Mott responds to COVID-19 pandemic

To help the nonprofit organizations we support and the individuals and communities they serve, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has awarded new grants and allowed grantees to repurpose funds from existing grants to directly address pandemic-related needs. While the majority of this grantmaking aims to help people in our hometown of Flint, Michigan, we also are providing some support nationally and internationally.

Below, you will find descriptions of our pandemic-related funding, categorized by which of the Foundation’s programs awarded the grants. Within each category, descriptions are listed in reverse chronological order, beginning with grants most recently awarded or repurposed.

As of November 23, 2020, the cumulative total of Mott’s pandemic-related grantmaking is $7,224,727. We will continue to update this page as we award additional grants.

In addition, we’ve worked with numerous grantees who needed flexibility in grants already awarded due to unforeseen impacts of the pandemic on their organizations and staff, as well as their strategies, priorities and progress. We are pleased to work with all of our grantees to find our way forward together during these difficult times.

Flint Area

  • A $50,000 grant to the Fair Food Network will support the development of an enrollment app for Double Up Food Bucks. The app will eliminate the need for an in-person appointment, which is especially important during the pandemic.
  • Grants totaling $1 million will help five community centers provide Flint students with a safe space to participate in virtual schooling. The funds will allow them to increase staff and purchase Chromebooks, internet upgrades, personal protection equipment (PPE) and school supplies, as well as support tutoring and translation services where needed.
  • A grant increase of $1,051,000 to Flint Community Schools will enable the district to purchase 600 iPads, 1,200 Chromebooks and 1,400 hotspots to support remote learning. The technology will help the district and its partners safely deliver educational content, community education resources and other services to students and families during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • A grant increase of $500,000 to support the Greater Flint Urgent Relief Fund, established through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and United Way of Genesee County and supported by multiple funders, will help to quickly coordinate and deploy additional resources to nonprofit organizations working with communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
  • A $50,000 grant to the Genesee County Free Medical Clinic will support the purchase of equipment and software needed to expand telemedicine services during the pandemic. It also will support more staffing to address additional client needs, including food distribution and pharmacy services.
  • A grant of $50,000 in general purposes funding will assist the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan with overall operations during this period of increased demand for its services.
  • Community school directors have found new ways to connect with Flint families while school buildings are closed due to COVID-19. The Crim Fitness Foundation, which employs the directors, repurposed $140,000 in Mott Foundation grant funds so staff could assemble and deliver care packages to the more than 4,000 families they would normally look forward to seeing in school. The care packages were filled with things like nonperishable food items, hand sanitizer, face masks, books, learning activities, educational toys, and information on community education and Genesee Health Plan resources.
  • A grant increase of an additional 1 million disposable face masks at a cost of $490,000 to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan will allow for more masks to be distributed throughout the city of Flint to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masks are being distributed to small businesses, nonprofits, faith-based organizations and Flint residents.
  • A grant for 1 million disposable face masks at a cost of $700,000 to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan aims to get masks into the Flint community to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Food Bank, the City of Flint and local Help Centers will work together to distribute the masks.
  • A $100,000 grant to the Flint Downtown Development Authority (DDA) will allow them to continue to correct and prevent deterioration in the downtown district by providing important services, including trash collection, cleaning, planting and caring for flowers, and parking management. The grant increase will help to replace parking revenue lost during the pandemic.
  • A $25,000 grant will allow the Opportunity Resource Fund to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Flint and Genesee County apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans authorized through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • A $130,000 grant to the Council of Michigan Foundations will help state health and education leaders create a roadmap for reopening Michigan’s K-12 schools. The funds will allow the state to draw on the expertise of Opportunity Labs, a national nonprofit organization, to develop a safe and equitable plan for Michigan students to return to school.
  • A grant of $262,500 to the Genesee Chamber Foundation will support African American-owned small businesses in the city of Flint through the Restart Flint & Genesee Grant Program. The program, which is run by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, will award grants of up to $5,000 each to help small businesses reopen as restrictions ease.
  • A $163,000 grant to Flint Community Schools will help the district to safely deliver educational content to students during the pandemic by purchasing 800 mobile Wi-Fi hot spots and 1,500 Mobile Guard applications. This technology is necessary to ensure that students can still learn and be part of a community — even when they can’t physically be in a classroom.
  • A $60,000 grant allowed the Freedom Center to purchase 325 gallons of coffee and nearly 5,300 meals from downtown Flint restaurants to deliver to health care workers at the three Genesee County hospitals, seven days a week during multiple shifts.
  • A grant increase of $40,000 allowed the Freedom Center to work with at least 16 downtown restaurants, providing more than 3,800 additional meals and more than 200 additional gallons of coffee to local health care workers.
  • An allocation of $20,227 from a larger grant to St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center will cover costs for the production of non-medical grade masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
  • A $100,000 grant will help University of Michigan–Flint keep its residence hall open to health care workers from Genesee County hospitals, giving them a welcoming, safe and convenient place to stay at no cost to them, while also helping to protect their families.
  • An emergency grant of $200,000 will allow the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan to purchase and distribute fresh and healthy food — roughly 1.2 million meals — for the most underserved populations in Flint and Genesee County.
  • A $500,000 grant to support the Greater Flint Urgent Relief Fund, established through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and United Way of Genesee County and supported by multiple funders, aims to coordinate and quickly deploy resources to nonprofit organizations working with communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
  • The Community Foundation of Greater Flint repurposed $50,000 in grant funds to purchase iPads for 108 4-year-old students enrolled at Educare Flint to use while learning from home, as well as clear face masks for staff, which will enable young students to better read the facial expressions of their teachers and other school staff.


  • A $35,000 grant to Uma Gota no Oceano (A Drop in the Ocean) will help the Brazilian strategic communications agency hire additional staff to ensure that information about COVID-19 reaches indigenous communities, and that the voices of traditional peoples reach the mainstream media.
  • A $33,000 grant increase to Fondo de Mujeres del Sur, which is providing emergency funds to help remote communities reduce the risk of individuals catching COVID-19 from visitors who reside in urban areas.
  • A $40,000 grant increase to Land is Life to strengthen relationships with indigenous leaders and provide communities with health protocols and survival kits that will help them prepare for and mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
  • A grant increase of $62,000 to support the Socio-Environmental Fund – CASA small grants program, which will enhance community efforts to reduce COVID-19 cases and manage other issues caused by the pandemic.
  • A $10,000 grant to will help support continued news coverage of Amazon forest issues and help the organization respond to increased demands for information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Civil Society

  • A grant of $250,000 to the Fund for Global Human Rights will support the COVID-19 Grassroots Justice Fund, which aims to help frontline justice workers address community-level health, economic and justice challenges arising from the pandemic.
  • A grant of $150,000 to the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law will support the COVID-19 Justice Rescue Fund, which was created to help alumni of the Institute’s Justice Accelerator program address urgent operational needs arising from the pandemic.
  • A grant increase of $65,000 to CIVICUS: World Alliance for Civic Participation will support the Solidarity Fund, which was created to help CIVCUS member organizations address urgent programmatic or operational needs arising from the pandemic.
  • A $100,000 grant increase to the Global Fund for Community Foundations will provide additional support for community philanthropy organizations to carry out immediate and longer-term COVID-19 response efforts.
  • A $35,000 grant increase to the Social Justice Initiative COVID-19 relief fund will help local organizations in South Africa respond to immediate and long-term issues resulting from the pandemic, including food security, psychological needs, delivery of basic services and human rights violations.
  • A $10,000 grant increase will provide additional resources for Black Sash Trust to monitor and document successes and/or rights violations associated with implementation of South Africa’s COVID-19 social assistance relief program.
  • A $15,000 grant increase to the Social Change Assistance Trust will give additional funding to community advice offices that are providing frontline humanitarian assistance to communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
  • A grant increase of $238,000 to help the National Council of Nonprofits expand its legal and communications capacity, as well as continue advocating for public policies that support the nonprofit sector.


  • A $500,000 grant has been made to Grantmakers for Education to support the Afterschool & Summer Recovery and Opportunity Fund for the afterschool and out-of-school time sector. Funds will help the field and programs develop remote and hybrid learning approaches and support the development of reopening and recovery strategies that benefit children, youth and families impacted by the pandemic.

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