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Grants & Social Investments

Advancing Our Mission Through Grantmaking and Social Investing

About Our Grantmaking

Our programs work both independently and in collaboration to award single-year and multiyear grants that fund general operating, projects and planning activities advancing strategic objectives. Most of our funding is to work in the U.S. but our Education Program also supports a portfolio of institutions in South Africa.

Most often, we invite applicants. Occasionally, program teams issue an open call for LOIs within a focus area. For initiatives, programs typically use an open request-for-proposals process. Whenever available, we list open opportunities on the Current Funding Opportunities page.

Grants by the Numbers – 2019 Totals by Program

Annually, Kresge makes more than 400 grants to nonprofits. Our annual give has averaged around $130 million in recent years, always in accordance with IRS guidance to give at least 5% of our endowment on a five-year rolling basis. At times, we go above and beyond this mandate.

American Cities

$19.4 million

Arts & Culture

$16.9 million

Detroit

$33.2 million

Education

$22.5 million

Environment

$19.4 million

Health

$25.9 million

Human Services

$17.3 million

Social Investment Practice

$1.1 million

OPportunity Fund

$4.4 million


Why Social Investments?

We believe in using multiple forms of capital to create change. The Social Investment Practice partners with programs to complement their efforts by unlocking capital streams with loans, deposits, equity and guarantees. Together, grants and social investments can create better and more sustainable impact.

The Social Investment Practice does not accept unsolicited proposals. It frequently funds its work through intermediaries such as Community Development Financial Institutions but also makes direct investments in nonprofits. We frequently partner with the public and private sectors and other funders or investors.

Our Commitment – Investments Made 2008-2019

Kresge made its first social investment in 2008. In 2015, Kresge made a $350 million commitment to using social investments to advance our mission by 2020 and to leverage $1 billion along the way from other funders or institutional investors.

American Cities

$35 million

Arts & Culture

$15 million

Detroit

$36.4 million

Education

$5.5 million

Environment

$38.4 million

Health

$58.4 million

Human Services

$55.4 million


Why We Fund Programs for Cities

Cities Are Powerful Vehicles of Change

They offer a concentration of activities and ideas that circulate, ricochet and recombine to create innovation.

Cities Present a Density of Assets That Can Contribute to Expanded Opportunity

These assets are necessary to scale economic restructuring, social transition and quality-of-life enhancements.

Cities Are Amenable to Philanthropic Engagement

Municipal problem-solving is driven by distributed leadership of the philanthropic, private, civic and public sectors.

Kresge staff is working remotely, and our offices are closed until further notice.  See our promise to partners during COVID-19.
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