Building Communities of Practice in Crop Research

October 17, 2016, 10:18 am
CCRP blog CoP

Kandela, the president of a women’s group belonging to the farmer federation FUMA Gaskiya (Niger) is marking her preferred pearl millet panicles during participatory pearl millet selection. (Photo credit: Bettina Haussmann).


To spur change at the systems level, it is critical to involve many individuals and institutions that work within that system, facilitating the sharing of information and knowledge. This has been a core belief of McKnight’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) for many years. Our assessment, however, is that cross-sector collaboration, learning, and networking have historically been sorely lacking in agriculture research and development systems across the world. Read the rest of this entry »


Courageous Tenants Point the Way

October 10, 2016, 12:15 pm


Tenants in south Minneapolis recently won an important victory in the pursuit of justice. It may be the most recent case to reveal the substandard housing conditions of many low-income renters, but it’s hardly an isolated situation.

Even as we are encouraged by this court ruling, we must recognize that lawsuits alone cannot create the systematic changes and market conditions that will increase fair access to decent and affordable rental housing. To accomplish that, we must focus on the failures of the rental housing marketplace and the needs of the people who navigate within it. Read the rest of this entry »


Living our Values by Listening to our Grantees

September 26, 2016, 10:00 am
Region & Communities grantees at a 2015 convening at the McKnight offices.

Region & Communities grantees at a 2015 convening at the McKnight offices.


In our Strategic Framework, we outline four key values at The McKnight Foundation: Accountability, Innovation, Integrity, and Respect. We take these values seriously, and do our best to intentionally incorporate each of them into our grantmaking and other business. When we say respect, we mean that we listen to diverse perspectives; we approach relationships with humility, openness, and honesty; and we engage constructively with partners, colleagues, and the communities we serve. Read the rest of this entry »


How We Got Here: McKnight’s Arts Approach Explained

September 13, 2016, 1:22 pm
Photo: McKnight arts grantee TU Dance

Photo: McKnight arts grantee TU Dance


McKnight’s arts team recently shared the following letter with arts grantees about a program update that increases transparency about our grantmaking approach.


Dear McKnight Arts Grantee,

In 2015, The McKnight Foundation granted $9.1 million — more than 10% of our total payout for the year — to arts organizations in Minnesota. McKnight has supported Minnesota’s artists since 1981, the inaugural year of the McKnight Artist Fellowships program. Over the past three decades, more than 1,600 artists have received fellowships. Read the rest of this entry »


Four Minnesotans recognized as Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Heroes

August 30, 2016, 3:18 pm

The McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) have selected Deborah Jiang-Stein of Minneapolis, Koresh Lakhan of Duluth, Qamar Saadiq Saoud of Minneapolis and Dr. Arne Vainio of Cloquet as the recipients of the 2016 Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards.

Each of 2016’s honorees will receive a cash prize of $10,000 from The McKnight Foundation and MCN and be honored at a private luncheon in Minneapolis on Friday, September 9. Award recipients will also be recognized at the 2016 MCN Annual Conference on Thursday, October 6 in Duluth, MN. Read the rest of this entry »