Nominations Open for the 2017 Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards


The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN), in partnership with The McKnight Foundation, is pleased to announce its third annual Virginia McKnight Binger Unsung Hero Awards. The awards will honor four Minnesotans—two from the Twin Cities metro and two from Greater Minnesota—who have demonstrated an exceptional personal commitment to helping others in their communities but who have received little or no public recognition.

The awards have been presented by the McKnight Foundation since 1985 in honor of Virginia McKnight Binger, the Foundation’s first board chair and the daughter of the founders. This is the third year MCN and The McKnight Foundation have partnered to present the awards.

Each award recipient will receive a $10,000 cash award, as well as recognition at MCN's 2017 Annual Conference on October 12, 2017 in St. Paul. Nominations open on April 10, 2017, with an application deadline of May 17, 2017.


  • Nominees do not have to be employed at an organization to be eligible, but may be volunteers, board members or service staff of nonprofits.
  • Nominees must be Minnesota residents.
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.
  • Nominees may not be past Virginia McKnight Binger Award recipients.

For more information about the Virginia McKnight Binger Awards, or to submit a nomination, visit


About Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits works to inform, promote, connect and strengthen individual nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. Founded in 1987 to meet the increasing information needs of nonprofits and to convene nonprofits to address issues facing the sector, MCN is the largest state association of nonprofits in the U.S. with over 2,100 member organizations.

About The McKnight Foundation
The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. Founded in 1953, the Foundation’s program interests include regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, early literacy, youth development, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods.


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