Report: Minnesota charitable giving climbs 15 percent

Charitable giving in Minnesota continues to recover from the recession, according to a report released Tuesday by the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

Foundations, corporate charities and individuals from Minnesota gave $5.5 billion in 2011, the most recent data available, the report said. It was about 3 percent more than what was donated in 2010.

Giving by foundations and corporations went up 15 percent from 2010 to 2011, accounting for $1.7 billion in gifts in 2011, the report said.

Download and read the full report here

Many foundations are seeing an upswing in giving following the recession. Jeremy Wells, vice president of the Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, said his organization cut grants during the recession.

"We certainly saw individuals taking a lot longer to make gifts, but especially after the last few years, we're certainly back up to where we were pre-recession," Wells said.

But overall, Minnesota giving in 2011 was still below 2008 levels, according to the report. That year, giving by individuals, foundations and corporations reached nearly $5.7 billion, according to the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

The largest share of charitable giving in 2011, 28 percent, went to support education, followed by 21 percent for human services.

The council said new giving by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation helped boost foundation giving in the state. The Cargill Foundation awarded $142 million in 2011, up from $10 million the previous year as the foundation paid out multi-year commitments to many nonprofits.

The Council on Foundations report said nearly half of Minnesota grant dollars went to organizations and programs serving the state. Four percent was given to international causes.

Largest Minnesota grantmakers in 2011:

• Target Foundation and Corporation: $146.1 million

• Margaret A. Cargill Foundation: $142 million

• McKnight Foundation: $102.9 million

• General Mills Foundation and Corporation: $102.7 million

• The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation: $70.3 million

(MPR News reporter Jon Collins contributed to this report.)

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