McKnight Gives $63.7M in Q3; Major Focus: Climate

In addition to supporting efforts to diminish catastrophic climate change, the Minneapolis-based foundation also put money toward affordable housing and the arts.

Minnesota's largest private foundation on Monday announced that it awarded 111 grants totaling $63.7 million during the third quarter of the year.

The McKnight Foundation gave money to support three major causes-climate change mitigation, affordable housing, and the arts.

The largest portion of third-quarter funding was given in the form of two grants to support efforts to diminish catastrophic climate change. The ClimateWorks Foundation, which advances low-carbon policies worldwide, received $26 million over two years-and $3 million over three years will go to RE-AMP, a network of nonprofits and foundations working on climate change and energy policy in eight Midwestern states.

The McKnight Foundation gave slightly more than a third of the money-$22.6 million-to five organizations working to improve affordable housing options. The Family Housing Fund got $11.1 million and the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund received $10.45 million. Funds for both will be distributed over a three-year period and be used for operating, program, and project support.

Additionally, the Corporation for Supportive Housing received $500,000 over two years to respond to increased rates of chronic homelessness in the Twin Cities, and the Duluth Local Initiatives Support Corporation received a two-year, $300,000 grant to support its integrated housing strategies. Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity also got $250,000 over two years to support its housing advocacy program.

A smaller, but still substantial, portion of the third-quarter funding went to 11 regional arts councils within the state. McKnight's board approved $1.8 million over three years to support individual artists through those councils.

The McKnight Foundation, based in Minneapolis, consistently distributes more grant money annually than any other private foundation within the state. Independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the foundation had assets of approximately $1.8 billion and granted about $98 million in 2009.