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News Release: Nominations open for McKnight's Human Service Awards

February 21, 2012 - The McKnight Foundation invites nominations for the 2012 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service.

The McKnight Foundation invites nominations for the 2012 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. McKnight will recognize up to six Minnesotans who have demonstrated an exceptional personal commitment to helping others in their communities but who have received little or no public recognition. Echoing McKnight's mission statement, the Foundation seeks individuals who "attend, unite, and empower" others in communities throughout Minnesota. Each awardee will receive $10,000 and will be honored at a ceremony in late summer.

The awards, which were first presented in 1985, are named for Virginia McKnight Binger, the Foundation's first board chair and the daughter of the founders. Although she passed away in 2002, these awards help us remember Virginia's enduring spirit of compassion, humility, and generosity. Last year's recipients include community organizers, mentors, advocates, and champions of the underserved.


The Foundation invites nominations recognizing anyone directly involved in providing human services, and those working to make their communities more responsive to the needs of poor or disadvantaged people in Minnesota.


A committee, composed of human service professionals and volunteers from throughout Minnesota, reviews nominations, checks references, and recommends candidates to the Foundation's board of directors. Award recipients are notified in June and honored in August.

The nomination deadline for this year has been extended to April 9, 2012.


The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Through grantmaking, collaboration, and encouragement of strategic policy reform, we use our resources to attend, unite, and empower those we serve. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Foundation had assets of approximately $1.9 billion and granted about $96 million in 2010.