MPR News with Angela Davis

Meet Tonya Allen of the McKnight Foundation

Since the pandemic began and coincided with a racial reckoning, there’s a quote from Mr. Rogers that has been making the rounds on social media:

“Look for the helpers, there will always be helpers. … Because if you look for the helpers, you’ll know there is hope.”

Helpers come in many shapes and sizes, as does hope. One kind of helper that has gotten a lot of attention recently is the philanthropic helper. What is philanthropy? How is it different than charity, and what can it do for us during these difficult times?

Photo of a woman smiling
Tonya Allen, the new president of The McKnight Foundation. 
Courtesy of Tonya Allen

Tonya Allen took over as president of the McKnight Foundation in March. She’s still new to Minnesota, but she’s not new to the role of philanthropic leader. She joined host Angela Davis to talk about the role of philanthropy in turbulent times.

For those looking for grant-making resources, here are a few places to start:


  • Tonya Allen is the new president of the McKnight Foundation which is based in Minnesota.

Editor’s note (Sept. 15, 2021): MPR News is among the Minnesota organizations that has received McKnight Foundation grant money.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

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