A fund that responded to cultural, social and political developments that challenged the expansion of opportunity in America’s cities
The Opportunity Fund was a portfolio of investments that sought to promote the values of fairness, equity, justice and opportunity. Launched in 2016, the Opportunity Fund sunsetted in 2020. During this time, the Opportunity Fund granted nearly $17 million to nonprofit organizations working in policy priority areas.
The Opportunity Fund aimed to provide a responsive capacity to address issues that cut across Kresge’s program areas. With that goal in mind, the fund focused on efforts to protect and strengthen democratic institutions, advance civil rights and civic participation, counteract hate and racism, support immigrant and refugee communities, advance the interests of cities and provide legal support to underserved communities.
Alongside these priority areas, the Opportunity Fund also supported thought leadership work that sought to change narratives and build communications capacity to enliven the Kresge’s commitment to opportunity and advancing racial equity.
We Invested in These Focus Areas
We believe that philanthropy must support nonprofits and other civic actors protecting our nation’s democratic institutions, national values and most marginalized and disenfranchised citizens.
Supporting civic engagement and democratic participation, protecting American democratic institutions, and countering state preemption.
Funding organizations that counteract racism and hate and supporting organizations that promote racial tolerance and justice.
Increasing access to justice in two pressing areas: immigrant and refugee legal support and civil legal aid.
Driving the Opportunity Fund
We used a full array of funding tools to foster change, including project grants, operating support and planning grants.
We also used resources to convene partners to learn and lead. In certain situations, when project proposals offered opportunities to advance the goals of multiple teams, those teams jointly funded the proposal. We sought potential partners and new funding opportunities through our involvement in meetings and conferences and with partner organizations, institutions and fellow foundations.
Senior Program Officer
Special Assistant to the President