Council of Michigan Foundations Awarded $650,000 for Statewide Community Foundation Challenge Grant Program: Funding to support Local College Access Networks

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

DETROIT, Michigan – The Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) and The Kresge Foundation announce today the continuation of a three phase Community Foundation Challenge Grant Program, funded by The Kresge Foundation and administered by CMF.

Grant funds will further ensure the long-term sustainability of Local College Access Networks (LCANs), community coalitions focused on increasing post-secondary enrollment and success through coordination of programs, data collections, and sharing of lessons learned.  The funds will be utilized to support a select group of community foundations who are deeply involved with their LCAN partners by: growing the endowment funds to support the LCAN; leveraging new resources for the network through in-kind support partnerships; providing capacity building support and meeting immediate operating needs through general operating support.

“CMF is grateful for the continued partnership of The Kresge Foundation in supporting and growing Local College Access Networks (LCANs) across Michigan,” said Andrea Judd, CMF program coordinator and lead on the project. “This competitive grant program has been co-designed by past challenge grant recipients, and is designed to be flexible and responsive to the unique needs of each participating community as they grow and sustain their LCAN.”

The Kresge Foundation works to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities. Its Education Program promotes postsecondary access and success for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students. “This third phase of the Challenge Grant Program recognizes the effectiveness of the LCAN structure,” said Rebecca C. Villarreal, program officer with the Kresge Foundation’s Education Program. “The grant program was designed with extensive input from previous recipients, and we believe will add to the sustainability and effectiveness of the program.”

During the first two rounds, more than $1,600,000 in funding was leveraged for college access by participating community foundations.  Through this challenge grant program, community foundations received $1 in grant funding from The Kresge Foundation for every $1 given to by donors in their local community – thereby doubling the impact of each donation.  The vast majority of these funds were dollars from new donors which helped to establish, support, and improve LCANs in 24 communities across the state.

Eligible community foundations will be able to request grants in the amount of $20,000 - $100,000 based on their need and ability to raise the match. Eligibility and further details as follows:

The Kresge Foundation-CMF LCAN Sustainability Grant Program


Local College Access Networks (LCANs) are a proven model of increasing college access and readiness; their long-term sustainability in communities is vital to increasing the number of people with a post-secondary degree.  The Kresge Foundation-CMF LCAN Sustainability Grant Program will build upon the previous success of The Kresge Foundation –CMF Community Foundation LCAN Challenge Grants to ensure the long-term sustainability of LCANs by providing support for general operations as well as endowment and capacity building.  As with the previous challenge grant programs, a 1:1 match will be required on funds awarded.  However, as a unique aspect of this program the match requirement on general operating support funding may be raised through in-kind support as described in the Match Requirements section below. These grants will be made in a single-round and will be awarded for a two-year period.

Consulting Services Grants will also be offered to community foundations receiving funding through this program.  These additional grants will provide up to 10 hours of consulting services through the Council of Michigan Foundations’ Consultant Services Network.  The purpose is to support facilitation of activities to strengthen the LCAN operations and guide community foundations in determining their long-term role within their local college access network. An additional short application will be released after initial funds are awarded.


  • Applicants must have successfully participated in the previous Kresge Foundation-CMF Community Foundation Challenge Grant Program
  • Affiliates are eligible to apply through, and in addition to, the lead foundation   

Grant Goals

  • The grant’s overarching goal is to further ensure the long-term sustainability of LCANs by providing support to a select group of community foundations who are deeply involved with their LCAN partners by:
  • Growing the endowment funds to support the LCAN
  • Leveraging new resources for the network through new in-kind support partnerships
  • Providing capacity building support for the LCAN leadership team
  • Meeting immediate operating needs through general operating support

Expected Outcomes

  1. Support for LCAN operating budgets will bridge immediate needs/gaps while sustainability work is undertaken.
  2. Through the challenge grant process, there will be growth in endowment fund assets to support long-term sustainability of the LCAN infrastructure.
  3. Through the raising of in-kind support, the network will have strengthened at least one local LCAN partnership to leverage additional resources.
  4. Through the support of Consulting Services Grants, community foundation grantees will have clarified and solidified their long-term role as a partner with their community’s LCAN and partnerships in the overall network will have deepened.

Award Process
Grants will be awarded through a competitive selection process. The Council of Michigan Foundations will engage experts in the field to score proposals on a standard rubric and provide written feedback.  Final decisions regarding awards will be contingent upon the recommendations of the reviewers and available funds.

For More Information
For more information, contact Andrea Judd: [email protected] or 313-960-4192

About CMF

The Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) is a community of more than 350 members committed to growing the impact of Michigan philanthropy through investing in the state's charitable organizations, convening business, government and nonprofit leaders, collaborating on critical issues, seeking innovative solutions, sharing knowledge and advocating. For more information, visit

About The Kresge Foundation

The Kresge Foundation is a $3.5 billion private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit.  In 2014, the Board of Trustees approved 408 awards totaling $242.5 million. That included a $100 million award to the Foundation for Detroit’s Future, a fund created to soften the impact of the city’s bankruptcy on pensioners and safeguard cultural assets at the Detroit Institute of Arts. A total $138.1 million was paid out to grantees over the course of the year. In addition, our Social Investment Practice made commitments totaling $20.4 million in 2014. For more information, visit


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