Education tops Minnesota philanthropy

Minnesota philanthropy
Minnesota philanthropy

Education received 26 percent of philanthropic giving from Minnesota’s 100 top grantmakers in 2009, the largest share, a new study says.

Foundations and corporate-giving programs gave $243.1 million, exceeding giving for human services, which had received the most among eight major fields of interest in 2008, says the study by the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

Education has received the biggest share of Minnesota’s grant dollars in all but three of the last 33 years, including 2008, when grantmakers were focused on the effects of the economic downturn and human-services grantmaking edged out education, says Bill King, the Council’s president.

Corporate grantmakers gave the most to education, or 55 percent of the total, with Target and its foundation, and General Mills giving the most, $49.7 million and $43 million, respectively.

Private foundations gave $85.7 million, or 35 percent of total education funding, with community and public foundations giving $24.7 million, or 10 percent.

The Minneapolis Foundation increased its education giving nearly 50 percent in 2009, moving it into the top five funders of education initiatives.

Elementary and secondary education received $89.8 million, or 37 percent of education grant dollars, the largest share, although funding for elementary and secondary education fell 8 percent from 2008.

Higher education and professional development received $67.2 million, or 28 percent, and grew 40 percent from 2008.

Education grantmaking in Minnesota includes contributions to schools, colleges and universities; libraries and other groups that provide education-related services; alumni associations; English-as-a-second-language, or ESL, programs; and adult literacy services.

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