Minnesota’s philanthropic foundations and corporations gave away more than $1.3 billion in 2014, according to a new analysis by the Minnesota Council on Foundations.
The biggest grantmaker was the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, which paid out $150 million. It was followed by the Target Foundation and Corp., which gave away $105 million, and the General Mills Foundation and Corp., which donated $102 million.
The report looked at the top 50 Minnesota foundations, including their grantmaking and assets over a two-year period. The list didn’t reveal any huge surprises but shows the steady and generous role of philanthropy in Minnesota, said Trista Harris, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations.
“We are lucky to have such a strong charitable sector in this state,” said Harris.
That said, the numbers show some shifts.
The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, which ranked 45th in 2013, jumped to 24th place in 2014. Schulze is the founder of Best Buy and has pledged to give away $1 billion of his wealth.
Likewise, the Medtronic Foundation and Corp. jumped from No. 16 on the list to fifth place, donating more than $85 million.
And the WEM Foundation, the charitable vehicle of former Cargill CEO Whitney MacMillan, jumped from 25th place to 12th. It gave out $34 million in grants.
Harris noted that the figures represent giving not just in Minnesota, but also to projects around the country and the globe. They include support for education, social services, the arts, the environment, animal welfare and beyond.
Looking at foundation assets, Margaret A. Cargill again topped the list with $3 billion. It was followed by the McKnight Foundation with $2.2 billion, and the St. Paul Foundation/Minnesota Community Fund, which have $1 billion.
The report is tapped by Minnesota’s large community of nonprofits and charities as the groups look for project funding, as well as foundation staff as they evaluate their level of giving, Harris said. To see the lists, go to www.mcf.org.