Facts About The Arc Minnesota



The Arc Minnesota is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) advocacy organization founded in Minnesota more than 70 years ago by parents of children with disabilities. The organization and affiliated chapters provide information and assistance, advocacy, and training and education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families throughout their lifetime. The Arc advocates for systems change at the local, state, and national level.



The Arc Minnesota promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, actively supporting them and their families in a lifetime of full inclusion and participation in their communities.



Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families will have the hope, confidence and knowledge they need to live a life they choose, and equitable systems will support them where they live, learn, work and play.


Persons Served

The Arc Minnesota supports individuals by addressing their immediate needs, navigating eligibility, identifying options and providing education and training to address issues that arise across their lifespan.


Communities Served

The Arc Minnesota supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the state.



The Arc staff includes full-time and part-time professional advocates, administrative staff in regions across the state, and retail staff at Arc’s Value Village Thrift Stores and Donation Centers.



Volunteers contributed more than 16,000 hours of support in 2018.



The Arc Minnesota operates with a budget of more than $5 million. Advocacy, programs, and services that directly benefit people are made possible through the generosity of individual donors, corporations and foundations.

Frequently Asked Questions


Is “Arc” an acronym?

No, our organization is named The Arc. The name is derived from the original name “The Association for Retarded Citizens.” The name was changed as the “R” word is considered hate speech because it offends people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as the people that care for and support them.

Is The Arc a nonprofit organization?

Yes, The Arc is a private, 501(c)(3) organization.


What is the goal of the statewide organization?

The goal is to leverage the impact of a larger and more focused statewide organization while retaining local presence and a deep commitment to grass-roots engagement.


How does The Arc support people?

The immediate goal of The Arc Minnesota is to provide a set of consistent, essential services throughout the state. Those services include:

  • Access to a toll-free information and referral number
  • Access to an online “Ask the Advocate” service
  • Enhanced use of technology and virtual service delivery to connect people with information and assistance.
  • Opportunities to participate in online and in-person training events.


What is “person-first” language?

Person-first language in a respectful way to speak to and about people with disabilities. In person-first language, the person is referred to first, then the disability. This reflects that the disability is a characteristic of the individual, but does not define that person.


How is The Arc governed?

A statewide Board of Directors governs the Arc. A CEO and staff lead operations.


How is The Arc funded?

The statewide organization is funded through current philanthropic efforts including Annual Fund campaigns, grants, United Way partnerships, corporate partnerships, events, and Arc’s Value Village thrift businesses, as well as current and new program and services revenue including Person-Centered Planning and online planning tools.


Did chapters of The Arc chapters in Minnesota merge?

On January 1, 2018, six chapters of The Arc across Minnesota and he state organization came together as one organization to help more people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc Minnesota also support independent affiliated chapters in the state.


Why did chapters of The Arc in Minnesota merge?

Working together, chapter representatives concluded that a merger of chapters into one organization was the most promising way to provide breadth and access to quality programs and services across Minnesota.

How Do I Get More Information?

For more information about The Arc Minnesota, click to learn about our programs and services.