90 Years of Giving

  1. 1926

    Charles Stewart Mott Foundation established

    On June 19, 1926, Charles Stewart Mott signed the Articles of Incorporation that created the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. Endowed with 2,000 shares of General Motors stock, then valued at $320,000, the Foundation has experienced remarkable growth in the size and scope of our grantmaking, recently marking $3 billion in giving over the past 90 years.

    With assets now totaling $2.7 billion, the Mott Foundation and our grantmaking programs reach hundreds of communities around the world, including our home community of Flint, Michigan. Guided by the leadership of just four presidents — C.S. Mott, Harding Mott, William S. White and Ridgway H. White — the Foundation has endeavored to remain true to the vision and values of our founder, even as we embrace the many changes that have occurred in Flint, in the United States and around the globe.

    The timeline that follows provides a snapshot of some of our most notable grants and illustrates how Mott has evolved from a primarily local funder to one that also works nationally and internationally. In all cases, we strive to apply and share what we learn from grantees at home and abroad to more effectively build what Mr. Mott called “the capacity for accomplishment.”

  2. 1928

    First international grant

    Mott awarded its first international grant to help establish a weather station on the Greenland ice sheet. A team of researchers used kites and balloons to measure how the Greenland ice sheet influenced regional weather patterns. Mott supported the project with a $500 grant (the equivalent of $6,836 in 2016 dollars). Although the Foundation made few grants for environmental projects until the 1980s, the “Greenland Expedition” grant confirmed Mott’s willingness to consider groundbreaking research with international and environmental implications.

  3. 1933

    Mott Camp for Boys

    One of the Foundation’s first signature projects was Mott Camp for Boys, established to serve 10- to 14-year-old boys from families living in the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. The camp, located about 15 miles east of Flint at Pero Lake, was an early indicator of C.S. Mott’s life-long concern with the health and welfare of children. The camp remained in operation for 40 years.

  4. 1935

    Community school model introduced

    Intrigued by Flint educator Frank J. Manley’s remarks at a local Rotary meeting, C.S. Mott invited him to share his ideas about keeping the city’s children and young people healthy and engaged in productive activities. Over the summer months, while playing tennis, Mott and Manley discussed using school buildings after hours and on weekends as “community centers” offering programs in education and recreation for children, families and neighborhood residents. The “Mott Program of Recreation,” initiated in six Flint schools, was quickly adopted by all city public schools. Together with the Mott Health Achievement Program, the Visiting Teachers Program, and Mott Camp for Boys, the “Mott Program” would shape the development of a school-based model for community education that eventually spread across the U.S. and abroad.

  5. 1938

    The Health Guarded Child

    The Mott Health Achievement Program for the Health Guarded Child was instituted in all Flint-area public and parochial schools. Each fall, children were examined for correctable problems — of sight, hearing or respiratory issues — and immunized. Each spring, children were re-examined, and if health issues had been corrected, the child received a ribbon or medal. The program operated through the end of the 1977–78 school year. Other efforts to guard children’s health included the Crippled Children Service, a “miniature X-ray program” to test for tuberculosis and the Mott Children’s Health Center, which continues to serve the community today.

  6. 1939

    Mott Children’s Health Center

    Dr. James Olson, the director of Flint’s school health program, served as the first director of the Mott Children’s Health Center, initially located on the campus of Flint’s Oak Grove Sanitarium. The small clinic, funded by Mott through the Flint Board of Education, moved to Hurley Hospital in 1939, where it officially became known as the Mott Children’s Health Center. Offering a variety of medical and dental services, the health center served infants, children and adolescents from families without access to a private physician. Dr. Arthur L. Tuuri, a beloved pediatrician who treated thousands of Flint children, took over as director of the health center in 1948, retiring in 1985. Today, Lawrence Reynolds, M.D. serves as president and CEO of the health center. In 2015, the center served 21,518 children and adolescents, through a variety of programs including dental, medical and mental health services.

  7. 1944

    The Mott Foundation Building

    C.S. Mott purchased the Union Industrial Bank building, on the corner of First Street and Saginaw Street in downtown Flint, for $525,000. The 16-story, art deco style “sky-scraper” was renamed the Mott Foundation Building on January 1, 1945.

  8. 1947

    Fairview School’s full-service model

    For 56 years, Fairview Elementary School served children and families living in Flint’s St. John Street neighborhood. The first “port of entry” for many families moving to Flint to work for the auto industry, the St. John Street neighborhood — and Fairview — were home to a diverse ethnic population at one time representing 32 different nationalities. During the Depression years, Principal Elizabeth Welch opened the school to parents and other residents, linking them with services and involving them in school and community issues. In 1940, Josephine McDougall took over as principal, continuing to operate the school as a community center. Teaming up with Home Economics teacher Odell Broadway (pictured), the two women began a home visitation program to ascertain the community’s needs and provide corresponding services. Tapping the help of Frank Manley and the Mott Program of the Flint Board of Education, McDougall and Broadway brought a variety of health, social service and educational programs to Fairview — subsequently helping to enhance Flint’s community school model that was developed in 1935 with the Foundation’s support.

  9. 1948

    Frank Manley joins Foundation

    A former athletic director who rose through the ranks to become an assistant superintendent with the Flint Board of Education, Frank Manley was released from his duties to work full time for the Mott Foundation as director of the Mott Program of Recreation. Originally from Herkimer, New York, Manley’s rough childhood contributed to his lifelong concern for troubled kids. As a star athlete, he went to school so he could play sports, eventually earning a spot on Eastern Michigan University’s football team. There he studied under Wilbur P. Bowen, a physical education professor who believed school buildings should be made available for community activities of all kinds. Manley credited Bowen for planting the idea that eventually led to the development of Flint’s community school model.

  10. 1950

    Opening doors to higher education

    Gifts of land and financial support from the Mott Foundation put the Flint Junior College, created in 1923, on the road to becoming a 32-acre campus serving the residents of Genesee County. The institution, renamed Charles Stewart Mott Community College in 1973, also was the initial home of the University of Michigan-Flint. Over the past several decades, the Foundation’s commitment to strengthening higher education in its hometown was evidenced by more than $139,234,763 in support for the community’s various colleges and universities, which also include Baker College, Kettering University (formerly General Motors Institute), and the Flint campus of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine.

  11. 1951

    Minardo named first community school director

    William F. “Bill” Minardo (standing, center), a Flint native and graduate of Notre Dame University, was tapped to become Flint’s first community school services director. Along with Myrtle Black, Alton R. Patterson and Harold Bacon, Minardo was part of a core group that worked with Frank Manley in the 1930s to develop and implement Flint’s model of community education, which was supported by the Mott Foundation. Well known throughout the community for his energy and friendliness, he was an ideal choice for the position, leading the way for many hundreds of future community school directors across the country. In 1957, he earned a master’s degree in community education from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

  12. 1954

    Mott named “Big Brother” of the year

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented the International Big Brother of the Year award to C.S. Mott, honoring his “outstanding work with the Flint Youth Bureau and for broad humanitarian endeavor.” Flint’s Big Brothers program developed in the 1930s through the efforts of Frank J. Manley, who recruited friends and business associates to work on a one-to-one basis with boys involved in the juvenile court system. In 1944, local groups, including the Mott Foundation, YMCA, Catholic Social Services, and the Flint Council of Social Agencies, moved to formally establish the Big Brothers program. Originally implemented within the Flint Youth Bureau, under the auspices of the Flint Board of Education, the program was funded primarily by the Mott Foundation. Joe Ryder was the first executive director and served the agency for 23 years. The program was officially named Big Brothers of Greater Flint in 1961. In 1955, a Big Sisters program was initiated. The Council of Social Agencies, Flint Women’s Council, Mott Foundation, and Industrial Business Girls worked together to develop the pilot.

  13. 1957

    Community schools spark international interest

    Two decades after the launch in Flint of the “lighted schoolhouse” approach to community education, Flint Community Schools became a destination for others seeking to replicate the model around the United States and beyond. In 1957, more than 800 people visited the program. Ten years later, the number of annual visitors had grown to more than 12,000.

  14. 1962

    The film that toured the world

    Directed by Herk Harvey, an industrial/educational film director, “To Touch a Child” was instrumental in spreading the concept of community schools and community education across the United States and eventually, worldwide. The 30-minute, Mott-funded training film was shot in 1962 in Flint, focusing on Cook Community School. After its release in 1965, it was used by the Flint Community Schools for more than 20 years to introduce visitors to the community school concept. The Mott Foundation shipped copies of the film across the globe. A grainy, well-worn copy of the film, entitled “Flint Michigan 1962 — The Great Community,” can be found online.

  15. 1963

    “Foundation for Living” published

    Charles Stewart Mott was 87 years old and still running his Foundation when “Foundation for Living,” hit the book stores. Written by Charles H. Young and William A. Quinn, the biography focuses on Mott’s life, his career with the General Motors Corporation, and the 50-year partnership between the Mott Foundation and the Flint Board of Education that produced a national model of community education.

    Foundation for Living

  16. 1963

    Mott Intern Program launched

    Initiated to fulfill growing national demand for community school directors, the Mott Intern Program, known formally as the Mott Inter-University Clinical Preparation Program for Educational Leadership, was offered at seven Michigan colleges and universities between 1964 and 1974. Through a year-long residential program, 694 Mott Interns earned masters or doctoral degrees in community education and gained practical experience through rotating internships, primarily in Flint’s community schools. Mott interns were critical to spreading the community school concept across the U.S.

  17. 1963

    Gift of stock expands Foundation’s national grantmaking

    C.S. Mott transferred 1.8 million shares of General Motors stock to the Foundation, providing the impetus to expand grantmaking on a national scale.

  18. 1965

    C.S. Harding Mott becomes president of the Mott Foundation

    Charles Stewart Harding Mott, known as “Harding”, was the second president of the Mott Foundation. The son of C.S. Mott, Harding Mott served for more than 60 years as a trustee, vice president, president and chairman before being named chairman emeritus in 1988. Harding Mott’s leadership bridged the Foundation’s transition from a family-run, locally focused institution to a major funder of critical national and international issues. During his tenure, Harding Mott played an integral role in expanding community education, providing congressional testimony that helped to inform national community education legislation. In addition to his work to advance community education, he was committed to the well-being of Flint and its citizens, with a special interest in cultivating a vibrant downtown. Perhaps his greatest legacy to the Foundation’s home community is the 40-acre riverfront campus of the University of Michigan-Flint. He worked patiently and strategically to gather the support needed to move the campus to downtown, recognizing it as a critical anchor for the central city’s development. Upon Mr. Mott’s death in 1989, Homer Dowdy, a longtime Foundation officer and friend, remembered him as a humble, loving man: “He had a heart for people. He was sensitive to their feelings. He tried to boost the self-esteem of others…. He loved his community and for most of his adult years gave it quiet but vital and unwavering leadership.”

  19. 1969

    Tax Reform Act prompts change

    The federal Tax Reform Act of 1969 had a significant impact on foundation operations. The new legislation set the stage for modernizing the Foundation. By 1971, Mott began operating as an independent foundation, separate from the Flint Board of Education. In the ensuing decade, Mott became a leader in the area of grantmaking transparency, publishing its first annual report and a companion publication, “Facts on Grants,” which included a detailed description of every grant awarded in that fiscal year. Under the direction of then Vice President William S. White, the Foundation also ramped up its efforts to build a national infrastructure for the philanthropic field, bolstering the sector’s capacity and efficiency.

  20. 1969

    Mott Children’s Health Center incorporates

    At the recommendation of Dr. Arthur L. Tuuri, who directed the Mott Children’s Health Center from 1948 to 1985, the center cut administrative ties with the Flint Board of Education in 1968 to become an independent corporation. The health center moved to its present, free-standing site near Hurley Medical Center in 1969. Construction of the new building began in 1966 and cost $9.5 million. Dr. Fleming Barbour was named chair and Dr. Tuuri president of the new entity. The Mott Foundation pledged $950,649 to cover the operating costs of the newly independent center through the end of the year. Since 1968, the Mott Foundation has made grants totaling approximately $30 million. The largest of these grants — $10,500,000 in endowment support — was granted in 1971.

  21. 1972

    Seeds for “town and gown” planted in Flint

    Higher education, a key strategy of the Foundation’s hometown grantmaking, was elevated by the Foundation’s announcement of $5 million to help relocate the University of Michigan-Flint from the campus of Mott Community College to the city center. Five years later, the university opened the doors of its downtown campus, welcoming about 3,700 students. In 2015, more than 8,600 students attended the university, which has grown to encompass a number of new buildings, including two residence halls, on its 73-acre campus along the Flint River. To date, the Foundation has granted more than $139 million in support of UM-Flint, Mott Community College, Baker College, Kettering University and Michigan State University.

  22. 1972

    Revitalizing downtown Flint

    The launch of the UM-Flint campus coincided with the Mott Foundation’s decision to implement a formal grantmaking program targeting the revitalization of downtown Flint. Between 1975 and 2016, the Foundation made grants totaling nearly $114 million for planning and development activities and projects that are helping to revitalize the central city.

  23. 1973

    C.S. Mott passes away at age 97

    Just after midnight on February 18, 1973, C.S. Mott died at St. Joseph Hospital in Flint. He is buried in Glenwood Cemetery. Frank Manley, his partner in creating the Flint model for community schools, passed away only a few months earlier, in 1972.

  24. 1976

    William S. White becomes Foundation President

    Elected to the Board of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in 1971, William S. White was named President of the Foundation in 1976. Previously a management consultant with Bruce Payne & Associates, Inc., of New York City, White was hired by the Foundation to reorganize and professionalize the Foundation’s operations to comply with the Tax Reform Act of 1969. He was named chief administrative officer in 1975 and chairman of the board in 1988. He still serves as chairman and CEO today.

  25. 1976

    Neighborhood Foot Patrol Program

    From 1976 through 1985, Mott provided approximately $7.6 million to strengthen and expand community policing initiatives in Flint and other interested communities across the country. Mott granted more than $3 million to the Flint Police Department to support the development of the Neighborhood Foot Patrol. Launched in 1979, 22 trained foot patrol officers were deployed to 14 city neighborhoods, providing full law enforcement services while utilizing the social service and problem-solving aspects of their job to connect and partner with residents. In collaboration with Michigan State University’s National Neighborhood Foot Patrol Center (now the National Center for Community Policing), established with $1 million from Mott, the Flint foot patrol program served as a national model for reform through the end of the decade. At the national level, Mott also provided a grant to Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in 1989 for a series of executive discussions on community policing.

  26. 1978

    $1 million to the United Negro College Fund

    Mott’s 1978 contribution to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) capital campaign launched a new program aimed at strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Foundation recognized HBCUs as vital to the education of traditionally disadvantaged people, as well as to the preparation of black leaders nationally and globally. At the 1977 White House launch of the UNCF campaign, which Harding Mott attended, President Jimmy Carter offered these remarks: “I think we have a lot to learn, from the predominantly black colleges of our Nation. They have come to represent a unique symbol of human rights in all its broad categories … quite often they represent, perhaps even inadvertently, other groups in our American society who are not so well represented as you are around this table, and who don’t have a well-publicized effort to correct wrongs. So, I, as President, am not only proud of the predominantly black colleges of our Nation represented by the fund, but also am proud of you for being willing to contribute your very valuable time to this effort.” Through 2010, Mott contributed more than $41.6 million in support of HBCUs.

  27. 1979

    Engaging the grassroots in change

    Reflecting a belief in the power of local people to transform their communities, Mott established the Intermediary Support Organization (ISO) program. For the next 34 years, the program would provide seed grants and technical assistance to grassroots organizations serving low-income neighborhoods across the country. Those organizations, in turn, worked with residents to identify common values, concerns and goals, and increase civic participation among underserved communities.

  28. 1979

    Mott commits to community foundation expansion

    A consistent supporter of community foundation development since the 1970s, both in the U.S. and abroad, the Mott Foundation believes strongly in the power of these institutions to strengthen the communities they serve. From 1979 to 1984, the Foundation developed three programs aimed at bolstering the community foundation sector as a whole. Grants were made to fortify struggling community foundations and to provide technical assistance to smaller or new community foundations. In 1984, a neighborhood small grants program was created to help community foundations enhance their visibility and support local, grassroots projects. During the seven year period, the Foundation made grants totaling approximately $3 million.

  29. 1983

    Kettering University a partner in progress

    The only fully cooperative engineering and management university in the United States, Kettering University has been an integral component of Flint’s higher education system since 1919, when it was known as the School of Automobile Trades. The General Motors Corporation (GM) took over financial support of the school in 1926, renaming it the General Motors Institute and utilizing the facility to develop engineers and managers. GM divested itself of ownership of the school in 1982, and the school was renamed GMI Engineering & Management Institute. In January, 1998, in honor of Charles Kettering, an American inventor who was head of research at General Motors from 1920 to 1947, the school changed its name to Kettering University. Since 1983, Mott has made 45 grants totaling $45,468,945 to support the institution’s efforts to increase the size of its undergraduate and graduate programs, create and build the Kettering brand, increase alumni support and participation, and contribute to the economic revitalization of Flint and the region.

  30. 1988

    Middle college a national model

    With the help of a $69,725 planning grant from the Foundation, Mott Community College began working with the Flint Community Schools and Genesee Intermediate School District to explore ways to keep struggling students in high school and pursuing post-secondary education or training. Three years later, Mott Middle College (MMC) was born. The nation’s first multi-district, middle college high school eventually became a dual-enrollment institution, linking the completion of a high school diploma with the accrual of college credits. Over the years, school districts in Michigan and across the country adopted the middle college model with the help of MMC staff.

  31. 1988

    Foundation’s first grant in South Africa

    In 1988, the Foundation made its first grants in South Africa in response to the country’s apartheid crisis. As early as 1985, Mott began taking steps to help the people of South Africa by adopting the Sullivan Principles and divesting from companies that acquiesced to apartheid. Mott’s work in South Africa led the Foundation to consider more direct grantmaking to promote social and political progress internationally. These early grants were the origin of what would later become the Civil Society program.

  32. 1989

    C.S. Harding Mott dies

    A charter Trustee of the Mott Foundation, Harding Mott was successively named to every key Foundation post including chairman, helping to guide the work of the Foundation for more than 63 years. Harding Mott died in Florida on May 10, 1989, at the age of 82.

  33. 1989

    Mott launches Environment Program

    The Foundation’s involvement in environmental issues dates back to 1973, when Mott provided $3 million to establish the Holloway Reservoir Regional Park in Genesee County. Mott’s concern about hazardous waste disposal practices affecting the environment and human health — in communities such as Love Canal, N.Y., Woburn, Mass., and Times Beach, Mo. — prompted the 1982 launch of a toxics program. It funded efforts to reduce waste, inform sound policies and improve health. From 1989 through 2014, the Environment Program’s grantmaking focused on two areas: restoring and protecting the Great Lakes and other freshwater ecosystems, and promoting global sustainability by supporting efforts to reform international finance. A third focus area, advancing climate change solutions, was added in 2015. As of 2016, the Foundation provided 2,750 grants — totaling $346,083,332 — to address environmental issues. Mott awards environmental grants in all eight Great Lakes states and the Canadian province of Ontario.

  34. 1990

    £1 million challenge grant in U.K.

    Although the first community foundation in the United Kingdom was established in 1975, the concept did not gain national momentum until the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and the Mott Foundation partnered in 1988 to support an expert assistance program promoting the field’s growth and development. Within two years of the first grant, Mott launched a £1 million challenge grant program to help U.K. community foundations build endowments that would ensure their long-term sustainability. CAF raised an additional £1 million that was used for a matching grant program. The partnership between Mott and CAF proved successful and is referred to as “one of the great stories in philanthropy, with a multiplier effect that few grant programs anywhere can match.”

  35. 1993

    Mott’s first regional office

    Mott opened its first international office in Johannesburg. Shortly thereafter, a second international office opened in Prague in response to expanded work in central and Eastern Europe. That office was relocated to London in 2004. Today, Mott continues to operate offices in Flint and Troy, Michigan, as well as London and Johannesburg.

  36. 1994

    Litzenberg honored with Scrivner Award

    Jack A. Litzenberg, a long-time Mott program officer, received the Council of Foundations’ Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking, honoring his innovation and strategic vision in facilitating the development of the microenterprise field in the United States. For nearly three decades, Litzenberg was a leading force in the Foundation’s programmatic efforts to address poverty and help low-income people succeed in education and the workforce. He retired from Mott in 2012, and the field mourned his passing in 2014.

  37. 1998

    A $55 million pledge for afterschool

    In 1994, four Republican congressmen — U.S. Sens. James M. Jeffords of Vermont and Orrin Hatch of Utah and U.S. Reps. Steven C. Gunderson of Wisconsin and William F. Goodling of Pennsylvania — proposed national legislation designed to “open up schools for broader use by their communities.” The legislation, known as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) Act, did not pass independently, but was incorporated into the Improving America’s Schools Act, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary School Act. Congress appropriated $750,000 for 21st CCLC. Then Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, a former governor of South Carolina, along with his chief education adviser, Terry K. Peterson, viewed an expanded 21st program as a potential solution to fulfilling the need for affordable, accessible and safe child care, as well as a strategy for encouraging school-community partnerships to promote positive youth development. In 1997, Peterson approached Mott Foundation President William S. White about granting “a couple million dollars” to support the technical assistance and training needed to help communities initiate and operate high-quality afterschool and community education programs. White immediately pledged Foundation support. In January 1998, President William J. Clinton announced his administration’s commitment to a five-fold expansion of 21st CCLC, as well as his decision to request from Congress $200 million for the program annually over the next five years. In his announcement, Clinton highlighted the partnership Riley had forged with Mott. The Foundation, which already had committed $2 million to the program, pledged $55 million to the multiyear expansion effort. The 21st CCLC initiative now serves more than 1.6 million students at more than 11,000 sites across the U.S. Through the year 2015, Mott support for 21st CCLC totaled more than $195 million.

  38. 2001

    Foundation supports disaster relief

    In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mott joined with other foundations to help communities, schools and businesses recover from the catastrophic event. The Foundation provided 24 grants, totaling more than $4 million, between 2001 and 2007. Much of Mott’s grantmaking was humanitarian in nature — it focused on helping individuals, businesses, schools and communities recover from the physical, psychological and financial impacts of the terrorist attacks. Four years later, when Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans and other communities along the Gulf of Mexico, Mott awarded $5.8 million in grants. Those funds supported immediate disaster relief, as well as long-term efforts to restore Louisiana’s coastal ecosystems and revitalize Louisiana’s community of nonprofit organizations.

  39. 2001

    Large grants preserve natural wonders

    Michigan has a dazzling array of natural resources, and the Foundation has played a key role in preserving numerous ecologically valuable sites. Mott provided $7.75 million to help the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy acquire 6,000 acres of land in northwest Lower Michigan. Part of that land — Arcadia Dunes: The C.S. Mott Nature Preserve — includes 3,600 acres of natural habitat and two miles of pristine Lake Michigan shoreline. Mott also granted $10 million to The Nature Conservancy to support the Northern Great Lakes Forest Project in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula. At the time, the $56 million project was the largest conservation project in state history. The deal preserved more than 271,000 acres of forests, lakes and streams, while ensuring both public access to the land and the ability of businesses to continue logging in certain areas. It also prevented land fragmentation and incompatible development near fragile ecosystems.

  40. 2004

    Revitalization picks up steam in Flint

    Building on its longstanding support for the revitalization of Flint, the Mott Foundation made a $500,000 grant to renovate a vacant downtown bank building into loft apartments. Since 1975, Mott has granted nearly $114 million for redevelopment projects in the city center, including — most recently — a Health and Wellness District that includes a farmer’s market, a pediatric clinic and a medical school. In partnership with a number of local organizations, including the Ford and Hagerman foundations, Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, State of Michigan, University of Michigan-Flint and Michigan State University, these projects are designed to help position the city to reinvigorate its distressed economy.

  41. 2004

    Genesee County Land Bank established

    Based on Mott-funded research by the Hudson Institute on the use of vacant land and abandoned housing in urban communities, the Genesee County Land Reutilization Council was created — with Mott support — in 2002 in Flint. In 2004, after the State of Michigan passed land bank legislation, the council became the Genesee County Land Bank Authority. Recognized nationally as a constructive community development tool, Flint’s land bank model not only prevents potential neglect or misuse of land sold at public auction, but enables counties or municipalities to acquire abandoned land through the foreclosure process and determine its best use. In January 2010, the Center for Community Progress was launched with a $1 million grant from Mott. The Center was created to build on the work of a number of the nation’s leading vacant property revitalization advocates, including the Genesee Institute, an affiliate of the Genesee County Land Bank that provides technical assistance, planning, and research for urban revitalization and sustainable neighborhoods. Mott has granted more than $7 million to support the ongoing work of the Center for Community Progress.

  42. 2005

    $25 million for Mott Children’s Hospital

    “We consider this grant to be an important legacy to honor C.S. Mott and his lifelong interest in the well-being of children,” said William S. White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation, as he announced a grant of $25 million for the construction of the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Foundation’s largest single grant, the $25 million was given to the University of Michigan Health System. The Foundation granted $6.5 million in 1964–1965 to build the University of Michigan’s original children’s hospital. In addition to that grant, the Foundation also provided $2 million in 1984 for a major renovation of the facility. Today, Mott Children’s Hospital is one of the premier health care institutions for children and women in the country.

  43. 2008

    Mott helps forge Great Lakes Compact

    In 1998, a Canadian firm’s audacious plan to fill tankers with water from Lake Superior to ship to Asia — for use in high-end hotels — exposed an alarming truth: there were no laws preventing diversions or excessive use of Great Lakes water. Over the ensuing decade, leaders of the eight Great Lakes states drafted and secured approval of the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The 2008 law prevents most new diversions of Great Lakes water, and it requires the eight Great Lakes states to regulate large water withdrawals and develop water conservation programs. The law’s strict limits on new diversions garnered most of the publicity, but equally important were provisions that required better management of water resources across the basin. The Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec approved a nearly identical companion agreement. Mott provided nearly $3 million to support development of the Compact.

  44. 2014

    Community foundations mark 100th anniversary

    The year 2014 marked the 100th anniversary of the first community foundation in the U.S. As part of the centennial celebration, the Foundation made a series of grants to help elevate the field, including $1.5 million to Indiana University to establish the C.S. Mott Foundation Chair on Community Foundations. Dr. Emmett Carson, president of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation was the first holder of the chair.

  45. 2014

    Flint Health and Wellness District

    Located adjacent to the downtown campus of the University of Michigan-Flint, the city’s Health and Wellness District is anchored by Michigan State University (MSU) College of Human Medicine’s education and public health research facility and the Flint Farmers’ Market, where the Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Center is co-located. Along with a small public plaza and green space, the market, medical school and clinic are located in and on former newspaper and office building properties, redeveloped in part with $9.7 million in grants from Mott. The Foundation also made $11.8 million in grants to support the planning, development and endowment of MSU’s medical school and public health program. The Health and Wellness District also includes two new facilities operated by the Grand Blanc, Michigan-based Genesys Health System. The Genesys Downtown Flint Health Center, opened in 2013, offers family practice, specialty and urgent care. In 2015, the PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) Center, which offers health and long-term care services enabling older adults to remain independent, began operating in the redeveloped International Institute property just east of the Flint Farmers’ Market.

  46. 2015

    Ridgway White becomes Foundation president

    Ridgway H. White began working at the Foundation as an intern in 2002. The great-grandson of C.S. Mott, White was hired as a program assistant for the Foundation in 2004 and worked his way up through the program ranks. As part of his program work for the Foundation, White also served as a loaned executive for the Uptown Reinvestment Corporation, a nonprofit focused on revitalizing Flint. In that capacity, he spearheaded several projects, including a $35 million conversion of a downtown hotel into a 550-bed residence hall that also is home to the University of Michigan-Flint’s School of Management and the Riverfront Conference Center. He also played a key role in bringing the city’s new Health and Wellness district to fruition, including the redevelopment of the Flint Farmers’ Market and an expanded presence for Michigan State University’s medical school and public health program. He was named vice president for special projects and chair of the Foundation’s management working group in 2011. In December 2014, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees elected Ridgway White president of the Foundation, effective January 1, 2015. He is a graduate of Hobart College, where he studied architecture, economics and urban planning.

  47. 2015

    Mott helps hometown deal with water crisis

    Mott’s hometown became the focus of international attention in 2015 with the discovery of high levels of lead in Flint’s drinking water and, as a result, in the blood of many local children. The failure of government officials to properly test, treat and protect the city’s water supply prompted national debates about the safety of the country’s aging infrastructure. It also sparked swift action by Mott to help bring clean drinking water back to our home community. That support included $4 million to help reconnect Flint to the Detroit water system and $100,000 for the distribution of free water filters to local families.

  48. 2016

    Ten philanthropies pledge $125 million for Flint

    Mott and nine other foundations together committed $125 million to help Flint recover and rise from its water crisis. The Mott Foundation committed up to $50 million over the first year and up to $100 million total over five years. The funding will help to ensure clean drinking water for all Flint residents. It also will help to expand early education for local children, meet the health needs of Flint families, support local non-profit organizations that are responding to the water crisis, promote community engagement and strengthen Flint’s economy. Other local and national philanthropies joining the effort include: FlintNOW Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ford Foundation, The Hagerman Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ruth Mott Foundation and Skillman Foundation.

  49. 2016

    Mott marks 90 years, $3 billion in total grants

    To celebrate nine decades of helping to strengthen communities at home and around the world, the Foundation announced that it had surpassed $3 billion in total grantmaking since its launch on June 19, 1926. The milestone was reached as Mott made a $5 million grant to help Flint recover from its water crisis. The grant provides a dollar-for-dollar match on up to $5 million in donations made to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund through the end of 2016. That fund will provide support over the next 20 years for interventions to help area children overcome the effects of lead exposure. The Foundation’s $3 billion in total grantmaking since 1926 reflects actual dollars awarded. Adjusted for inflation, the total value would exceed $5.4 billion.


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