Spring 2023 REPORT

Did you know that less than 2% of philanthropic giving goes toward women’s and girls’ organizations?

That’s according to research from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Are you as surprised as I am?

At the same time, the research shows women’s wealth is growing, and women — whose charitable giving is more likely to be motivated by empathy — more frequently donate to women’s and children’s causes. Encouragingly, “when men perceive that other men and women are donating to these causes, they are more likely to donate,” according to the research.

Why is this important to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan? Well, I’m committed to developing the next generation of philanthropists who, in collaboration with our staff and community partners, can lead us into a brighter future for all residents in our region, including women and children.

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Women’s City Club of Detroit Fund celebrates 30 years of philanthropy

When the Women’s City Club of Detroit was established in 1919, women didn’t have the right to vote in the United States.

Thirty years after the Women’s City Club of Detroit Fund was established, women have continued to make progress in many sectors. But, disparities remain. Women in 2021 earned 82 cents to every dollar earned by men (with an even wider gap for women of color), the United States has never had a female president and less than 2% of U.S. charitable giving goes to women’s and girls’ organizations.


Maternal health disparities

Our maternal mortality rate is the highest of any developed nation — with most of these pregnancy-related deaths considered preventable. During the COVID-19 pandemic, maternal health outcomes worsened for all women in the U.S., and long-standing health disparities persisted.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan invests in Black women-led organizations such as Mothering Justice, the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association and Birth Detroit that are. working to close the gap.

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Attorney Amy Hartmann discusses trends in women’s philanthropy

Attorney Amy Hartmann is a committed champion of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. She and her law partner, Nancy Nihem, operate the Grosse Pointe Farms estate planning firm Hartmann & Nihem, PLLC, and include the Community Foundation in estate planning conversations with their clients.

Hartmann recently took the time to discuss her firm’s relationship with the Community Foundation and share her insights on women leading change through philanthropy in southeastern Michigan.

Read the Q&A

Homeward Bound: Macomb Shelter Helps Women Achieve Independence

The number of women and children experiencing homelessness in Macomb County has been increasing for more than a decade and COVID-19 only accelerated the trend, according to one local shelter. 

In response, the Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team, also known as MCREST, established a permanent location in Mount Clemens specifically for women and children. A Community Foundation grant helped MCREST finance children’s programming at the shelter and pay for transportation so moms can get their kids to and from school or day care while they receive interview training or have appointments with potential employers. 


When Farah Bazzi had twin girls in March 2020, the pandemic cast uncertainty everywhere. As the world grappled with COVID, one piece of clarity emerged for Bazzi: Her salary teaching biology at a Dearborn high school wouldn’t cover day care costs, so returning to the classroom was off the table, at least for the first few years of her twins’ life.

What started as a therapeutic escape became Maraseel, a home business producing handcrafted cards, calendars, invitations, and stationery for all aspects of life for Arab and Muslim women.


Prioritizing Caregivers: Community Foundation anticipates surging need for supports

The caregivers fund at the Community Foundation was established in honor of the late Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., who was a Detroit native and the founder and longtime owner of the Buffalo Bills football team.

Caregivers are heroes and silent warriors, often helping their loved ones in isolation. Many of their duties are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. We’re honored to collaborate with organizations throughout southeastern Michigan that support caregivers of older adults on behalf of the Community Foundation, and with the generous support of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. We have an opportunity to uplift and support the field of family caregiving, having an important and lasting impact on our region.

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Women are welcome, HOPE Fund co-chair says

HOPE Fund co-chair Stacey Cassis wants women in the LGBTQ+ community to know they’re welcome at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan — and to understand the organization and how it can benefit their charitable goals.

“It’s really important to understand the courage involved for the Community Foundation to start the HOPE Fund to begin with. It’s been integral in the progress we’ve made in southeast Michigan, and it’s held up as a beacon of hope nationally,” Cassis says.


Nobody does endowment better, Trustee says

Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan Board of Trustees member Jenice Mitchell Ford is an enthusiastic advocate for planned and endowed giving.

She also serves on the board of the women-led Minerva Educational Development Foundation (MEDF), which provides scholarships and grantmaking in the Detroit area and has several endowments at the Community Foundation. “Without the Community Foundation, the MEDF would not be celebrating 30 years of giving,” Mitchell Ford says.

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Make A Donation to Support Women

A gift to the endowed Fund for Women provides support to programs and organizations that directly impact women and women-led nonprofits in our region today, tomorrow and forever.

Please note that donations made online are charged a fee of 2.6% of the gift amount plus $0.26 from the vendor that processes these transactions. If you would like to make a donation without that fee, please call us at 313-961-6675.