A project of the Council of Michigan Foundations and Michigan Nonprofit Association
On May 2, 1989, the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) hosted the first Grantmaker/Grantseeker Conference, a daylong session that brought together both sides of Michigan’s philanthropy. This first conference was held in Novi, Michigan, and was themed “Improving Michigan’s Nonprofit Sector.”
The initial idea for a Grantmaker/Grantseeker Conference was championed by Dr. Peter Ellis of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The conference was an important step in easing tension between grantmakers and grantseekers, while promoting a spirit of collaboration and mutual respect. As an Executive-In-Residence at CMF, Ellis worked diligently alongside the Improving Philanthropy Committee to organize this first official Grantmaker/Grantseeker Conference.
Upon the establishment of the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), then known as the Michigan Nonprofit Forum, further Grantmaker/Grantseeker Conference planning became a joint project between CMF and MNA. MNA committed to produce the conference each year as a “pivotal event in the life of Michigan’s nonprofit community.” The goals of future conferences were to provide areas for collaboration, and to inform future MNA/CMF efforts (with input from conference attendees as a representative voice for Michigan’s philanthropic community).
In 2003, the Grantmaker/Grantseeker Conference was replaced by the bi-annual SuperConference, which allowed opportunities for further collaboration and programming focus. MNA continues to work on future SuperConferences, with CMF support, that encourages collaborative work between the grantmaking and grantseeking communities.