We fund champions of change who reflect the distinct cultural strengths of our region. They work in diverse communities to help people build assets through good jobs and financial capability—equipping them with the skills to overcome crises today and feel secure and hopeful about tomorrow.

Our region—Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and the 76 Native nations that share the same geography—was shaped by the freight routes of our founder’s family company, the Great Northern Railway.

We seek to address an unfair reality: This region includes communities that face persistent and devastating poverty, yet is home to some of the nation’s wealthiest and fastest-growing cities.

Our Values

Social Justice

We are driven by a deeply-held belief in the dignity and human rights of every person, and an active commitment to confront racism, sexism, colonization, and other overlapping oppressions that prevent people from thriving on their own terms. We seek to use our privilege (as a grantmaker and employer) to share and build power in our priority communities. We value healing and self-care as fundamental components of social justice.


We step out of our own comfort zones and disrupt the status quo to advance social justice. We lean into difficult issues and respectfully face conflicts and tensions that arise.

Grantees Come First

Our mission is intertwined with the success of grantees and the outcomes they achieve. Our resources, decisions, processes, and practices are geared toward supporting them.

Listen and Learn for Change

We actively listen with an open heart and mind. This requires us to question our own worldviews as we seek solutions that honor one another and our priority communities. We must not dismiss the opportunity to apply what we’ve learned because change is so imperative.


Our work operates at the speed of trust which is dependent on long-term, reciprocal relationships. We embrace vulnerability, openness, and transparency. We are reliable and follow through on our commitments.


This work is driven by empathy, purpose, and hope. We demonstrate love and compassion.

Our Region

Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and 76 Native nations that share the same geography.

Native nations