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Project Profile:

Community Foundation Energy Initiative

A project of the Council of Michigan Foundations

Wind farm with lake in the background

Project Timeline:

March 1987 to September 1990

Locations Impacted:

State of Michigan

Collaborating Organizations

State of Michigan, and 14 individual community foundations.

About the Project

The Community Foundation Energy Initiative was the first public-private partnership between the State of Michigan and community foundations as a group. This collaborative and innovative initiative was launched as a way to handle the distribution of Exxon payout. In 1987, Exxon Oil was ordered to pay out a total of $2.1 billion nationally in overcharged customer funds; $71 million of which went to Michigan.

Working together, the State of Michigan and the Council of Michigan Foundations created a matching, challenge grant program. $364,000 was set aside for areas that were not covered by a participating community foundation. These challenge grants had to be used on energy conservation programs, subsidized loans, education and technical assistance. The state funds were to be spent out by 1990, while the matching funds raised were to be stored in a permanent endowment so future energy conservation and education programs could be financially supported in perpetuity.

Through grants, loans, education, technical assistance and other financial incentives for energy conservation, fourteen community foundations helped leverage $3 million in Exxon oil overcharge funds granted by the State, $3.8 million in private matching fund, and interest of $390,000 into annual energy savings for more than 260 nonprofit organizations statewide totaling over $700,000.

Funds Raised/Distributed:

Key Accomplishments/Outcomes:


VideoVideo: Watch leaders discuss the Community Foundation Energy Initiative:

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This profile was last updated: 10/14/2014