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Charitable giving increasing from top Minnesota donors

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Charitable giving by the state's largest institutional donors is up more than 8 percent, the Minnesota Council on Foundations said Tuesday.

The council's report says the top 50 donors gave away more than $1.3 billion in 2014, the last year for which figures are available. That's up by more than $100 million over 2013. 

Council president Trista Harris says philanthropic giving in Minnesota has been stable in recent years. 

"We're very lucky to have a state with a strong foundation community, both corporate, private, and community foundations that deeply invest both locally, nationally and internationally."

The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation led the rankings with $150 million in donations. Cargill ranked 11th in giving the previous year, Harris said.

  "They have been building up their grant making programs and hiring staff like crazy, and so they're really at the point where they're starting to give out significant numbers of grants," she said.

The Target and General Mills foundations rounded out the top three Minnesota-based givers, donating more than $100 million each.

Harris says 61 percent of the cash given by Minnesota's top 50 grant makers went to organizations based outside the state. That's because many foundations are part of multinational companies.