organizations may submit inquiries for funding related to advancing the education profession or engaging families. After staff review inquiries, selected organizations will be invited to submit full proposals for funding.

We use a closed application process to advance our work building innovative educator preparation pathways. Proposals for funding are accepted only from organizations that are invited to apply.

The Foundation no longer accepts requests for funding in our former out-of-school time program. Our partner Youthprise accepts grant proposals in select youth development areas.

How to Apply for an Education Grant


The International program consists of two subprograms.

The Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) works to ensure a world where all have access to nutritious food that is sustainably produced by local people. We focus our support in 12 countries in Africa and South America.

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.

Please note: After 35 years of funding, the McKnight Foundation has decided to phase out our work in Southeast Asia by the year 2021. This means we are not accepting any new proposals for funding. After a thorough assessment of the program as well as upcoming foundation-wide opportunities and priorities, the board concluded it would be best to streamline its international work.  We deeply honor the long-standing relationships we’ve built in the community and appreciate all our grantees have accomplished to support sustainable livelihoods and protect natural resource rights.

How to Apply for a Collaborative Crop Research Grant

Midwest Climate & Energy

The Midwest Climate & Energy program fosters and supports Midwest climate and energy leadership. We envision a clean, resilient, and profitable energy sector. The program also supports organizations that build durable public will for climate and energy action.

The Midwest Climate & Energy program uses a closed application process. Proposals for funding are accepted only from organizations that are invited to apply.

Minnesota Initiative Foundations

The Minnesota Initiative Foundations are six independent regional foundations that make Greater Minnesota stronger. Apply for a grant or small-business loan directly through the foundation in the region of your residence.

MN Initiative Foundations

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River program works to restore the water quality and resilience of the Mississippi River. It funds efforts to restore the functional hydrology in the river corridor and reduce the agricultural pollution in four states along the northern half of the river: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois.

How to Apply for a Mississippi River Grant


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.

Memory & Cognitive Disorder Awards
Scholar Awards
Technology Awards

Region & Communities

The Region & Communities (R&C) program creates livable communities and expands opportunities for all to thrive by increasing efficient and sustainable regional metropolitan development. The program funds organizations that foster integrative planning and development that are economically efficient, environmentally sound, and socially equitable. We support affordable housing strategies and promote economically vibrant neighborhoods.

How to Apply for an R&C Grant

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