Morrison Knudsen Foundation

OVERVIEW: This corporate funder supports residents of the Boise, Idaho, community with basic needs funding. It also supports nonprofits in Treasure Valley in the areas of health and human services, civic and community, education, and culture and arts.

FUNDING AREAS: Health and human services, civic and community, education, culture and arts

IP TAKE:  Local nonprofits must share this funder’s money with needy individuals in Boise. Nonprofits that serve the disabled typically fare best with MKF.

PROFILE: The Morrison Knudsen Foundation (MKF) was known for a time as the Boise Legacy Constructors Foundation but has taken back its original name. This funder has been around since 1947 and serves the city of Boise and the Treasure Valley area. The original foundation funds came from donations from Morrison Knudsen Company employees.

MKF supports needy families and individuals in the Boise/Treasure Valley area, former MK employees, and nonprofits in the region with grants. It mainly gives one-time assistance for basic needs. The board typically approves more than 250 individual applications each year, providing over $1 million directly to needy individuals over a five-year period. More than half of these individuals are disabled, about 40 percent are minorities, 60 percent are single heads of household, 25 percent are elderly, and 14 percent are veterans.

In addition to individual basic needs grants, MKF also awards small grants to qualified nonprofits in the area. In order of priority, topics that MKF funds locally include health and human services, civic and community, education, and culture and arts. The majority of grants back efforts for the poor, elderly, and disabled. Building resilient neighborhoods, breaking the cycle of poverty, and bringing the arts to underprivileged youth and the elderly are also issues of interest for this funder.  

Supported organizations include the Neighborhood Housing Program, the Nampa Shelter Foundation, Friends of Children and Families/Head Start, Safe Place Ministries, and the Special Olympics. On the funder’s Grant Highlights list, you’ll find the Genesis Garden City Community Clinic, the Idaho Food Bank, the Salvation Army, and other local groups.

As a rule, MKF does not support groups located outside of Boise, Idaho, nor churches, media or research projects, or political activities. The Morrison Knudsen Company has deep roots in Boise, and its foundation is solely committed to this region for grantmaking. Applications for assistance for individuals are typically only accepted by referral from a network of agencies, listed here. There are no application forms to download or application guidelines for nonprofits posted on the foundation’s website. Grant requests are generally invitation-only.

There is just one staff member at MKF, Marlene Puckett, who serves as the administrator and executive director. The foundation has three officers and a board with about a dozen members. Frank Finlayson is the president of the board, Russ Strong is the treasurer, and Marlene Puckett is also the secretary.  

General questions can be directed to the foundation staff at info@mk-foundation.org or 208-424-7622. The foundation is located in the historic Zurcher Building at 102 South 17th Street, Suite 200, Boise, Idaho, 83702.

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