• primarily awarding unrestricted grants
  • seeking to be transparent and responsive
  • streamlining processes and paperwork
  • doing our homework and proactively getting to know prospective applicants

Areas of Focus and Priorities:

  • Pathways Out of Poverty
    • Employment training/workforce development programs that lead to high quality, sustainable jobs and career pathways
    • Affordable rental housing and expanded homeownership in order to provide stability and create generational wealth
    • Policy initiatives that increase equity, opportunity and economic prosperity
  • Climate Action
    • Creation and implementation of climate action policy at state and local community levels that lead to effective and economically just outcomes
    • Education and outreach efforts that help accelerate clean energy transition/decarbonization
    • Clean energy workforce development initiatives targeted to underserved communities

Geographic Focus:

  • The Wilson Foundation currently prioritizes funding to organizations and initiatives based in Minnesota which primarily serve individuals and communities within the state.
  • Some grantee partners may also be involved in work that serves the Midwest region and/or advances policies and practices beyond the State of Minnesota.
  • Beginning in 2024, the Foundation anticipates some targeted grantmaking in the Duluth, Minnesota area.


  • The Wilson Foundation does not provide support to religious organizations for religious purposes.
  • Grants cannot be used to carryout direct lobbying activities for specific legislation but can be used for nonpartisan policy advocacy, policy research and education.
    • If you have questions about the acceptability of a proposed activity, please review Section 4945(e) of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations Section 53.4945-2.