The DTE Energy Foundation’s support in 2017 helped nonprofits across the state drive significant outcomes in areas ranging from human service needs to economic progress, the environment, education and employment as well as arts and culture. The Foundation awarded 600 grants and increased its giving by 20 percent to $18.1 million to make deeper impacts in critical areas. As a result, the Foundation awarded its largest environmental grant to-date and, through event sponsorships, helped to add more than $50 million to local economies. Foundation support grew most significantly for programs engaged in education and employment, increasing by more than 40 percent over 2016.
“2017 was an incredibly impactful year in terms of Foundation funding for education and employment, particularly for young people,” said Lynette Dowler, DTE Energy Foundation president. “Our funding created 650 student summer jobs statewide and helped to reinvigorate the skilled trades program at Detroit’s Randolph Career and Technical Center — tripling enrollment from 100 students to more than 300 students for the current school year. These are real-world programs helping ensure our young people have the experience and skills needed for jobs currently in demand.”
More specifically, the Foundation provided essential support for workforce development and hands-on educational opportunities for nearly 1,000 Detroit youth and adults. The Foundation partnered with Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation, the Henry Ford College Foundation and Greening of Detroit to leverage their expertise and resources to help build Detroit’s talent pool and match individuals to potential career pathways and job opportunities. This work will directly impact the city’s mission to employ 40,000 Detroiters in the next five years.
Other Foundation funding highlights include:
- Largest-ever environmental grant to The Nature Conservancy for a multi-year, comprehensive program to protect Great Lakes shoreline areas, as well as to address storm water runoff into the Detroit River.
- Support of premier cultural events across the state, from ArtPrize in Grand Rapids to America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in Detroit and Traverse City’s National Cherry Festival, helped generate an economic impact of more than $50 million.
- Outreach efforts by several cultural institutions into the community. In partnership with The Michigan Science Center, the Foundation funded fieldtrips and enrichment activities for every public school in Detroit. Additionally, by 2019, more than 7,000 students in Detroit, Trenton, Ecorse, and River Rouge schools will participate in hands-on, educational experiences through Foundation funding to the Cranbrook Institute of Science. For music lovers, the Foundation supported Detroit Symphony Orchestra performances in communities throughout metro Detroit.
- Helped launch fundraising efforts for a new Kids Food Basket facility with a $100,000 gift matching grant.
- The Foundation also supported 165 smaller events through its Community Giving Program pilot launched in 2017. From Ecorse to Escanaba, the Foundation funded organizations hosting festivals and celebrations that brought communities together and sparked local economic activity.
- Event programming support for Beacon Park, Detroit’s newest public space, which debuted in July 2017. These events drew nearly 250,000 people to west central downtown over six months and are expected to help catalyze growth in the area.
- Hurricane Relief efforts through its emergency relief fund that provided matching dollars for DTE Energy employee contributions resulting in a $175,000 donation to the American Red Cross, Direct Relief and World Central Kitchen.
- Supported Autism Alliance for Michigan, SER Metro, After 26 Project, Reading Works’ and additional organizations focused on assisting and employing adults with disabilities, as well as military veterans and returning citizens.
“As one of the state’s largest foundations with a Michigan-focused giving strategy, the DTE Energy Foundation plays a critical role with our nonprofit partners in making Michigan a better place to live, work and play,” said Dowler.