Three Types of Foundations

There are three types of foundations: community foundations, corporate giving programs and private foundations. Minnesota is fortunate to have a strong philanthropic community of private, community and corporate foundations and giving programs. According to the Minnesota Council on FoundationsGiving in Minnesota, “In 2007, the latest year for which complete data are available, Minnesota was home to 1,429 active grantmakers, an increase of 2.2 percent from 2006. In 2007, 85 percent of the grantmakers were private foundations (1,209), nine percent were corporate foundations and giving programs (131), and six percent were community or public foundations (89).” The Giving in Minnesota report is an annual publication that compiles data on Minnesota foundations.

Foundations, like most charities, are tax-exempt entities and exist to support public good. It is critical to research foundations before applying. Every foundation has different interests and priorities and the key to finding a good match between your organization and a foundation is to have a good understanding of who cares about the world you care about.

Resources for Nonprofits Seeking Foundation Grants

There are many resources, trainings and opportunities for nonprofits to build their skills and networks around grantwriting. In addition, MCN provides trainings, and publications.

Other resources include the Minnesota Council on Foundations which holds has in-depth information about grantseeking, foundations and common grants. Also include on their site is the Minnesota Common Grant Application.

The Foundation Center’s Foundation Directory Online is one of the leading grant research tools, with current and accurate information about grantmakers and grants in the United States. The Foundation Center Cooperating Collections provide free funding information centers in select libraries, community foundations and other nonprofit resource centers. Minnesota has eight Cooperating Collections. Cooperating Collections have a very useful collection of Foundation Center publications free for public use and a variety of supplementary materials and services useful to grantseekers.



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