We are a $3 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development efforts in Detroit.

Some of our programs accept applications on an ongoing basis. Others proactively invite or solicit applications. Visit the Apply for Funding page to learn about our open grant opportunities.

Funding Methods

We award grants and make program-related investments. Some grants are awarded for a single year; others are for multiple years. Taken together, our grantmaking and investing methods constitute our funding toolbox.

Our types of funding consists of:

  • Operating support grants
  • Project support grants
  • Program-related investments

Our funding goal – through grants and investments – is to help organizations that are advancing our programmatic priorities fulfill their missions and become sustainable over time, often growing or developing in the process.

In 2012, the Board of Trustees approved 410 awards totaling $130.5 million; $150.3 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year.

You may learn more about grants made in each program area through our searchable Grant Highlights section,our Annual Report or the Foundation Center’s Grants Database.

Application Overview

Eligibility requirements and application processes differ from program to program. Each program works in specific focus areas. In addition, many have initiatives under way. For complete information, review the program that best suits your project:

Who is eligible?

  • U.S. 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that are not classified as private foundations.
  • International organizations that are the equivalent of U.S. 501(c)(3) organizations.
  • Government entities.
  • Faith-based organizations that welcome and serve all members of the community regardless of religious belief.

In rare instances, a requirement listed above may be waived.

Who is not eligible?

  • Individuals.
  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status.
  • Organizations that require membership in a certain religion or advance a particular religious faith. (Faith-based organizations may be eligible for funding if they welcome and serve all members of the community regardless of religious belief.)

Programs specify the eligibility requirements for their various funding opportunities. Review the appropriate program for complete information.

Application Process

Some of our funding opportunities are open to grantseekers and others are solicited, or by invitation only.


Applications for open funding opportunities may be accepted on an ongoing basis or for specific, publicly announced periods of time. Watch the Apply for Funding page for details and subscribe for email notification of program-specific updates.

Grantseekers responding to open grant opportunities can access our online application system through the appropriate program section of the site.

By invitation only

We solicit, or invite, applications from organizations that are advancing our programmatic priorities in ways we deem particularly important. If your organization is invited to apply, you may receive special instructions about using our online application system. Invitations are extended at the discretion of program officers.

Two-part application

We often utilize a two-part application process. Part 1, the preliminary application, contains a data-entry component and several attachments, including a narrative description of your proposed work. If a program officer determines your request has potential for funding, he or she will ask you to provide additional information. This will constitute Part 2 of the application process.

One-part application

In some instances, an organization is invited to apply for funding and asked to provide, at one time, all the information requested in the two-part application. This is our one-part, full-proposal option.

All solicited or invited organizations are emailed a link to access to our application system.

Request Review Process

To be eligible for consideration, a request for funding must include your organization’s annual budget and a completed demographic data sheet. We will accept an annual budget in any format. We offer a sample budget format for requests for project support.

You will receive an email confirmation when your application is submitted and a second email when your application is assigned a request number. In many instances, a program officer will contact you to discuss your proposed project.

In most cases, we will let you know about the status of your application within 10 to 12 weeks.

Grant Reporting

Program officers determine the reporting requirements for their grantees, often in consultation with the organization receiving the funding. These requirements are explained in the section of the grant agreement titled, “Reporting.” In most cases, grant reports include a narrative update and financial report, both of which are due at certain intervals during the grant period.


A staff member from each of our program teams answers questions from grantseekers. Please email us. Depending on the question, your answer will come via email or phone. We do our best to respond in two to three business days.