Food & Shelter


The Community Foundation Challenge — Emergency Food & Shelter was launched in the fall of 2010 to provide much-needed operating funds and fundraising training for emergency food and shelter providers.

High unemployment and the foreclosure crisis during the economic recession dramatically increased the demand for emergency food and shelter. At the same time, funding for these services declined. As such, emergency food and shelter providers in southeast Michigan had to become more successful at raising funds from individual donors to meet immediate needs while developing their organizational capacity to generate funds.

The Community Foundation Challenge — Emergency Food & Shelter had three objectives:

  1. Strengthen the capacity of participating organizations to raise funds and build permanent capital from individuals
  2. Raise operating support and endowment for participating emergency food and shelter nonprofit organizations by providing matching funds
  3. Build public awareness of the need for emergency food and shelter

Eligible contributions for operating support were matched at a rate of $1 for every $2 raised.



With the support of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, 21 nonprofit organizations across southeast Michigan leveraged $1.25 million in matching funds to raise more than $3.7 million to serve the hungry and homeless at a time of extreme need.

In addition, the challenge produced a series of four educational programs to train nonprofits how to compensate for declining levels of state and federal support by becoming more adept at raising money from individuals.

These programs, presented by some of today’s fundraising experts, are a useful resource for any nonprofit organization providing emergency food or shelter services in southeast Michigan.

Randy Ross

Questions? Feel free to contact

Randy Ross

Vice President, Philanthropic Services