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McKnight's Strategic Framework calls us to optimize the Foundation's resources to build and strengthen socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable communities. Impact investing is a powerful tool we've added to work toward this goal.


Our Story

Founded by one of the early leaders of the 3M Company, The McKnight Foundation has innovation embedded in its approach to philanthropy.

Carrying that spirit in 2013, the board embarked on a careful process, asking: What more can our endowment do to further our mission of improving the quality of life for present and future generations?

In 2014, The McKnight Foundation committed to investing $200 million (10% of its $2 billion endowment) in strategies that align with McKnight’s mission. These investments will generate financial return, meet our fiduciary duty, and drive program learning, all while advancing our mission.

Most foundations are required by law to distribute 5% of the value of its investment assets each year to charitable and administrative purposes. Impact investing is an opportunity to leverage the other 95% beyond grant dollars to advance solutions to pressing challenges like the need for more clean energy and affordable housing. With this 21st century investing approach, we hope to amplify our philanthropic impact as good stewards of our mission and endowment.

Today, the McKnight Foundation is making prudent investments that:

ACCELERATE THE GROWTH OF A CLEANER, LOW-CARBON ECONOMY.

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RESTORE WATER QUALITY AND RESILIENCE OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

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Program Contact

Elizabeth McGeveran,  Program Director
Bio  |  Email  |  Twitter: @EMcGev


Photo Credits: (Top) Coldsnap Photography; (Bottom)  Sean Gardener