Name of Foundation: The Skillman Foundation
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Contact info: www.skillman.org Phone: (313) 393-1185
Coverage Area: Detroit Metropolitan Area
Subject Area: Youth Development, Education, Pathways to College, Community Safety, Neighborhood Development, Leadership Development, Social Innovation, Violence Prevention, Arts
Assets: $427.8 million (2011)
Last Year Total Giving: $17.3 million (2011)
In a nutshell:
The Foundation was founded by Rose Skillman, the widow of Robert Skillman. Mr. Skillman was an early pioneer of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, and eventually became the company’s Vice President and Director. The company eventually became the 3M company, which Skillman worked for as an executive consultant until his death in 1945.
After a lifetime of charitable giving to organizations that served vulnerable children, Rose Skillman established the foundation in 1960 to help Detroit’s youth. She served as president until she was named honorary chair in 1964. She remained a Trustee of the Foundation until her death in 1983. In 1984, the Foundation received substantial capital contribution from the Robert H. Skillman Trust and the Rose P. Skillman Estate and no longer receives annual contributions.
Today, the foundation continues to focus on Detroit’s youth- supporting programs to drive up high school graduation rates, to ensure the city’s children are prepared for college, career, and life.
A significant portion of the Foundation’s grant dollars are spent in six Detroit neighborhoods, using the Good Neighborhoods approach. The Good Neighborhoods Initiative began in 2006, and is a 10-year, $100-million commitment to work in places where nearly 30 percent of the city’s children live. Those neighborhoods are Brightmoor, Cody Rouge, Chadsey Condon, Southwest Detroit, Osborn, and Northend Central Woodward.
The foundation funds traditional community partners who address youth development, safety, education, and community leadership. However, they also fund small grass roots efforts through their Community Connections Small Grants Program.
Recently, the Skillman Foundation has put emphasis on social innovation. They do various activities to support innovative approaches to some of the challenges Detroit’s youth face. The foundation raises Philanthropic Venture Funds to invest in innovative strategies, as well as making program related investments such as low-interest loans or lease guarantees.
The Foundation is currently led by President, Carol A. Goss, who will be succeeded by the current CEO, Tonya Allen in January 2014.
How to Apply:
The Foundation generally awards one-year grants that range approximately from $20,000 to $200,000. Multi-year grants are awarded on a case-by-case basis in special situations.
New grant inquiries should be submitted approximately two months in advance of Trustee meeting dates. The Skillman Board meets in March, June, September and December.
General eligibility guidelines include nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations or government or public agencies (city, county, state, public school district), and have total revenues of at least $100,000 for your preceding fiscal year.
The Foundation uses an online Grant Inquiry form. Part of the online form includes a Grant Inquiry Cover Letter, Narrative, and Budget Form and a recent audited financial statement.
You will receive an email confirmation that the foundation has received your Grant Inquiry and will generally hear back within 15 days. Your request will be assigned to a program officer for review and you may be contacted to answer additional questions or to schedule a meeting or site visit.
For more information on the foundation’s grantmaking process, click here.