About Northland Foundation

About the Northland Foundation

Created in 1986 by The McKnight Foundation, the Northland Foundation is a regional foundation serving the communities of northeastern Minnesota. Like most foundations, we make grants. However, the Northland Foundation is unique in the array of its other core activities. We serve our region through: 

  • a grantmaking program that provides resources to nonprofit organizations in the region within two priority areas: Opportunities for Self-Reliance, and Children, Youth, and Families.
  • an operating program, KIDS PLUS, that is dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth from birth to adulthood;
  • a business finance program that provides flexible lending to help small and medium-size businesses to grow and create family-sustaining jobs;
  • an assisted living philanthropic investment providing high-quality, affordable living options to enable older adults to age-in-place in underserved rural communities; and
  • other special initiatives.

Like many nonprofit organizations, we raise money to support these program areas. Resources for the Northland Foundation's diverse initiatives are provided through public and private partnerships at the local, state, and national levels. It is our privilege to partner with organizations dedicated to improving northeastern Minnesota's economic vitality and social responsiveness.

Since 1986, the Northland Foundation has:

  • Awarded more than 4,100 grants totaling over $30 million to nonprofit organizations in the region.
  • Invested over $59 million in hundreds of local and regional businesses which has helped leverage more than $311 million in other, mostly private, investments helping to create or save 7,200 jobs.
  • Generated more than $25 million in resources to provide training, technical assistance, and support to communities across the region through the Foundation’s operating program, KIDS PLUS.
  • Created a permanent endowment which provides resources to support projects and programs now and for generations to come.
  • Secured over $92 million in resources, 95 percent of which was generated from sources outside this region, to address and respond to critical issues facing families, businesses, and communities in northeastern Minnesota.

A copy of the Northland Foundation's Form 990 is available upon request. Please contact us for a copy. For driving directions to the Northland Foundation offices in Duluth, visit the Contact Us page.