Minnesotans have stood out for their generosity for generations.
Nearly five decades ago, the Five Percent Club put the state on the map nationally as a leader in philanthropy. Target and 22 other Minnesota companies vowed to give away 5% of their pre-tax earnings to charity — the first group of its kind in the nation.
Do any local companies still give that much to charity? And how does Minnesota's overall charitable giving stack up with other states? Tane Danger of Minneapolis contacted Curious Minnesota, the Star Tribune's reader-driven community reporting project, to find out.
Working in the nonprofit sector for most of his career, Danger heard about Minnesota's tradition of corporate philanthropy stemming from the Five Percent Club and how Minnesota donors give and volunteer at higher rates than other states' residents.
"One of things I love bragging about Minnesota is we're a charitable state," said Danger, whose husband, Eric Roper, oversees Curious Minnesota. "Organizations and companies really seem to care about the place. And they're willing to invest their time and treasure."
In short, Danger is right that Minnesota is often among the top states for its percentage of donors and volunteers. And the Five Percent Club still exists, though it's now called the Minnesota Keystone Program and honors companies that give 2% or more.
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