DTE Energy Foundation grants $15 million to Michigan nonprofits in 2016

Grant funding in Greater Michigan increases nearly 40 percent

DETROIT, Feb. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Over its 33-year history, the DTE Energy Foundation -- the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy DTE -- has continuously strengthened its support for Michigan, its communities and its residents. In 2016, the Foundation awarded $15 million in charitable grants to more than 360 nonprofit organizations throughout the state.

"The DTE Energy Foundation believes in creating positive change in communities and neighborhoods by providing essential support for large-scale and local-level efforts to ensure thriving, prosperous communities throughout Michigan," said Faye Nelson, vice president, DTE Energy, and board chair and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. "Our support provides nonprofits with critical operational and programmatic stability that enables children, families and communities to grow and flourish."

In Southeast Michigan, the Foundation has continued to help shape the revitalization efforts of Detroit, and provided critical support during times of need in the surrounding metro-communities. Of the more than 560 grants that were gifted throughout Michigan communities in 2016, a few notable gifts include the following.

  • In Detroit, the Foundation provided:
    • An earful for music-lovers through its signature partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for a free community concerts series, #DTEPowersDSO, which selects four communities each fall to experience the full symphony orchestra at a local venue. The Foundation's three-year gift ensures the community concert series will continue through 2019, and also provides endowment support for music education, senior citizen outreach and additional community engagement programming.  
    • Essential support to host a unique experience for local residents through the first-ever, "Open Streets Detroit,"  which dedicated a four-mile path through the Downtown, Corktown and Southwest areas of the city for citizens to explore neighborhood businesses and restaurants on foot or bike, and participate in healthy activities and recreation opportunities along the route, free of motorized vehicles.
    • Hands-on, educational experiences to nearly 7,300 underserved students in Detroit, Trenton, Ecorse and River Rouge schools through its custom-developed partnership with the Cranbrook Institute of Science for three years.
    • Increased support of city youth employment initiatives such as Grow Detroit's Young Talent, City Connect Detroit and Greening of Detroit, to provide nearly 500 Detroit youth (between the ages of 14 and 24) with real-life work experiences, soft skills training and educational opportunities for long-term success and job preparation.
    • Wide-spread community service through its leading support of ARISE! Detroit's Neighborhoods Day, which brought together thousands of volunteers to beautify public spaces, and local organizations to host events that celebrate the community.
  • In Flint, the Foundation aided the Flint community during the water crisis by providing water filters and enacting the DTE Energy Foundation Emergency Relief Fund Program to match employees' gifts to the cause.
  • In Chelsea, the DTE Energy Foundation Trail at Waterloo State Recreation Area opened its first, five-mile trail loop in June, and was named "Best Beginner Mountain Biking Trail in Michigan."

In Greater Michigan, the Foundation increased its overall support by nearly 40 percent for initiatives focused on education and employment, the environment, economic progress and basic needs.

  • In Grand Rapids, the Foundation celebrated the arts, boosted tourism and the local economy and showcased all Grand Rapids and West Michigan has to offer through its leading support of Art Prize,  the three-week, international art competition that draws nearly 400,000 visitors to the city.
  • Also in Grand Rapids, the Foundation helped combat childhood hunger by partnering with Kids' Food Basket to provide Sack Suppers to students in schools where families are living at or near the poverty line.
  • In Muskegon, the Foundation partnered with United Way of Lakeshore and doubled its investment to employ 100 youth during the summer months and provide meaningful, real-world experiences at local nonprofit organizations.
  • In Traverse City, the Foundation took action to care for the environment to partner with Conservation Resource Alliance for its RiverCare program to help build bridges, remove barriers, improve aquatic habitat and enhance recreational access to northwest Michigan waterways over the next three years.  

Throughout Michigan, the Foundation continued its support for:

  • FIRST in Michigan. The Foundation doubled its investment over 2015 and provided significant support to ensure 3,500 middle and high-school students gain exposure to a variety of professional and soft skills, and grow their interests in career pathways related to science, technology, engineering and math.
  • United Way organizations across Michigan. By further investing in its employee gift matching program, the Foundation supported more than 40 local United Way organizations throughout the state, helping to provide vulnerable citizens assistance with education, financial stability and access to basic needs
  • Habitat for Humanity of Michigan, to help homeowners and families live and grow in more durable, sustainable and safer homes through its Green Home Building Program.
  • A joint partnership with ReLeaf Michigan, and a matching grant program in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, to plant more than 70,000 trees in communities all across Michigan.
  • An annual recycling initiative to lower the environmental footprint and divert waste from landfills during major community events including the Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Lakeshore Arts Festival in Muskegon, GRandJazzFest in Grand Rapids and the Detroit Jazz Festival.
  • American Red Cross, for the Home Fire Campaign, which aims to install 6,000 smoke detectors in homes throughout Michigan, and provides fire education and prevention equipment necessary to increase safety in the communities.

"As the economy continues to strengthen, our focus remains on how we can best support the revitalization and sustainability of the communities we serve, and how we can continue to make a positive and lasting impact on the quality of life for children and residents," Nelson said.

About the DTE Energy Foundation
The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.2 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.3 million natural gas customers in Michigan. In 2015, the DTE Energy Foundation provided $15 million in grant support to nonprofits throughout the company's service territories. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. 

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SOURCE DTE Energy Foundation

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