Target And General Mills Are Top MN Grantmakers

Target and General Mills each paid cash grants of more than $100 million last year, although both companies allocated just 18 percent of those grants within Minnesota.

Target And General Mills Are Top MN Grantmakers
The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) this week released its annual ranking of the top grantmakers in the state, and corporations made up six of the top ten 10, with Target and General Mills ranking in the top two spots.
According to the MCF, the top 50 grantmakers together paid more than $1 billion in cash grants in 2012. Minneapolis-based Target and Golden Valley-based General Mills were the only two on the list to contribute more than $100 million: Target paid out $147 million; General Mills, $104.4 million.
Following those retail and food giants are four nonprofits and four corporations: The McKnight Foundation ($85.1 million), The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation ($82.0 million), Cargill ($69.1 million), Greater Twin Cities United Way ($60 million), UnitedHealth Group ($58.5 million), The Minneapolis Foundation ($55.2 million), Medtronic ($50 million), and U.S. Bancorp ($47.7 million).
This is the fifth year in a row Target has topped the list. The top 10 grantmakers remained the same as last year, although in slightly different order. For example, General Mills moved up a spot from third last year and Medtronic moved down a spot from eighth last year.
“These 50 philanthropic leaders—along with the more than 1,400 other grantmakers in the state—are a significant and ongoing source of support for nonprofits and our local, national, and international communities,” MCF President Trista Harris said in a statement.
The grants were not exclusively awarded within the state; in fact, less than half of the cash grants were designated to organizations based in Minnesota. While foundations such as Greater Twin Cities United Way and The Minneapolis Foundation contributed the vast majority of their grants to Minnesota causes, only about 18 percent of Target’s and General Mills’ were paid to in-state groups.
Of the top 10 corporate grantmakers, Cargill allocated 16 percent of its grants within the state; UnitedHealth Group, 16; Medtronic, 17 percent; U.S. Bancorp, 7.5 percent.
“Grantmakers in Minnesota are supporting local causes, but they also have an eye toward needs beyond our state’s borders,” Harris said. “Minnesota philanthropists are aware of their responsibilities as national and global citizens.” 
The MCF also looks at what industries the majority of the grants went to, although its breakdown extends back only to 2011. That year, MCF said that education continued to receive the largest share (28 percent), followed by human services (21 percent) and public affairs/society benefit (17 percent).
Other Minnesota corporations to make the top 50 included: 3M Corporation (ranked 15th), Best Buy (16), The Mosaic Company (18), Travelers Companies (21), Thrivent Financial (22), St. Jude Medical (26), Wells Fargo Minnesota (29), Xcel Energy (30), Land O’Lakes (32), Ameriprise Financial (34), Pentair (38), Ecolab (39), CHS (44), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (46), and Delta Dental (47).
Of the top 50, 45 were on last year’s list. The newcomers included both companies and foundations: West Central Initiative (ranked 42nd), a regional community foundation in Fergus Falls; I. A. O’Shaughnessy Foundation (45), a family nonprofit foundation; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (46); Delta Dental (47); and the Jerome Foundation (50), a nonprofit that supports artists and arts organizations.
According to the MCF, in order to ensure that grantmakers are compared consistently, in-kind and other noncash contributions are not included in the rankings.
For the complete rankings, click here.
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