How We Work

A voice for children since 1960, the Skillman Foundation works to ensure that Detroit children are prepared for and connected to excellent educational and economic opportunities.  

Much of the Foundation's investment comes through traditional grantmaking. We also support grassroots groups, having funding more than $2 million in projects through the Community Connections Small Grants Program. We also use social investment tools such as PRIs.

Working with our partners to create a better Detroit for kids

We will work diligently in partnership with those who put kids first. To hold ourselves accountable to our goals, we nurture innovations that deliver tangible results, taking measured risks informed by continuous learning. We operate as an honest broker between grassroots groups and decision-makers. We invest in relationships with likely and unlikely allies, and we attempt to bridge the divides that have traditionally weakened Detroit.

We also are committed to research, evaluation, and learning, and to sharing our successes -- and sometimes failures -- through a variety of communications tools.

We can't do it alone

Our role is more than funder. We are change-makers, bringing people together. We use everything we have to attract other investors to work for Detroit kids. The problems we are tackling are not easily solved, but it doesn't mean they're impossible. We know we need to work collaboratively with anybody who wants the same things we do for Detroit children: safe and thriving neighborhoods, great schools, outstanding opportunities for healthy growth. Our reason for being is simple and enduring: Kids Matter Here.