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The McKnight Foundation invites nominations for the 2012 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service.

Click here to submit your nomination.External Link

Nomination deadline: April 4, 2012

Each year The McKnight Foundation recognizes up to six Minnesotans who have demonstrated an exceptional personal commitment to helping others in their communities but who have received little or no public recognition.

In alignment with McKnight's mission, the Foundation seeks individuals who attendunite, and empowerothers in communities throughout Minnesota. Here, we define individuals who "attend" as those who serve people or organizations directly; who "unite" as those who bring people together around a shared goal; and who "empower" as those who enable people to help themselves and others.

Each awardee receives $10,000 and is honored at a ceremony in late summer.

External Link

The awards, which were first presented in 1985, are named for Virginia McKnight Binger, the Foundation's first board chair and the daughter of the founders. Although she passed away in December 2002, these awards help us remember Virginia's enduring spirit of compassion, humility, and generosity.

Last year's recipients include a restorative justice program provider who serves youth offenders; a street outreach advocate for the homeless; a provider of stable, dignified housing to low-income families; a childcare provider offering nurturing care to infants and toddlers in need; a coordinator of a biking program for victims of torture; and a community builder with more than 30 years of direct service engagement.


The Foundation invites nominations recognizing anyone directly involved in providing human services, especially those working to make their communities more responsive to the needs of poor or disadvantaged people in Minnesota.

  • Nominees may be volunteers or service staff working directly with people in Minnesota.
  • Nominees (and the work for which they are being nominated) do not have to be associated with any organization to be eligible.
  • The process is confidential, and individuals are not to be notified that they have been nominated.
  • Individuals may not nominate themselves.
  • Nominees may not be past Human Service Award recipientsExternal Link.
  • Nominees must be current residents of Minnesota.
  • Nominees may be adults or young people.
  • Tenure of service will be taken into consideration.


A committee, composed of human service professionals and volunteers from throughout Minnesota, reviews nominations, checks references, and recommends candidates to the Foundation's Board of Directors. Award recipients are notified in June and honored in August. 

These are some of the real heroes and heroines of our society... They simply see people in need, and come to their assistance.

Related links

Submit Nomination OnlineExternal Link

2011 Awards AnnouncementExternal Link

2011 AwardeesExternal Link (PDF, 6 MB)

List of Past RecipientsExternal Link

Email this page to a friend!External Link

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