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Our Voice: Update on McKnight’s commitment to out-of-school time support

November 10, 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 almost two years reviewing McKnight’s strategies and investments to support Minnesota’s children and families. We are committed to updating you with details as they become clear.

As we communicated previously, McKnight will employ the same process we used this year to manage next year’s grantmaking for Twin Cities out-of-school time (OST) programs. We will post our 2011 program guidelines by December 1, and open our online application process on December 20; the deadline for applications is January 10, 2011. With this next round of OST funding, we will consider one year of support per request.

Starting in 2012, however, McKnight’s OST grantmaking process will change. Taking into account our research into useful models nationwide and the input of many regional field leaders, the Foundation’s directors have decided to move forward with plans to establish an independent Twin Cities 501(c)(3) nonprofit that will manage ongoing OST program investments after 2011. Positioned to leverage our support and bring increased attention and capital to this important field, this new partner will offer an effective funding strategy to serve Twin Cities youth, improve policies statewide, and strengthen the field.

Through the years, McKnight has helped create several successful grantmaking intermediaries in Minnesota. Almost 25 years ago, McKnight established the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations to help channel McKnight’s resources as effectively as possible throughout Greater Minnesota. The Family Housing Fund and the Greater Minnesota Housing were each founded with McKnight’s support, and today remain two of our most important affordable housing partners. Likewise, Minnesota’s Regional Arts Councils redistribute McKnight’s grant dollars to support individual artists within each of their home regions statewide. Our history with these and other successful regranting partnerships will inform and guide our plans toward the best possible solution to manage our regional OST grantmaking.

McKnight has collaborated with dozens of partners in the past 10 years to advance the OST field and serve Minnesota’s youth. Recognizing the great needs and unique opportunities for McKnight’s support and involvement, our board remains committed to this work. As we move into our final year of direct support, before transitioning funding to an independent new OST partner, we greatly appreciate your continued hard work and partnership.


Kate Wolford, President,
Christine Ganzlin, Senior Program Officer,