Automotive entrepreneur, politician and philanthropist Charles Stewart Mott started it all with bicycle tires. In 1906, the engineer from New Jersey picked up his family’s wire-wheel company and moved it to Flint, Michigan. In Flint, Mott would go on to help create General Motors, serve as mayor, build community schools and found the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation – an organization that today boasts over two billion dollars in assets, and a global reach in the pursuit of “expanding opportunities for progress.”
This is done through grantmaking in the areas of education, environment, local Flint projects, and civil society. Today, the foundation has offices in Flint and Troy, Michigan, England and South Africa. It is run by dozens of staff, and a 17-member Board of Trustees which continues to include members of the Mott family. While it invests annually all over the world, it continues to keep an eye pointed toward home, and is a significant donor to Flint-area projects. Recently, this has included major commitment to helping the community move forward in light of the water crisis.
Major Program Categories:
In its key program focus areas the Mott Foundation offers both general purpose grants and project support grants for specific activities.
Education grants are geared toward advancing after-school programs and activities for youth, connecting young people with opportunities to perform community service and cultivate entrepreneurship, and preparing youth for college and careers, in addition to a handful of special initiatives. Some recent education grants have been made to Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights for their Midwest Children’s Savings Account Initiative, and to Afterschool Alliance in Washington, D.C. for general use.
The Mott Foundation’s giving in the category of civil society aims to “increase civic engagement, encourage charitable giving and help communities make positive change” around the world, with specific focus in Central and Eastern Europe, South Africa, the United States.
The environmental program gives internationally to programs that “protect communities and the ecosystems upon which they depend,” with the understanding that environmental sustainability strengthens economic and social conditions in addition to the environment.
While it has a wide international reach, the Mott Foundation still pays great attention to the community it calls home. Its giving in Flint focuses on invigorating educational opportunities for children and youth, supporting arts and culture, investing in job growth and building economic opportunity, and strengthening the community’s ability to help families improve their lives.
For more information on the foundation’s grant making, visit its grants database here.
How to Apply: The Mott Foundation explains on its website that “funding for unsolicited requests is very limited.” However, the rare unsolicited request that may get funded would best start with a Letter of Inquiry submitted through the website here. LOIs can also be mailed in, although that is not recommended. Click here for more details about mailing in an LOI.
Name of Foundation: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
Location: Flint, Michigan; Troy, Michigan; London, England; Johannesburg, South Africa
Contact Information: Click here for office-specific contact information
Coverage Area: International
Subject Area: Education; Civil Society; Environment; Flint, MI Area
Assets: $2,798,215,005 (2014)
Last Year Total Giving: $72,899,255 (2014)
Recent News and Grantmaking: