Eligibility & Types of Support
We provide operating and project grants to organizations in Minnesota. We consider capital grants only in exceptional circumstances. With very few exceptions, applicants must be classified by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations to be eligible for a grant.
Government entities may apply for funding for innovative projects. We generally will not fund, however, activities that are traditionally the sole responsibility of government.
What We Don’t Fund
Foundations can be most effective by concentrating their resources in a few areas. This means we cannot support worthy projects outside our program interests. For example, we do not generally make grants for organizations with these characteristics:
- do not pay their artistic staff
- are historic in nature
- use art primarily for rehabilitation or therapy
- primarily present rather than produce art
- have produced art for less than two years
- primarily serve youth, or are primarily arts education or social service based
- have operating budgets of less than $100,000
In addition, we generally do not fund the following:
- singular productions, events, exhibitions, or festivals
- scholarships or direct support for individuals
- conferences, including attendance or travel (except when related to existing McKnight support)
- endowments, except in rare cases
- activities that have a specific religious purpose
- lobbying prohibited by the Internal Revenue Code
A note on lobbying and public policy analysis:
The Foundation may consider funding requests for efforts such as advocacy. As required by the Internal Revenue Code, however, the Foundation will not fund attempts to influence specific pending or proposed legislation, including referenda, local ordinances, and resolutions.
Learn more about our general funding guidelines.
McKnight’s initial inquiry deadlines are quarterly. If invited, the inquiry submission date will determine when a full proposal is considered by our board. Please note the online application system is open approximately two weeks prior to the deadline so the open dates below may vary from year to year by a day or two.
|Application Opens||Initial Inquiry Due||Board Consideration|
|January 2||January 15||May|
|April 1||April 15||August|
|July 1||July 15||November|
|October 1||October 15||February|
- All new Initial Inquiries must use the “Start Application” button at the top of this page. Inquiries that are in progress can be accessed from within your online account.
- To access saved applications or to check the status of a report, use the Account Login link (upper right corner of any page on this website).
- If you have any trouble with the online application system call us at (612) 333-4220 or send an email to our Arts team.