Mission & History


To create permanent positive change in people’s lives

We enhance the quality of life in southeast Michigan

We promote and facilitate permanent change in the seven counties of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, Livingston and St. Clair, and we help donors invest in organizations they care about nationwide. We do this by:

  • Making strategic investments in programs and organizations that benefit the region
  • Equipping organizations and the public with knowledge and information that will lead to positive change
  • Building endowment – community capital – to meet our region’s needs today and tomorrow, and
  • Providing expert assistance to donors and their advisors in their charitable planning



The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan was established in 1984 for the betterment of the residents of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties. Since then, we’ve come to be defined by the positive impact we’ve helped to create.

To us, southeast Michigan isn’t a geographic region. It’s the place we call home. And because of that, we care deeply about it and have a strong understanding of how our community can be improved. Over the years, we’ve helped create and fund numerous projects — ranging from education to arts and culture to community development — that improve the lives of those who live here.

The Community Foundation is more than an organization. We are passionate professionals striving to make our region the best it can be. We are dedicated to making powerful change in our communities and solving the complex problems facing our region. We are here to help … in perpetuity.

As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $1 billion through more than 67,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties.