The St. Paul & Minnesota Foundations, F.R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation announced Thursday that they're awarding more than $8.2 million to Minnesota nonprofits.

The St. Paul & Minnesota Foundations, which is the state's largest community foundation and among the top five largest foundations in Minnesota in total giving, gave $3.2 million in grants, one of two times a year the foundation doles out grants.

The grants focused on youth-related projects and programs such as St. Paul Urban Tennis, which provides kids with employment opportunities, and VocalEssence, which has a student choir that connects students with diverse musicians. The F.R. Bigelow Foundation gave 81 grants and the Mardag Foundation gave 53 grants; both are affiliates of the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundations.

"The community is our compass," Ann Mulholland, executive vice president of the St. Paul and Minnesota Foundations, said in a statement. "By investing in community-informed and led solutions, we are better able to identify, fund and advocate for ideas that build our community's capacity to magnify impact."

The St. Paul & Minnesota Foundations gave $11.8 million to nonprofits in 2018 and announced earlier this year that they reached a major milestone, surpassing $1 billon in giving since the organization began more than 75 years ago.

Kelly Smith