Skillman Foundation: Grants for Michigan

OVERVIEW: The Skillman Foundation supports education and economic wellbeing in Detroit, Michigan.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, economic wellbeing

IP TAKE: This is a youth-focused foundation that supports the needs of young people in Detroit. It’s also considerably accessible foundation and open to new ideas.

PROFILE: Established in 1960, the Skillman Foundation is a private foundation based in Detroit, Michigan. This the foundation of Rose Skillman, who was married to Robert Skillman, an early pioneer of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M). During her lifetime, Rose Skillman was passionate about supporting children, appreciating the arts, and loving animals. The foundation aims to "ensure Detroit youth achieve their highest aspirations by strengthening K-12 public education, after-school learning opportunities, and college and career pathways.” It funds local efforts for education and economic wellbeing.

The Skillman Foundation supports education both inside and outside the classroom, often collaborating with other groups. Education grants work to improve student attendance, boost third-grade reading levels, recruit quality teachers, and keep families and the communities involved with Detroit schools. Economic grants expand opportunities for youth after graduating high school through college and career pathways and leadership development. The foundation also adheres to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Skillman grantees must have at least $100,000 in total revenues for the prior fiscal year. The foundation does not provide scholarships, fund capital costs, or pay for political activities.

Grants range between about $30,000 and $300,000. Learn more about this funder’s local giving by examining its recent tax records. Grantmaking focuses specifically on Detroit, Michigan. Past local grantees include Data Driven Detroit, Mission Throttle, and the City of Detroit.

This foundation accepts unsolicited grant pre-applications from nonprofits all throughout the year. The foundation board meets in March, June, September, and December, and it takes about two to three months to approve inquiries and request full applications. The application process is conducted online. Direct general questions to the staff at or 313-393-1185.


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