Mott Foundation marks $3 billion in giving over 90 years

Milestone grant of $5 million will support Flint Child Health and Development Fund

Brownell-Homes Preschool Graduation
Photo: Adam Stoltman

Flint, Michigan — As it celebrates nine decades of helping to strengthen communities at home and around the world, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation announced today that it has surpassed $3 billion in total grantmaking since its launch on June 19, 1926. The milestone was reached as the Foundation made a $5 million grant to help its hometown of Flint recover and rise from the city’s water crisis.

The grant will provide a dollar-for-dollar match on up to $5 million in donations made to the Flint Child Health and Development Fund through December 31. The Fund is held at the Foundation for Flint, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and is intended to provide support over the next 20 years for interventions to help area children overcome the effects of lead exposure.

“Since the Mott Foundation’s earliest days, kids and communities have been at the heart of our work,” said Mott President Ridgway H. White. “It seems fitting that this milestone grant will support the long-term health and well-being of children in our hometown.”

The grant is part of the Foundation’s recent commitment of up to $100 million over five years to respond to the water crisis. It also reflects Mott’s longstanding support in Flint and around the world for efforts that help people and communities work together to address challenges and opportunities, according to Foundation Chairman and CEO William S. White.

“We’ve now given away more than we’re currently worth,” he said of the Foundation, which has an asset base of $2.7 billion. “That speaks to the value of endowed philanthropy in helping to address society’s most difficult problems. The capacity to explore and test possible solutions, to support the painstaking process of building community partnerships, and to take the long view on strategies that may take years or even decades to bear fruit is absolutely essential to achieving positive change.”

The Mott Foundation has a track record of sticking to issues it cares about — and the grantees who work on them — over a long period of time. Examples include decades of grantmaking to support community education, afterschool programs, community foundations and conservation of the Great Lakes. Since its founding, Mott also has had an enduring affection for and commitment to its hometown of Flint.

“For 90 years, the Mott Foundation has been a dedicated partner to this community,” said CFGF President Kathi Horton. “With this new grant, Mott will help to motivate and then match the support of others who care about Flint to ensure that our children will have access to the best resources, services and opportunities in the years to come.”

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.

“Looking at Mott’s history and what they’ve helped accomplish in this country and around the world, you get a sense of just how important philanthropy is to building strong, engaged communities,” said Robert S. Collier, president and CEO of the Council of Michigan Foundations. “It also affirms the future opportunities to make a difference, thanks to the legacies of the donors, Trustees and staff across our country’s endowed foundations.”

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