How We Fund
Central to our work as a strategic philanthropy is the ability to draw on an array of versatile, flexible grantmaking and social investing tools.
We award operating support, project grants and planning grants. We also utilize a full complement of program related investments, including loans, deposits, equity and guarantees.
In collaboration with our grantees and partners, we seek to use these grantmaking and investing tools to create pathways for vulnerable people to improve their life circumstances and join the economic mainstream.
Our six programs use grant dollars to fund operating support, project grants and planning grants to advance their strategic objectives as described in the Programs section of the website. Kresge awards between $120 million and $150 million in grants each year to worthy nonprofit organizations located in the United States. Under certain circumstances, awards are made to environmental organizations in Canada and to institutions of higher education in South Africa.
Grants are awarded to organizations that advance the strategic objectives of a given program. In certain situations, when project proposals offer opportunities to advance the goals of multiple programs, those programs will jointly fund the proposal.
Some programs accept applications on an ongoing basis. Others proactively invite or solicit applications from individual organization. And, on occasion, a program may make a national call for applications for specific efforts through a request-for-proposal process. When available, grant opportunities are listed on the Current Grant Opportunities page.
Kresge awards single and multiyear grants that typically range in duration from one to three years. To learn more about the grants made in each program area since 2009, visit the Grants Awarded page, where you can search by year, program, organization name and location.
Social Investment Practice
Our Social Investment Practice works across the six programs to complement grantmaking efforts with loans, deposits, equity and guarantees to find funding gaps as needed, draw other partners to the project, or make capital available in otherwise disinvested communities.
Typical projects include investments in health care clinics, affordable housing, social service providers and real estate to advance economic development. In September 2015, the Kresge Board of Trustees approved a $350 million pool of social investment funding that will be deployed by 2020.
Oftentimes, prior to making a social investment, Kresge awards grant funding to a nonprofit to support the creation of organizational infrastructure necessary for successfully utilizing the social investment. As a result, grants and social investments are used hand-in-hand to strengthen and grow exemplary organizations that are expanding opportunities for low-income people living in cities.
The Social Investment Practice does not accept unsolicited proposals. To gain an understanding of the types of investments made to date, visit Social Investments Made, where you can search by year, program and location.
American Cities Practice
Created in 2015, the American Cities Practice also works with our six programs to identify and fund cross-team, interdisciplinary and/or multidisciplinary efforts to improve conditions within cities. The practice also funds high-visibility, national thought-leadership efforts that advance Kresge’s social-change agenda.
Through its grantmaking, the practice seeks to understand how cities are addressing challenges such as economic restructuring, fiscal collapse, infrastructure needs, racial and economic inequity, inclusive growth, natural disasters and resource demands. In addition, the American Cities Practice elevates what Kresge is learning in Detroit for the benefit of partners working in other cities.
Because of the breadth and depth of work we have underway at any given time, we have three mechanisms in place to keep interested parties abreast of any programmatic changes as well as grant or social investing opportunities. We announce all changes and opportunities on the front page of our website as Program Updates. In addition, you may be notified directly of these opportunities by subscribing to email alerts or by following @kresgefdn on Twitter.