One reason for this national presence is the headquarters for three major private foundations are located in Michigan – the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and The Kresge Foundation. These foundations brought national and international knowledge and perspectives to the state’s approach to philanthropy. They also employed sector leaders who actively engaged in the initiatives in Michigan. The influence of these foundations and the benefits of the network created by and for Michigan’s philanthropic community cannot be overestimated; the network spans throughout the world.
Video: Watch leaders discuss the national and global effects of Michigan philanthropy.
Leaders in Michigan engaged in very pragmatic problem solving, aspiring to achieve large-scale systemic change by working closely with individual communities. In some cases, a specific problem or opportunity related to philanthropy was addressed in Michigan and never moved beyond its borders. In other cases, a program or initiative was launched somewhere outside of Michigan, and that approach was brought to and integrated into the state. There were also efforts to increase and improve philanthropy that grew to national and international scale.
This chapter provides an overview of the many projects and initiatives, divided into three categories: those created and located in Michigan, those brought to Michigan, and those growing to national/international scale. In the three “In Practice” sections of this chapter, we will focus on clusters of programs within each of these categories. First-person accounts of the development of these efforts to improve and increase philanthropy are provided to convey a deeper understanding of Michigan’s philanthropic culture.