The $56 Million Minnesota mystery donation

Ash Jurberg

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Who is the anonymous donor?

That's the question many people in Minnesota are asking this week after it was revealed that Minnesota Public Radio had received the largest donation in the organization’s 55-year history. An anonymous donor had made a $56 million donation to the radio station.

The only request from the donor was that the funds "be used exclusively to serve YourClassical audiences and provide technological support for new media transmission."

The generous gift was welcomed by Jean Taylor, the president and CEO of MPR parent organization American Public Media Group.

"This extraordinary gift will have a transformative impact on the future of Minnesota Public Radio and the communities we serve. It will enable us to deepen and broaden our relevance with a growing audience by delivering compelling content, creating meaningful listening experiences, and advancing MPR’s digital capabilities and infrastructure. Through the generosity and support of this donor—and so many others—we will continue to fulfill our public service mission.” 

There have been no clues as to who the mysterious donor is. Could it be one of the philanthropists who have previously made large donations to organizations in Minnesota?

Richard Schulze was once recognized as the biggest philanthropist in Minnesota. The founder of Best Buy donated $50 million to the University of St. Thomas in 2000, which was the largest donation to a Minnesota college or university. He has also made several large donations to organizations in Florida.

And earlier this year, Mackenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, gave $48 million to six non-profits in Minnesota. The funds went to The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities, the Red Lake Nation Boys & Girls Club, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the White Earth Nation, Planned Parenthood North Central States, United States of Care, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

Readers, do you think the $56 million donor will ever come forward? Do you have any suggestions as to who it might be?

Please leave your comments below.

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