WCA Foundation joins forces with The Minneapolis Foundation

To enhance its mission work of serving women, the 154-year-old private foundation will become a Signature Fund of the community foundation.

To advance its mission of serving women while continuing a long tradition of member engagement, the WCA Foundation will transition its operations and grantmaking to one of the nation’s oldest community foundations, becoming a Signature Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation. 

“This partnership provides a remarkable opportunity for the WCA Foundation to sustain our identity and legacy, while significantly increasing our grantmaking in the community,” said Susan Carter, Executive Director of the WCA Foundation. Carter will continue to guide the WCA Foundation’s operations, member engagement and grantmaking as a staff member of The Minneapolis Foundation.  

For The Minneapolis Foundation, the partnership is a chance to join hands with a 154-year-old bedrock institution in Minneapolis-St. Paul. “For more than a century, The Minneapolis Foundation and the WCA Foundation have been helping members of our community express their generosity to make this a better place,” said R.T. Rybak, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation. “We are so proud to be joining forces for good.” 

The Minneapolis Foundation and WCA Foundation have been working together to ensure a seamless transition for grant applicants. The WCA Foundation will open its fall grant round on schedule, with applications accepted starting on September 1. To learn more and apply for a grant, go to wcafoundation.org

Founded in 1866, the WCA Foundation is the oldest benevolent nonprofit organization in Minnesota. Led by and for women, the private foundation has advanced it mission in a variety of ways over the years. For much of its early history, it owned and ran housing for women in need.  

In recent years, the WCA Foundation has focused solely on grantmaking to qualified community organizations, stewarding an endowment of approximately $18 million. Its work is guided by volunteers, all women, with a current active membership of about 50 individuals who are responsible for investigating grant requests and making award recommendations to the foundation’s board. 

Transitioning to The Minneapolis Foundation will enable the WCA Foundation to substantially reduce administrative costs and increase its efficiency, and thereby dedicate significantly more resources to its community grantmaking. 

The transition means the WCA Foundation will relinquish its separate legal and 501(c)(3) tax exempt status while retaining its name, membership structure, and continued support for a member-driven grant process. At the same time, the WCA Foundation will gain access to The Minneapolis Foundation’s resources, including trainings and educational programming, meeting space, a large network of philanthropic and civic leaders, and a staff with expertise in finance and investment management, grants administration, evaluation, and community issues.