Who We Are

Our Mission

A voice for children since 1960, The Skillman Foundation is a private philanthropy that serves as a fierce champion of Detroit children. The Foundation works to strengthen educational opportunities and ensure a lifetime of economic well-being for Detroit youth by investing in K-12 public education, afterschool system building, and college and career pathways.

Impact Areas

To best ensure Detroit youth are prepared and positioned to be tomorrow’s leaders, The Skillman Foundation is focused on two Impact Areas: Education and Economic Well-Being.

Core Values

Stewardship: The Skillman Foundation is committed to balancing the needs and opportunities of today with the needs and opportunities of tomorrow, to ensure that the Foundation continues as a resource for children in Detroit for as long as possible. The Foundation is committed to the prudent and responsible use of charitable assets for charitable purposes as well as care of the Foundation’s reputation and standing in the community.

Integrity: The Board and staff will be open and honest with one another, the community and Foundation grant partners. We will encourage the highest possible standards of conduct and ethics.

Excellence: We strive for excellence in everything we do so that The Skillman Foundation is synonymous with quality and trustworthiness.

Inclusiveness and Equal Opportunity: The Board and staff are committed to inclusiveness and equal opportunity within the Foundation as well as among its applicants and grant partners. Expanding equal opportunity for disadvantaged children is a critical element of this value.

Service Delivery: The Foundation values grants and programs that will directly benefit children and young people in Detroit and the greater metropolitan area.

Effectiveness: The Board and staff will identify unique and strategic opportunities to make a difference. They will evaluate their effectiveness and change strategies as necessary to achieve a greater effectiveness. Proven and validated models are preferred. The Foundation will take a long-term view and make long-term commitments as required for maximum effectiveness.

Respect: The human worth of all individuals and children who are affected by the Foundation and its grant programs will be respected and protected.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Skillman Foundation embraces diversity and authentic inclusion in all areas of our work; we consider this a prerequisite for positive social change. As a guiding principle, it impacts our decisions at every level from staffing to partnerships and how our resources are deployed.

We understand that we work in a context defined by inequities that are as present as the air we breathe. Therefore, we must confront the drivers of inequality and redesign systems with those who have been historically marginalized.

We are driven to create a community where all Detroiters – especially youth – are valued, heard and mobilized in the service of opportunity and prosperity for all.

Code of Ethics

Click here to view The Skillman Foundation’s Code of Ethics for trustees and team members.