Four Minnesotans Recognized as Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Heroes

September 12, 2017, 9:22 am


The McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) have selected Angela Edwards of Minneapolis, Abdirizak Mahboub of Willmar, Millicent Simenson of Bemidji, and Jon Vang of St. Paul as this year’s Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Award Recipients.

Each of 2017’s awardees will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and be honored at a private luncheon in Minneapolis on Tuesday, September 26. Award recipients will also be recognized at the 2017 MCN Annual Conference on Thursday, October 12 in St. Paul.  Read the rest of this entry »


How Can Foundations Influence Investors? Just Ask!

July 7, 2017, 1:22 pm


Question: How does a comparatively small foundation get fund managers with $1.5 trillion dollars to stand up and be counted on climate change?

Answer: Ask them.

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New Goal and Strategies for Education & Learning

June 26, 2017, 9:44 am

After careful reflection, The McKnight Foundation is pleased to share a new program goal with updated strategies for the Education & Learning program.

Program Goal: To prepare Minnesota students to succeed in an increasingly global society by investing in educators, empowering families, and engaging youth.

This goal promotes educational equity and encompasses both the business and the civic case for ensuring that students in Minnesota succeed. We want children to emerge from our school systems prepared to thrive in a competitive, globalized economy and to contribute meaningfully to the social fabric of our civic life.

Program Strategies: To achieve this goal, McKnight will:

  • Build pipelines of effective educators by supporting innovative efforts to prepare, recruit, and retain high-quality, diverse talent for Minnesota schools;
  • Empower families as the most credible constituency for education systems change by supporting families in advocating for improved school, district, and state policies and practices.

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How Communications Can Advance Mission

June 12, 2017, 9:30 am

Taking a Fresh Approach to a Traditional Assignment

Annual reports are a strange beast in the digital age. They were once a signature form of brand storytelling. In the age of 24/7/365 multi-screen, surround sound digital communication, some foundation communicators question their value.

When it came time to planning McKnight’s annual report, I was mindful of this evolution and yet not ready to abandon the tradition altogether. I decided to test out a different model. This year, McKnight piloted a digital-first annual report that sought to be as useful and mission-oriented as possible. Read the rest of this entry »


Research for Resilience: How Farmer Centered Research Powers Ecological Solutions

April 25, 2017, 5:36 pm

A farmer in the highlands of Riobamba, Ecuador collects quinoa.


“The more we build bridges to understand each other, the further we will propel research and solutions.”

– Jane Maland Cady

Jane Maland Cady, Director of the International Program, joined Food Tank to host a webinar on April 12, titled “Research for Resilience: How Farmer Centered Research Powers Ecological Solutions.”

The talk discussed how to increase food security in some of the most chronically malnourished places around the world through tapping into the undervalued wisdom of local farmers and the underestimated power of ecological solutions.

Since the early 1980s, The McKnight Foundation has funded agricultural research around the globe with the goal to help farmers feed their families and communities. McKnight’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) funds collaborative research between smallholder farmers, leading local researchers, and development practitioners to explore solutions for sustainable, local food systems. CCRP focuses its support in twelve countries on two continents where poverty and food insecurity have created “hunger hot spots.”




JMC_mk0784_cJane Maland Cady
International Program Director