Mission/Giving Statement: To promote human progress. We advance our mission by: creating access and opportunity in underserved communities, improving the health of low-income people, supporting artistic expression, increasing college achievement, assisting in the revitalization of Detroit, and advancing methods for addressing global climate change.
Grantmaking Program Areas: Arts & Culture; Community Development; Detroit; Education; Environment; Health; Human Services
Grantmaking Program Area Descriptions:
Arts & Culture: We seek to build strong, healthy cities by promoting the integration of arts and culture in community revitalization. Our national Arts and Culture Program focuses on the role arts and culture play in re-energizing the communities that have long been central to America’s social and economic life. We believe that arts and culture are an integral part of life and, when embedded in cross-sector revitalization activity, can contribute to positive and enduring economic, social and cultural change in communities.
Community Development: We aim to advance opportunity and improve the quality of life for underserved and marginalized populations by supporting work to strengthen the social and economic fabric in American cities. Our Detroit Program represents our primary community development effort. Through this program, we practice a highly strategic, integrated approach to urban revitalization in our hometown. Our national community development focus is on replicable, innovative models and exemplary financial vehicles for equitable reinvestment. Our team connects these two strands of work to create opportunities for shared learning between Detroit and the national urban redevelopment community.
Detroit: We aspire to change the city of Detroit’s trajectory to one of long-term economic opportunity that advances social equity, promotes cultural expression, and re-establishes our hometown as the center of a vibrant region. We are a national foundation with deep roots in Detroit. Since our founding in 1924, we have provided continuous philanthropic support to the area’s nonprofit organizations and community initiatives. In recent years we have taken a proactive approach, engaging and collaborating with others seeking to renew the city that was once a place of opportunity. The Detroit metro region is home to 4 million people. Decades of economic disinvestment have undermined the tax base and destabilized public finances. However, there is a strong sense that Detroit’s challenges are offset by a significant window of opportunity. Working with other philanthropic organizations, nonprofits, business, government and other partners, we are investing in areas that leverage Detroit’s strong assets and present opportunities for helping Detroit residents imagine and build a vibrant 21st-century version of their city. We believe that if we can make headway against the extreme social and economic challenges here, the lessons will have broader applicability to other communities. Our lens for viewing our Detroit work is a comprehensive framework we call Re-Imagining Detroit. Its nine components are closely integrated.
Education: Increasing the number of college graduates in the United States can fuel a new, education-led era of prosperity and help low-income and underserved people change the trajectory of their lives. We invest in work that advances these ends. A good job, a living wage, a path to social stability – education gives us choices. Our Education Program focuses on expanding student access to higher education and opening avenues to academic success, particularly for those historically left out of the picture: low-income, first-generation, African American, Latino, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Native American students.
Environment: Our goal is to assist society in mitigating the severity of climate change and preparing for its unavoidable impacts. Global climate change is a profound threat to humanity. Global emissions of greenhouse gases threaten everything from human health and food and water supplies to transportation infrastructure and ecosystems.
Health: Our goal is to reduce health disparities by promoting conditions and environments that lead to positive health outcomes for all Americans. We promote the health and well-being of low-income and vulnerable populations by improving the environmental and social conditions affecting their communities and by improving access to high-quality health care. We support work at the local, state and national levels. However, as a national funder, we look for projects and efforts that have wide potential reach and influence. In some cases, these may be place-based, local activities aimed at demonstrating solutions to practical or policy-related problems that can be adapted in many communities.
Human Services: We seek to expand access and opportunities for vulnerable, disadvantaged and low-income individuals and families by strengthening nonprofit organizations and generating new knowledge about efforts to ameliorate and, create pathways out of, poverty. To help historically and systematically disadvantaged, underrepresented individuals and communities, we believe it is necessary to transform the human-services sector. Today’s social, economic and political challenges require it.
Type of Funding/Funding Restrictions: The Foundation funds facilities capital grants, general operating support, growth capital grants, planning grants, program-related investments, and program support. List of funding restrictions available online.
Application Instructions: Grant application and instructions available online.