The Target Foundation and Corporation topped Minnesota's grant making list for 2012, donating $147 million nationally, including $26 million for charities and nonprofits in Minnesota, a new study found.

Second place went to the General Mills Foundation and Corporation, which donated $104 million, including $19 million in Minnesota. The McKnight Foundation rounded out the top of the list, paying out $85 million, of which $57 million stayed in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Council on Foundations released its Top 50 Minnesota Grantmakers report Monday. Grant making to charities and nonprofits has rebounded, passing 2008 giving, said Trista Harris, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

The rankings contained the usual high rollers, but with a few surprises.

The Robina Foundation, founded by former Honeywell President James Binger, jumped from a ranking of 33 to 14. It awarded $26 million in grants in 2012, up from $7.7 million in 2011. That included nearly $5 million in Minnesota, nearly double from 2011.

The Robina Foundation is unusual in that it donates to four "institutional partners" — Abbott Northwestern Hospital and the University of Minnesota Law School, plus the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and Yale University.

Another surprise on the list is a new foundation called Youthprise, launched by the McKnight Foundation. It awards grants for youth programming in Minnesota and also sponsors its own youth leadership and training opportunities. It's still a relatively small operation, donating $2.6 million. But it took ninth place in the category of "Community/Public Foundations."

The report also looked at the top grant makers by assets. The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation ranked first, with $2.96 billion in 2011, followed by the McKnight Foundation with $2 billion. Third place was held by the St. Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation, with $938 million. Go to

Jean Hopfensperger 612 673-4511