Great Lakes Funder Collaboration

The Great Lakes Funder Collaboration is comprised of more than 50 funders that annually grant more than $50 million to advance work on Great Lakes issues in the United States and Canada.

Member funders work to improve their individual effectiveness and to identify ways they can work together to protect and improve the quality of the Great Lakes and its communities.


The purpose of the Great Lakes Funder Collaboration is bring together funders across the United States and Canada interested in protecting and restoring the Great Lakes. These funders are faced with many challenges and opportunities both in understanding and addressing this critical and complex system and the role they play, individually and collectively, in protecting and restoring it.

The Collaboration identifies issues and goals for the coming year at its annual meeting. In 2018, the issues the Collaboration included:

  • water infrastructure
  • nutrient pollution, with a particular emphasis on Lake Erie
  • environmental education and behavior change
  • Great Lakes grant data


The Great Lakes Funder Collaboration meets annually. In 2018, the annual meeting took place October 15-16 at the Detroit Athletic Club. The Collaboration periodically holds webinars and conference calls on topics of interest for funders. There are quarterly work group calls on water infrastructure, nutrient pollution, and environmental education and behavior change.

Please reach out to Diane Schrauth, Coordinator, for more details:


The Great Lakes Funder Collaboration steering committee is comprised of funders from the United States and Canada. The 2018 steering committee includes:

  • Julie Metty Bennett, Great Lakes Fishery Trust
  • Elizabeth Cisar, Joyce Foundation (co-chair)
  • Melissa Damaschke, Erb Family Foundation
  • Pegi Dover, Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network
  • Tim Eder, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
  • Vicki Elkin, Fund for Lake Michigan
  • Stephen Love, Cleveland Foundation
  • Michelle Parker, Crown Family Philanthropies
  • Thea Silver, Ontario Trillium Foundation (co-chair)
  • Allie Urbanski, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Funders interested in joining are enthusiastically encouraged to complete this membership application. If you have questions about the Collaboration, please contact Diane Schrauth, Coordinator,