Bill King, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, will retire in June after leading the organization for a dozen years.

King said the timing was right for change.

"There's a couple of benchmarks this year,'' he said. "I've been here 25 years. I turned 62. I've been president 12 years. And we're in a good position as an organization.''

The council is essentially the trade organization for Minnesota foundations, providing research, education and services to its members. Members award more than $900 million to nonprofits annually.

The council was founded in 1975. King is its third president.

King, who guided the council through a decade of economic challenges for philanthropies, said he's proud of the position he leaves the council in.

"We're financially secure,'' King said. "We have good staff. We've launched our strategic plan. We're at a good point for transition.''

King began his career at the council 25 years ago, moving from education program coordinator, to director of member services, to vice president and then president in 2001.

Kevin Walker, chairman of the council's board of directors, said King has been a strong leader.

"Under Bill King's leadership, MCF has provided consistently excellent service to its members and strengthened philanthropy in Minnesota," said Walker, president of the Northwest Area Foundation.

"Bill has also positioned MCF as a national leader that is widely respected within the field of philanthropy,'' he said.

King, for example, has been active in organizations that promote philanthropy nationally and internationally.

"I'm eager to step away from the day-to-day rush of running an association and to take time to reflect on what's next for me, whether that's one more full-time professional position, a step toward part-time work or full retirement,'' said King. "In any event, I'll continue to be a passionate supporter of philanthropy and volunteerism."

Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511