Philanthropy and charitable giving promote the common good and are essential expressions of civic engagement in a democratic society that should be valued and supported through tax policies and regulations. MCF advances policies that enable the nonprofit and philanthropic community to fulfill its role in strengthening communities and sustaining a thriving democracy.
Minnesota Council on Foundations was initially formed to respond to public policy threats to the field of philanthropy. At the federal level, the Tax Reform Act of 1969 imposed sweeping changes on private foundations, creating an excise tax, reporting requirements, and minimum payouts. In Minnesota, the state legislature started holding hearings on additional restrictions and requirements, and the philanthropic sector was not organized to respond. Minnesota foundation leaders convened to discuss their strategy to these policy threats, and this effort ultimately morphed into what we now all know as the Minnesota Council on Foundations. In MCF’s early decades, public policy efforts were solely focused on issues of interest to the field of philanthropy. As MCF and its members matured, it has blossomed to include a broader focus on supporting the nonprofit sector, promoting charitable giving, and working toward a more inclusive and equitable Minnesota.
MCF regularly partners with sector allies like the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Greater Twin Cities United Way, United Philanthropy Forum, Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, and others to promote charitable giving and a strong sector. Current and past efforts have included raising awareness and advocating on topics such as expanding charitable giving incentives, supporting the rights of charities to engage in advocacy, simplifying the private foundation excise tax, including the sector in COVID relief and recovery efforts, investing in and improving state-level grants management processes, exploring questions of philanthropic reform, promoting appropriate administrative cost allowances for nonprofits and intermediary grantmaking services, and more.