The Target Foundation, which donates about $9 million a year to Twin Cities nonprofits, is revamping its funding priorities and ending support to some longtime charity partners.
The roughly 150 nonprofits supported by the Target Foundation have been receiving phone calls this month informing them of the changes and offering three-year transitional support to help fill financial gaps.
The Bridge for Youth, which received $200,000 in 2017, was among those notified of a funding cut. Simpson Housing Services, which received about $160,000, also got the call. Metro Meals on Wheels will lose the roughly $35,000 a year it has received for more than two decades.
"We appreciate the multiple years of support from the Target Foundation, but we're particularly concerned about the impact on the nonprofit community, especially given recent announcements about significant cuts from United Way," said Michelle Basham, executive director of Bridge for Youth.
Target Foundation officials stressed they will continue to support hometown charities and arts organizations but in different ways.
"Each year the foundation awards approximately $9 million in grants and will continue to maintain a similar level of support in the coming years," said Jennifer Silberman, vice president of corporate responsibility at the Target corporation, in a statement.
Details of the new grant priorities are expected to be announced in the spring.
Over the years, the Target Foundation has supported Twin Cities arts organizations and social services. Grants range from $5,000 for the Katha Dance Theater to $250,000 for the Minnesota Orchestra, according to its 2017 federal tax returns. The grants comprise from less than 1 percent to up to 15 percent of a nonprofit's revenue, Target officials said.
Target's longstanding sponsorships of events and exhibits at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Walker Art Center and Children's Theatre will not be affected, said Target officials.
Steve Horsfield, executive director of Simpson Housing Services in Minneapolis, said his nonprofit has received Target Foundation grants for years. Losing $150,000 "definitely caught our attention," he said.
Horsfield, like others, said he appreciated getting three years advance notice and the offer of transitional support and fundraising training.
Metro Meals on Wheels is among the many nonprofits receiving smaller grants. It has received about $35,000 from Target Foundation every year since 1997, said Patrick Rowan, executive director of the nonprofit. It's a fraction of the nonprofit's $4.5 million annual budget, but it was money that could be used for general operating expenses, which was extremely helpful.
"But running a nonprofit depends on a partnership between the nonprofit, foundations, individuals and corporations," Rowan said. "When any partner pulls back, it increases dependency on the others."
Charities and nonprofits have been contacting the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to report the unexpected phone calls coming in.
"I think it's a big deal," said Jon Pratt, executive director of the council. "This is important to the organizations [losing funding] and it's a potential big deal in the new program areas."
The foundation is a nonprofit arm of the Target Corp., and its changes do not affect the corporation's nationwide philanthropy.
The company's corporate giving last year totaled $217 million, including $105 million in cash and $112 million in in-kind donations.