Community Foundation Challenge--Emergency Food & Shelter

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The “Community Foundation Challenge - Food and Shelter” was a year-long program to provide operating funds to emergency food and shelter organizations in southeast Michigan during this time of unprecedented need. With support from the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, the Challenge will provide more than $1 million in matching grants to 21 nonprofit emergency food and shelter organizations across the region.

High unemployment and the continuing foreclosure crisis have dramatically increased the demand for emergency food and shelter. At the same time, funding for these services is in decline. Emergency food and shelter providers in southeast Michigan must become more successful at raising funds from individual donors to meet immediate needs and as well as to develop their organizational capacity to generate funds.

The Community Foundation Challenge – Emergency Food&Shelter has three objectives:

  • Strengthen the capacity of participating organizations to raise funds and build permanent capital (endowments) from individuals
  • Raise operating support and endowment for participating emergency food and shelter nonprofit organizations by providing matching funds
  • Build public awareness of the need for emergency food and shelter

Eligible contributions for operating support will be matched at a rate of 1-to-2, or a match of one dollar for every two dollars raised. Eligible contributions to endowment will be matched on a 1-to-1 basis. Operating support contributions should be made directly to the participating organizations. Endowment gifts should be made through the Community Foundation.

An important component of the Community Foundation Challenge – Emergency Food&Shelter program is to provide training opportunities to help strengthen the fundraising capacity of a broader group of emergency food and shelter providers across southeast Michigan. Organizations will be invited to participate in education and training programs that will focus on topics such as individual fundraising, planned giving, endowment gifts and volunteer engagement.

The participating food and shelter organizations are:

For more information, please contact Randall Ross, Manager, Philanthropic Services, at

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