Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan Launches Community Foundation Challenge


DETROIT, Oct. 15, 2010 — The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (, in partnership with the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation (, announced the creation and launch of a year-long program designed to help provide operating funds to emergency food and shelter organizations and build the capacity of those organizations to secure gifts from individuals.

The “Community Foundation Challenge – Emergency Food & Shelter” will also raise much-needed public awareness of the historic high demand for emergency food and shelter in the region and the need for charitable giving from individual donors to help address that need.

“Many emergency food and shelter organizations in our community are struggling to meet the increased demand for their services caused by high unemployment and the continuing foreclosure crisis in our region.” said Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan President Mariam C. Noland. “The demand for emergency food and shelter has increased in southeast Michigan, but the funds available to meet essential needs are not keeping pace with the increased demand. The Community Foundation Challenge – Emergency Food & Shelter is a yearlong program, but funds are needed now to help meet these needs.”

As part of the program, more than $1.1 million in matching funds have been made available to 21 organizations serving the hungry and homeless in the seven-county region of southeast Michigan. Contributions eligible for matching funds through the Community Foundation Challenge should be made directly to the participating organizations, which will then receive matching funds from the program.

The Community Foundation will match new donations from individuals for current operations at a match of one dollar for every two dollars raised by the participating food and shelter organizations. Participating match organizations will be awarded matching grants ranging from $20,000 to $125,000 per organization. When gifts and matching funds are combined, the program will result in more than $3.3 million of support to the participating organizations.

“My father used to say, ‘If you have the opportunity and the material means, you should give back to the community’,” said Phillip Wm. Fisher, a member of the Fisher Foundation board of trustees. “By partnering with the Community Foundation, which has a track record of successfully managing campaigns of this magnitude, we are confident we can maximize our impact to help those in need.”

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.

“For more than 25 years, the Community Foundation has supported emergency food and shelter organizations in southeast Michigan as part of our mission to improve the quality of life in the region, “ said Noland. “The organizations providing food and shelter in this area have an urgent need for support. Through this program, we hope to raise awareness of the needs that their services meet in our community.”

“While 21 organizations have been awarded matching funds under the Community Foundation Challenge, we trust that the residents of southeast Michigan will support not only those organizations, but the many worthy nonprofits providing food and shelter and other human needs within our community,” Phillip Fisher further explained. “We hope that many emergency food and shelter organizations will take advantage of the training programs in order to strengthen their ability to serve those in need.”

Details of the training program will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information or to learn more about how you can get involved visit

Participants in the Challenge include organizations providing emergency food and shelter across the seven county region served by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

Participating Organizations

Cass Community Social Services               <>
Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS)   <>
Common Ground                                       <>
Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries               <>
Focus: HOPE                                                   <>
Food Gatherers                                       <>
Forgotten Harvest                                       <>
Gleaners Community Food Bank               <>
Grace Centers of Hope                           <>
HAVEN                                                   <>
Lighthouse of Oakland County               <>
Livingston Area Council Against Spouse Abuse (LACASA)   <>
Monroe County Opportunity Program   <>
Neighborhood Service Organization               <>
Ozone House Inc.                                       <>
Capuchin Soup Kitchen                           <>
Ruth Ellis Center                                       <>
Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division   <>
SOS Community Services                           <>
South Oakland Shelter                           <>
Starfish Family Services                           <>

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations committed to the future of southeast Michigan. The Foundation works to improve the region’s quality of life by connecting those who care with causes that matter. 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 $436 million through nearly 36,500 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties. For more information, visit

The Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation was formed in 1955 and endowed following the death of Mr. Fisher in 2005. The Foundation’s core philosophy is grounded in the beliefs of its founders and the family’s shared Jewish values that life’s purpose is found in service to others, in creating opportunities for those who lack them, empowering individuals in self sufficiency, providing life-saving resources for those without them, and supporting human community in all its forms from families to coalitions, cities to nations. During the course of the last four years the Foundation has placed in motion nearly $60 million on three continents. For more information, visit