Introducing The Skillman Visionary Awards

Our Report Card: Grant partners scored our work

Every few years since 2003, The Skillman Foundation has commissioned a grant partner survey to request anonymous feedback about how we’re doing as a funder, partner, and youth advocate. Our 2022 survey ratings have remained consistent or trended up since 2019. We’re glad to see improvements and we feel a real kick to make many more. 

Our grant partners said we are consistent in: 

  • Understanding Detroit communities and the challenges kids face; this remains one of our greatest strengths 
  • Effective policy work; Partners see us as a strong voice for Detroit children 
  • Connecting people, programs, and institutions 

Partners said we’ve improved our: 

  • Approachability, openness, and support of their ideas  
  • Responsiveness and frequency of interactions (90% report interacting with the Foundation monthly or more frequently) 
  • Grantmaking process—making it faster, more straightforward, and helpful in defining the work to be done; and providing greater support and clarity during the process 
  • Explicit commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, including combatting racism  

Grant partners have asked us to: 

  • Clarify and communicate our priorities and overall vision 
  • This is our primary focus. We are in the midst of defining our work—led by the input of Detroit youth and those closest to them—and strive to be clear, candid, and open about our evolving vision and objectives in our work to champion Detroit kids 

View the report here

Note: The ratings you’ll see are on a 7-point scale, with 7 being the highest possible mark. The scale is weighted, comparing the scores given to The Skillman Foundation to a comparable cohort of 14 other foundations similar to us in scale and scope. 

We’re not resting on our laurels with any of this. Our team is diligently working to: 

  • Set a clear and refined strategy, informed by Detroit youth and those closest to them 
  • Seek and support the intellect and ingenuity of our partners; that we not be heavy-handed or prescriptive   
  • Care for partners’ personal and organizational well-being, removing barriers and hardships within our ability to, including those we have created  

We are carrying our grant partners insights with us as we develop a refined framework for our grantmaking. We’re clarifying our priorities and overall vision, in the name of being responsive to what Detroit kids tell us they need and want, as well as what our partners tell us they need from a funding partner. Follow our blog or sign up for our e-newsletter for updates on our work.   

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