PRESS RELEASE: Minnesota Environmental Fund Announces Plans to Close in 2022

The organization cites a decline in workplace giving as cause; nonprofits funded by the Minnesota Environmental Fund stand to lose out on half a million dollars in funds annually

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL—October 6, 2021—The Minnesota Environmental Fund (MEF) has announced that it will be closing its doors in early 2022. The nonprofit organization cites a number of reasons including a 15-year trend of decline in workplace giving—which worsened sharply as a result of the pandemic—and growing consolidation in philanthropy.

Without the donations funneled through MEF, the local environmental nonprofits MEF supports could stand to lose out on approximately half a million dollars annually in vital funding to continue their missions. MEF is urging donors to get involved and give directly to the environmental causes they care about to ensure this important work continues.

The Fight for Minnesota’s Environment Is Far From Over

For 30 years, MEF has raised funds through workplace giving campaigns and distributed donations to a network of local environmental nonprofits. Since its founding, MEF has directed more than $14 million toward protecting Minnesota’s forests, freshwater sources, air quality, and abundant wildlife. Though its decision to close was made with a heavy heart, MEF is hopeful that its closing will galvanize donors to form more direct, personal relationships with the member organizations they’ve generously supported over the years. With 20 current member nonprofits in its network, MEF’s work has focused on protecting, conserving, and restoring Minnesota’s environment, which is more crucial than ever as the threats of climate change become more apparent near and far.

“We feel so fortunate to have been able to support such a diverse group of nonprofits working on the most important environmental issues across our state,” said Rylee Hince, Board Member at the Minnesota Environmental Fund. “With help from MEF donors, our member nonprofits have made incredible strides in protecting Minnesota’s natural resources over the past 30 years. We’re confident that our donors will find a cause close to their hearts that they want to fight for well into the future.”

With the pandemic’s lasting influence over the shifting nature of traditional workplaces, organizations like MEF who’ve focused their efforts on workplace giving initiatives are suffering across the board. Though MEF is closing its doors, its member nonprofits are still alive and well, and more in need of continuing support than ever. MEF encourages past donors to visit their website at and explore the myriad opportunities to directly support critical work to protect and restore Minnesota’s natural resources.

About Minnesota Environmental Fund:

Since 1991, the Minnesota Environmental Fund has directed more than $14 million toward protecting, conserving, and restoring Minnesota’s environment. With causes ranging from restoring clean water to combating climate change, advancing environmental justice, and protecting special Minnesota places like the Boundary Waters and the Mississippi River, the Minnesota Environmental Fund has worked for the last 30 years to ensure the health of our state’s natural environment for the benefit of wildlife and humans alike. For a full list of local organizations and work funded by MEF, visit