What We Fund


Desired Outcome: An environmentally healthy City of Detroit, Metropolitan Detroit region, and Great Lakes Ecosystem.

Great Lakes

Desired Outcome: Improved water quality in the Great Lakes basin, especially the watersheds impacting Metro Detroit and Bayfield, Ontario, through the elimination of polluted run-off and other threats, resiliency to climate change, and individual and institutional stewardship.

The Foundation will consider support for activities that:

  • Promote green stormwater infrastructure to achieve community development as well as water quality goals;
  • Inform and engage individuals, business and government about how their daily activities, choices and policies can help improve their watershed;
  • Improve binational cooperation and policies on the Canadian and U.S. sides of the border to improve water quality; and
  • Align environmental research, policy and practice to work toward a healthy Great Lakes.

For more information about Great Lakes projects, contact Melissa Damaschke; for information about green stormwater infrastructure projects, review our grants list here and contact Jodee Raines.

Environmental Health, Justice & Equitable Development

Desired Outcome: Sustainable (“triple bottom line”) development, sustainable business models, and public policies that are socially equitable and sensitive to environmental and public health concerns in the Metropolitan Detroit region.

The Foundation will consider support for projects that:

  • Promote sustainable (“triple bottom line”) development – development that balances present and future sustainable business models, environmental and social outcomes;
  • Encourage entrepreneurial and responsible business solutions to the region’s environmental issues;
  • Build a healthy and equitable local food system based on sustainable solutions;
  • Strengthen collaborative, community-based efforts working at the intersection of environmental justice, sustainable business and public health, that align research, policy and practice, and develop local environmental citizenship, advocacy and leadership; and
  • Promote cooperation and collaboration between consumers, the business community and government agencies to develop policies and practices, encourage green chemistry and address significant environmental toxins and pollutants.

For more information, contact Cris Doby.


Desired Outcome: A culturally vibrant City of Detroit and metropolitan Detroit region where arts contribute to the area’s economic, social and creative well-being.

Anchor Arts Organizations

Desired Outcome: A strong central city and vibrant neighborhoods in the City of Detroit that also contribute to the quality of life in Metro Detroit.

The Foundation will provide:

  • General operating support to a diverse but defined set of organizations that represent the cultural mainstays of the region, including those that have historical significance to the Erb family; and
  • Additional support to these anchor institutions in exceptional cases for time-limited, large-scale transformational efforts. This may take the form of capital or endowment campaigns, major physical infrastructure needs, innovative and comprehensive marketing and outreach efforts, or significant investments that will strengthen their position as cultural anchors. The Foundation is particularly interested in using its support of these efforts to attract new and additional philanthropic resources for the organization, so grants in this area will typically be challenge grants.

Please note that the Foundation will not accept unsolicited applications in this area.

Arts & Community Life

Desired Outcome: Robust community participation and more attractive, prosperous neighborhoods in Detroit and other economically challenged areas across Metropolitan Detroit, contributing to a stronger region.

The Foundation will consider project support for activities that:

  • Strengthen individual neighborhoods through cultural activities and public art;
  • Expose and engage residents and audiences in opportunities for creative expression and participation in order to build community, with an emphasis on projects that:
    • explore the intersection of arts and the environment, or
    • build on the community’s artistic roots and history to support its cultural and economic renaissance; and
  • Develop the support infrastructure to help create an economically sustainable arts community.

Jazz Education

Desired Outcome: The continuation of Detroit’s strong jazz tradition, and Fred Erb’s legacy of jazz patronage, by educating the next generation of musicians.

The Foundation supports jazz instruction for musically talented, economically challenged youth.

For more information on all arts program areas, contact Sigal Hemy.

Alzheimer’s Research

Desired Outcome: A world free of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Foundation will support leading research regarding the prevention, management and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information, contact Cris Doby.

Please note the Foundation will not accept unsolicited proposals in this area.