Michigan has some of the country’s largest and well-known foundations. A number helped Detroit climb out of bankruptcy through the “Grand Bargain.”
So I asked my colleague, Ryan Schlegel to look at Foundation Center’s FC1000 data that was the basis of NCRP’s Pennies for Progress report to identify which of Michigan’s largest foundations gave most to underserved communities and social justice. (Last week, we looked at New York’s largest foundations.)
Michigan’s 66 foundations that are considered among the country’s largest gave more than $10.3 billion in total grants for U.S.-based programs from 2003-2013.
Only 31 percent of this amount went towards programs that directly benefit the lower-income people, people of color or other underserved populations hit hard by the recession. Less than a handful of the state’s largest foundations gave 50 percent or more of their grant dollars during the period.
Support for advocacy, community organizing and other efforts that engage citizens to come up with long-term solutions to systemic injustices and inequities were even lower, with only two foundations giving 25 percent or more.
|Which Michigan-based foundation gave the most in support of underserved communities, 2003-2013?|
|Foundation Name||Share of grant dollars for underserved|
|Manoogian Simone Foundation||79%|
|The Skillman Foundation||60%|
|Charles Stewart Mott Foundation||57%|
|W. K. Kellogg Foundation||55%|
|Fremont Area Community Foundation||35%|
|The Kresge Foundation||34%|
|Kalamazoo Community Foundation||33%|
|Comerica Charitable Foundation||33%|
|Ruth Mott Foundation||31%|
|Based on Foundation Center’s FC1000 data.|
|Which Michigan-based foundation gave most to find long-term solutions to social inequities and injustice, 2003-2013|
|Foundation Name||Share of grant dollars for systems change strategies|
|The Skillman Foundation||36%|
|W. K. Kellogg Foundation||32%|
|Charles Stewart Mott Foundation||18%|
|The Kresge Foundation||9%|
|General Motors Foundation, Inc.||8%|
|Ford Motor Company Fund||8%|
|DTE Energy Foundation||7%|
|The Chrysler Foundation||7%|
|Based on Foundation Center’s FC100 data.|
However, there were some improvements during the period studied. The Kresge Foundation “has moved 180 degrees from risk avoidance to risk pursuit,” which has put it on “a path toward achieving significant impact in underserved communities,” according to our 2015 Philamplify report on the foundation.
The big picture
Don’t forget to check out Pennies for Progress: A decade of boom for philanthropy, a bust for social justice for national-level findings and analyses.
What do you think of our findings? Are you surprised (or not) by any of the foundations on this list?
Yna C. Moore is senior director of communications at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). Follow @ynamoore and @NCRP on Twitter.
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