What We Fund

The Skillman Foundation provides grant funding and other supports to organizations that expand opportunity for Detroit children and help them achieve their highest aspirations through K-12 education, afterschool learning opportunities, and pathways to college and career.

K-12 Education

We support a high-quality system of schools that help children meet educational milestones and move through life as capable and confident thinkers.

Afterschool System

We with community partners to build a robust ecosystem of out-of-school learning opportunities that allow kids to explore and expand their sense of self and the world under the guidance of caring adults.

College & Career Pathways

We support an integrated, youth-centered college and career pathway system to provide youth with the experiences, supports, and opportunities needed to follow a path of their choosing, leading us all to a more prosperous and equitable future.

Grant Partner Requirements

  • 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

What We Don’t Fund

  • 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 pieces of legislation
  • Award scholarships or provide tuition assistance


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Impact Area

Wayne-Metropolitan Community Action Agency

The purpose of the project is to provide a platform and support tailored to the needs of youth ages 13-24 to develop, refine and exercise their leadership abilities. Pre-Covid Detroit in transition lacked the voice and input of youth in planning its "comeback". The impact and consequences of the changes in the city were invariably impacting the trajectory of young peoples education, opportunity and quality of life. Remaining outside the planning and decision making circles approximates a civic death and perpetuates self sabotaging behavior and hopelessness. Opportunity Youth, living at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities and conditions experience hopelessness and marginalization more profoundly and have fewer opportunities to center their needs among peers, parents, educators, lawmakers and other decision makers. The Covid-19 pandemic and post Covid-19 environment offers both increased likelihood to further marginalize opportunity youth while also providing a once in a generation chance to expand voices, needs of the most vulnerable. Invisibility, at the very least is less likely with the proper support. This project places the small grant platform and related supports in service to provide resources for youth to design projects to consider, promote and advocate for their needs and hopes in ways that are relevant to them. We hope to feature an application process with a variety of application options to appeal to a variety of abilities and strengths. Options will include video, audio, challenge, written and interview application options. We hope to properly equip adult supporters with the capacity to support youth effectively as the owners and decision makers of the project. Adult supporters will be supported in best practices via coaching by seasoned grassroots youth workers. Applications will be evaluated in a forum familiar with youth development and needs. Grantmakers will include educators, youth and grassroots youth leaders. We hope will target youth living at the intersections of multiple marginalized identities and conditions. We will partner with and outreach to organizations serving opportunity youth to reach opportunity youth and support during the project. We hope youth will reach their intended audience which may include adults, educators, decision makers, etc. Technical assistance and capacity building with adult supporters in expected to assist youth with designing activities to reach their targeted audience