What Business Means To Minnesota

A look at some of the ways businesses make Minnesota a great place to live, work and raise a family.


What Business Really Means to Minnesota

Member companies of the Minnesota Business Partnership employ 400,000 people in our state, nearly 3 million around the world, and pay billions of dollars in local, state and federal taxes each year. But that isn’t all they do. For as long as Minnesota has been a state, our largest employers and their workers have recognized that building strong communities goes hand-in-hand with building strong companies. Corporate philanthropy, personal giving and company-sponsored volunteerism combine to make the charitable contributions of Minnesota’s business sector some of largest and most effective in the United States.

We will examine some of the ways businesses have made Minnesota the place it is, and contribute to our state’s tremendous quality of life—why Minnesota is truly one of the best places to live, work and raise a family.

Top Corporate Grantmakers

  1. Target Foundation & Corporation
    $147 million in total grants
    $25.9 million in grants paid in Minnesota
  2. General Mills Foundation & Corporation
    $104.4 million in total grants
    $19.7 million in grants paid in Minnesota
  3. Cargill Foundation and Cargill, Inc.
    $69.1 million in total grants
    $10.3 million in grants paid in Minnesota (Foundation only)
  4. UnitedHealth Group and United Health Foundation
    $58.5 million in total grants
    $7.2 million in grants paid in Minnesota
  5. Medtronic Foundation and Corporation
    $50 million in total grants
    $8.7 million in grants paid in Minnesota

The Key to Minnesota’s Success is our Commitment to Education

Perhaps more than any other contribution made in our state, what Minnesota companies and their employees do on behalf of children and education is the most important. A good education is not only important for success in life, but a well-educated workforce is a large part of the reason Minnesota is home to more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other state.

$307 Million to Education

According to the Minnesota Council on Foundations, education programs received the largest share of charitable dollars from businesses and foundations in 2012; nearly $307 million. Since MCF started conducting studies of charitable giving in 1976, education grantmaking has topped the list in all but three years.

44% Elementary/Secondary Education
24% Student Services & Organizations of Students
18% Higher Education & Professional Schools
11% Other Education
2% Libraries/Library Science
Girl pupil smiling while holding a stack of books A red apple cut into slices

Arts, Sports, Theater, Recreation —
Minnesota Businesses Support them all.

Minnesota’s diverse arts and recreational opportunities are tightly woven into the fabric of our state. But these amenities—which help drive our state’s tremendous quality of life—need support far beyond what citizens and taxpayers can provide. From the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis to the Science Museum in St. Paul, from the National Sports Center in Blaine to the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, and Minnesota Public Radio to the arenas for our professional sports teams, Minnesota companies and their employees play a crucial role in building and preserving the things we love.

Our vibrant art and theater scene, professional sports and recreation amenities are just some of the reasons that Minnesota consistently ranks at the top of annual national quality of life rankings.

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul has more theater seats per capita than any other U.S. city outside of New York.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul is one of only 12 metropolitan areas to host all four major professional sports: Vikings (Mall of America Field); Twins (Target Field); Wild (Xcel Energy Center); Timberwolves (Target Center).
  • Only Chicago and Washington, D.C. have more museums than the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
  • Minnesota ranks first in the nation for golfers and golf courses per capita.
  • According to volunteeringinamerica.gov, Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks 1st in volunteer rate of American cities (Minnesota is 3rd for all states).

Global Operations;
Global Responsibilities.

Minnesota companies have business and charitable impacts that reach far beyond Minnesota’s borders. World-class technical expertise and talent mean that Minnesota businesses are able to find solutions to some of the world’s toughest social and economic problems.

Minnesota companies do this work because it’s the right thing to do.

  • The Pentair Foundation's Project Safewater installed more than 200 water treatment systems to bring safe drinking water to the 350,000 residents of Colón, Honduras.
  • Since 1979, Valspar has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to donate the paint used for their houses; in 2011 they launched Valspar Hands for Habitat, to benefit Habitat's rebuilding efforts in Haiti.
  • Since 1966, the Mike and Linda Fiterman Family Foundation, along with the employees of Liberty Diversified International, have donated more than $13 million to 350 nonprofit organizations; focusing on families and children.
  • U.S. Bank's partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) helps young people prepare for the real world by offering financial education programs including including in-class learning for elementary school students. Last year, U.S. Bank employees dedicated nearly 13,800 hours teaching financial education to 151,000 individuals.
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