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Project Profile:

Grantmaker/Grantseeker Conferences

A project of the Council of Michigan Foundations and Michigan Nonprofit Association

Project Timeline:

May 1989 to November 2015

Locations Impacted:

State of Michigan

Collaborating Organizations

Michigan Nonprofit Association

Council of Michigan Foundations

About the Project

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 with the theme, “Improving Michigan’s Nonprofit Sector.”

The initial idea for a Grantmaker/Grantseeker Conference was championed by 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.

Key Accomplishments/Outcomes:


VideoVideo: Watch Dottie Johnson discuss the Grantmaker/Grantseeker Conferences:

Related Historical Documents
This profile was last updated: 06/26/2020