what we fund

The Foundation has an annual grants budget of about $17 million. We currently fund projects that work in our focus areas of education, neighborhoods, community leadership, safety, social innovation and youth development. Grant seeking organizations must have high social impact coupled with solid financial and operational practices. Investments will benefit children explicitly and will strengthen neighborhoods. Most of our funding goes to work happening in six Detroit neighborhoods: Brightmoor, Cody Rouge, Chadsey Condon, Northend Central, Osborn and Southwest Detroit. Approximately 85 percent of the Foundation's grantmaking is to long-term partners in our community.

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. Multi-year grants may only be submitted at the invitation of a program officer.

Our youth development funding is awarded through an RFP process. Click here to learn more or apply.

who can apply

Skillman Foundation grantseekers and grantees must:

  • Be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and provide your tax id (EIN) number or be a government or public agency (city, county, state, public school district).
  • Be a publicly supported charity as defined in Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • Have total revenues of at least $100,000 for your preceding fiscal year and be able to provide a copy of a current financial audit conducted by an independent certified public accountant.
  • In policy and practice, offer opportunity and service to all, regardless of age, race, creed, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation and ethnicity.

who cannot apply

The Foundation does not make grants to:

  • Individuals
  • For-profit institutions
  • Endowments, building campaigns, or capital costs, including construction, renovation, or equipment
  • Political campaigns, to support political activities or to lobby for or against particular pieces of legislation
  • Award scholarships or provide tuition assistance

when to apply

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.

grantmaking process

step 1: are you eligible to apply?

Begin by carefully reading the What We Fund, Who Can Apply, and Who Cannot Apply sections above and ensure that your organization and project fall completely in alignment with the Foundation's guidelines before beginning the application process. Before you begin, feel free to give us a call at 313.393.1185 and speak to the program officer on duty. Please also contact the Grants Manager with any questions or concerns as you proceed with the application process. The Foundation's program staff welcomes an opportunity to discuss your project.

step 2: get ready to apply.

The Foundation uses an online Grant Inquiry form. You will need to set up an account with a valid email address to enter your Grant Inquiry. Remember to write down your login information and password. An email will be automatically sent to that email address confirming your password and containing a new link to access any saved Grant Inquiry in your account.

As part of the Grant Inquiry, you'll be asked to provide, a Grant Inquiry Cover Letter, Narrative, and Budget Form and a recent audited financial statement. Before accessing the online Grant Inquiry, you can download the two forms below to work through and save to your local network. These are the official forms and must be submitted to the Foundation with your Grant Inquiry.

The maximum size of all file attachments together is 25 megabytes. Please note that attached documents can only be in one of the following four file types with the file extension (if applicable) showing below in parenthesis:

  • Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx)
  • Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (.xls or .xlsx)
  • Adobe Acrobat PDF file (.pdf)
  • Rich Text Format (.rtf)

step 3: ready to apply

Once you've gathered information, documents and completed the Narrative and Budget forms, you're ready to apply. Click here to access the online Grant Inquiry form.

You will be prompted to enter your tax identification number. Click here if you do not know your organization's tax identification number.

You'll then take an eligibility quiz, and then upload the attachments stated in Step 2.

You must have all required attachments uploaded to submit your Grant Inquiry. You can start the online Grant Inquiry, save it, and return later to continue working on it. Please note, you cannot change your Grant Inquiry after submission. However, if your Grant Inquiry was submitted in error, or you do not want it to be considered in our next grant cycle, please promptly contact us via email at or telephone at (313) 393-1185.

You will receive an email confirmation that we have received your Grant Inquiry and will generally hear back from us in 15 days. Please do not mail a duplicate hard copy, any additional attachments, binders, books, CDs, DVDs, videotapes or audiotapes.

Your request will be assigned to a program officer for review. During the review process, you may be contacted to answer additional questions or to schedule a meeting or site visit.

grant reports

In receiving a grant, the grantee becomes a partner with the Foundation to improve the lives of children and families. Grant reports are a requirement of the grant and help the Foundation measure the success of its grantmaking.

Reports are submitted through the Foundation's online reporting system. Download instructions to submit your grant report through the Foundation's online system here.

Each report includes answers to narrative online interactive questions and an expenditure report attachment showing how the grant funds were expended. Samples of the progress and final report questions are located below. Please do not submit these sample documents to the Foundation.

Download the expenditure report template that you will need to attach to your report submitted through the online system.

Please notify the Foundation if the report deadlines cannot be met, you need to request an extension of the deadline, or to make major changes to your grant content or budget. Major changes must also be discussed with your program officer. Please refer to your grant agreement for specific report due dates.

When you are ready to submit your grant report, please access your account at

Email the grants manager if you need to transfer your account login to a different staff person.

grant payments

The Foundation is making ACH electronic grant payments. Download the Electronic Funds Transfer Authorization Form to complete and return to the Foundation for payment of your grant.