A project of the Council of Michigan Foundations
The Kresge Foundation and the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) believe that community foundations are ideal candidates to support local college access programs because of their long-standing support of college scholarships, their leadership and commitment to local college access efforts, and their position as vital leaders in Michigan communities. Created in 2011 with a grant from The Kresge Foundation, the Community Foundation College Access Challenge Grant initiative is geared toward increasing the college-going rate and culture in Michigan by providing endowed funds for college readiness programming, networking opportunities, and scholarships.
The first round of challenge grants ($500,000) supported 13 Michigan community foundations, leveraged $890,060 in local funding, and helped to establish almost $500,000 in permanently endowed funds at Michigan community foundations. These funds will provide support for local college access activities and programs in perpetuity.
Further investment in the amount of $1.2 million by The Kresge Foundation in 2011 allowed additional Michigan community foundations to participate and supported the learning community with toolkits, networking opportunities, youth grantmaking incentives, and second-tier funding to strengthen the sustainability of local partnerships. The initiative works in tandem with the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), whose mission is to dramatically increase college participation and completion rates, particularly among Michigan’s low income and/or first generation students.