Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children Awards More Than $1.3 Million in Grants

Monday, December 7, 2015

Kicking off a season of good cheer for schools and nonprofits across the Twin Cities, the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi (RKMC) Foundation for Children today announced 14 grants totaling $1,345,000.

The grants will support schools, innovative education programs, and other nonprofits serving Minnesota’s children—from high-performing schools with a strong track record of serving low-income children and students of color to organizations pushing for system-wide education reform.

“Minnesota’s opportunity gap is a crisis we can’t ignore,” said Michael Ciresi, Board Chair of the RKMC Foundation for Children. “We’re investing in schools and organizations that are working full-bore to make sure that all of our students get an excellent education.”

The grants reflect three key priorities:

  • Expanding high-performing schools and school networks;
  • Increasing parent demand for schools that provide excellent educational outcomes for all students; and
  • Creating a sense of urgency to address the extreme disparities that exist in educational outcomes between students of color and white students in the Twin Cities.

The 14 grants will support:

Organization and Grant Amount

Children’s Theatre Company: $50,000

Cristo Rey Jesuit High School: $50,000

Educators 4 Excellence: $100,000

Friendship Academy: $75,000

Hiawatha Academies: $150,000

Mastery School (Harvest Network of Schools): $100,000

MinnCAN: $125,000

Minnesota Comeback: $100,000

Northside Achievement Zone: $120,000

Parent Aware for School Readiness: $150,000

St. Paul Promise Neighborhood: $50,000

Think Small: $125,000

Way to Grow: $75,000

YWCA of Minneapolis: $75,000

Since 1999, the Foundation has made nearly $20 million in grants to Minnesota nonprofits, including the awards announced today. More than three quarters of that total has gone to education-related causes, with most of the remainder dedicated to public health and social justice.

The RKMC Foundation for Children is a private foundation that partners closely with The Minneapolis Foundation to leverage their investment services, operating support, and community expertise. “Achieving educational equity is one of the biggest challenges we face in the Twin Cities,” said Sandra Vargas, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation. “The RKMC Foundation for Children provides crucial support to the many parents, students, teachers, and other leaders who are working to close the gaps that exist in our community today.”

The RKMC Foundation for Children was started in 1998 with a $30 million commitment from the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi. That initial gift was a result of fees earned from the $6.6 billion settlement of the Minnesota tobacco lawsuit.

The Foundation’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for creative, innovative, and systems-changing programs to achieve long-term impact in promoting equitable education and opportunities for Minnesota’s children and youth. Learn more at https://rkmcfoundationforchildren.org.