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Our Voice: Kate Wolford: McKnight's commitment to out-of-school time support

June 9, 2010 - Open letter to McKnight's out-of-school time grantees and grantseekers.

Dear Colleague: The McKnight Foundation's staff and board of directors have spent more than a year reviewing the Foundation's strategies and investments to support Minnesota's children and families. Planning continues and many decisions remain, but we are committed to providing useful information about program changes as they become clear.

First and foremost, we want you to know that next year McKnight will manage grantmaking for direct service out-of-school time programs in the Twin Cities as in recent years, with one annual deadline in January 2011.

Over the past decade, McKnight has collaborated with dozens of partners to advance the youth out-of-school time field. Recognizing both the great needs of this population and unique opportunities for McKnight's support and involvement, our board is committed to ongoing financial support for out-of-school time programs.

This year, we are considering how best to manage our support beyond 2011, balancing the field's considerable needs with McKnight's limited operations capacity. Foremost in our minds is to identify the most effective funding plan to serve youth in the Twin Cities, and to improve policies statewide. To inform our ongoing program planning, McKnight is reviewing field research and considering possible scenarios with many regional leaders in the out-of-school time field. Among our options, we are exploring the feasibility of creating an independent grantmaking intermediary to aid in this work and strengthen the field overall.

At this point, it would be premature for any of us to guess at our outcomes. How McKnight manages out-of-school time grantmaking after 2011 will depend upon ongoing research and review throughout this year, with final decisions by McKnight's board of directors.

We greatly appreciate your patience and continued partnership as planning continues.


Kate Wolford, President,
Christine Ganzlin, Program Officer,