Opus Foundation®

Building Community for a Better Tomorrow

Corporate Foundation of The Opus Group

Founded in 2000, the Opus Foundation has awarded nearly $58.4 million to help build Opus communities and support efforts that make them better places to live, work and raise families.

The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations that improve the conditions that disproportionately affect historically underinvested individuals and communities by resourcing the following key focus areas:

  • Early Childhood Education: Provide high quality experiences for preschool-aged children that result in enhanced social/emotional skills and school readiness
  • Youth Development: Promote healthy social and academic development of youth with an emphasis on fostering their aspirations to stay in school and pursue higher education or a career track
  • Workforce Development: Strengthen the workforce in our communities to position and prepare under/unemployed individuals for career readiness/advancement and greater self-sufficiency
    • Taking it a step further, the Foundation and our associates are committed to introducing Opus industries to our communities. Learn More
  • Community Revitalization: Increase the vitality of economically disinvested neighborhoods, such as the development of small businesses, affordable housing, and/or other important community assets such as community centers
  • Pressing/Emerging Needs: Respond to emergency needs such as food, clothing or shelter resulting from economically-challenging times

Read Our Annual Reports

2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

Guided by Core Principles

The Opus Foundation is guided by eight core principles that serve as the philosophy, values and lens from which we work.

  1. We believe grants supporting opportunities for people to become well-educated or self-sufficient lead to healthier communities and greater individual success.
  2. We seek to partner with organizations that are entrepreneurial in their approach and creative, proactive, innovative and results-oriented.
  3. We actively embrace and support diversity, equity and inclusion throughout our culture and our work to amplify our connection to and impact in the communities we serve.
  4. We value listening to and learning from our communities and partners and seek to use their input to improve our practices and organizational polices to ensure we are responding equitably.
  5. We value organizations that leverage funding and volunteer talent to achieve their objectives and maximize our collective impact.
  6. The majority of our grants are awarded in communities in which Opus does business. On occasion, national grants may be made that benefit individuals and communities across the country.
  7. Our grants support the involvement of Opus associates in their communities because we believe these local investments provide important time and talent of our associates to meet their community needs, while also, building leadership and empowering them to live organizational and individual values.
  8. We encourage collaboration, teamwork and team-building among Opus associates and between associates and our community partners.

Priorities of Our Work

We are committed to improving the conditions that disproportionately affect historically underinvested individuals and communities.

A colorful graphic that shows connections between Racial Equity, Engaged Associates, Opus Value and Building Community; in the middle is states the commitment and the focus areas.

Racial Equity

The Foundation has long supported organizations addressing social, education and economic issues, but after a number of significant events in recent history we took a closer look at what more we could do to further progress the mission of the Foundation and meet the needs of Opus communities.

Informed by the persistent disparities that exist across our focus areas, Racial Equity was elevated to one of our four priorities that guide our grantmaking and it serves and a foundational principle that influences all of the Foundation’s work. Consistent with this priority, we have updated our guiding principles (listed above), streamlined processes and revised internal structures, expanded funding criteria and welcomed more diverse members to the Board of Directors.

The Foundation will continue to advance racial equity with the following actions:

  • listen and learn from partners, community leaders and other stakeholders
  • deepen intentional efforts within focus areas — increasing access, decreasing barriers and addressing disparities
  • grant more multi-year funding to address systems change
  • engage in collective impact opportunities (our involvement with groups like Minnesota Business Coalition for Racial Equity and Twin Cities Concerned Builders Group resulted in relevant community grants)
  • support the work of the DEI Champions

Read more about some of our recent efforts here.

Engaged Associates

Opus associates are key to the work of the Opus Foundation. We are cultivating ambassadors to represent the work of the Foundation as they engage in Opus communities. We support nonprofits in which associates volunteer and help advance the work of our DEI Champions. Additionally, it's our goal to promote volunteerism and inspire community connections with associates.

Opus Value

We connect to Opus' business and legacy, supporting nonprofits in the markets in which we do business and engage stakeholders in identifying impactful nonprofits. Additionally, we aim to grow diversity, equity and inclusion in our industries.

Read more about the Opus Foundation partnering for a greater impact:

Building Community

Ultimately, the Opus Foundation is Building Community by resourcing critical needs in our communities through grantmaking, impact investments and volunteer work by associates. This work centers learning to further understand shifting needs and opportunities and optimal ways to successfully partner together to meet those needs.

Impact Investing

Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has made thousands of grants to impactful nonprofit organizations. In 2020, the Foundation expanded their efforts with a long-term initiative to support qualifying organizations through impact investments.

Impact investments are made from the endowment with the intention of generating positive and measurable social impact and a financial return. These investments take many forms and are made to nonprofit and for-profit entities.

To date, the Foundation has made the following investments, totaling $3 million:

  • CommonBond Communities (2020) received $500,000 to support the acquisition of two existing affordable housing buildings in Minneapolis and St. Paul. (Read more in this blog post).
  • IFF (2020), an organization that creates opportunities for low-income communities and people with disabilities, received a $1 million investment for affordable community development projects in Chicago, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Kansas City.
  • Mercy Housing (2020), one of the nation’s largest affordable housing organizations, received a $500,000 investment to support developing and preserving affordable housing units in Phoenix and Denver.
  • Apis & Heritage (2021) received a $1 million investment to turn businesses with workforces of color into employee-owned firms, helping close the racial wealth gap.

News & Blog Posts

See All Opus Foundation News & Blog Posts

Recent Grantees

Check out grantees so far this year.

The Opus Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant proposals.