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Michigan Central
Station Children’s
Endowment Initiative

For Decades, Michigan Central Station sat as a symbol of Detroit’s struggles, but in June 2024, after a six-year renovation by Ford Motor Company, this historic landmark reopened, serving as a proud testament to Detroit’s resurgence now serving as a symbol of the city’s bright future.

The reopening of Michigan Central Station represents a once-in-a-lifetime moment for our community – the opportunity to write a new chapter in our collective story. One that is rooted in equity and ensures that the dreams we all have for our children become a reality not only today, but for generations to come.

In partnership with the Children’s Foundation, Bill and Lisa Ford established the Michigan Central Station Children’s Endowment Initiative. Together, with the Children’s Foundation, a fundraising campaign for this effort has raised more than $10 million to support youth-serving organizations in the Detroit area.  The station’s opening in June 2024 served as a celebration of the fundraising effort and recognition of the individuals and organizations who stepped forward to show their strong support for Detroit’s children.

For decades, Michigan Central Station sat as a symbol of Detroit’s struggles, but in June 2024, after a six-year renovation by Ford Motor Company, this historic landmark reopened, serving as a proud testament to Detroit’s resurgence now serving as a symbol of the city’s bright future.

In partnership with the Children’s Foundation, Bill and Lisa Ford established the Michigan Central Station Children’s Endowment Initiative which ran a fundraising campaign alongside the Station’s opening. The initial goal of $10 million was nearly doubled, raising more than $19 million to support youth-serving organizations in the area. The station’s opening in June 2024 served as a celebration of the fundraising effort and the philanthropic spirit of the individuals, foundations, and companies that invested in the children of Detroit, creating meaningful change for kids today and for generations to come. A complete list of donors is available here.

Speramus
Meliora

We hope for better things

The Initiative

The Michigan Central Station Children’s Endowment Initiative will select and support the ten Detroit area youth-serving organizations. Initial seed funding of $500,000 will allow each to start or grow an endowment, with the opportunity to access an additional $500,000 in matching funds that will allow each organization the opportunity to establish a $1.5 million endowment within two years. The ten youth-serving organizations will be selected through a transparent and equity-driven process.

Ultimately, the Michigan Central Station Children’s Endowment Initiative will lead to ensuring that some of the Detroit area’s youth-serving organizations have an opportunity for more equitable and financially solid footing and empower them to determine their future.

An outline of the Initiative’s process, criteria, and application are available at the button below.

Selected organizations will receive:

A $500,000 permanent endowment established for their benefit at the Children’s Foundation with another $500,000 available that will match dollar-for-dollar any additional funds raised toward the endowment over the next two years. This will give each organization the opportunity to have a $1.5 million endowment by the end of 2026.

Additional funding and technical assistance to help them leverage this unique opportunity and plan for their long-term sustainability throughout the Initiative. Support provided will be tailored to the organization’s needs.

Access to drop-in collaboration space in the newly opened Michigan Central Campus which will include them in a world-renowned innovative ecosystem that is built on an inclusive and collaborative model between philanthropy, start-ups, businesses, and others in the Michigan Central community.

A $500,000 permanent endowment established for their benefit at the Children’s Foundation with another $500,000 available that will match dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000 toward the endowment over the next two years. This will give each organization the opportunity to build at least a $1.5 million endowment by the end of 2026.

An unrestricted grant in 2025 and 2026, as well as funds for capacity building and technical assistance for endowment and organizational infrastructure. Support and technical assistance will be tailored to each organization’s unique needs. Organizations will take part in a two-year cohort learning experience to assess and build organizational durability.

Access to drop-in collaboration space in the newly opened Michigan Central Station which will include them in a world-renowned innovative ecosystem that is built on an inclusive and collaborative model between philanthropy, start-ups, businesses, and others in the Michigan Central community.

What is an endowment?

An endowment is a perpetual fund that provides annual income for an organization. As the endowment grows, more funds become available to fuel the organization.

Why endowments matter:

  1. Endowments are one of the highest forms of equitable and trust-based philanthropy.
  2. Endowments shift resources and power to organizations.
  3. Endowments help organizations be sustainable today and into the future.

Get Involved

Detroit area children represent one of the best investments we can make to ensure our region’s future success; the Initiative is a philanthropic effort that will enhance the sustainability of youth-serving organizations.

There are two ways you can support this initiative.

Make a gift

We invite you to make a gift to the Michigan Central Station Children’s Endowment Initiative and invest in the future of our region and its children.

Become a partner

If you are interested in opportunities to support the technical assistance provided to the 10 selected organizations or to help organizations meet their match, please contact us!

Michigan Central Station Opening Celebration

June 6, 2024, began a new chapter for Michigan Central Station, one that provided community and visitors from around the world an experience that celebrated the restoration of this iconic building and all who made it possible, while also providing a glimpse into what’s to come.

A memorable moment in Detroit’s history where the eyes of the world were once again recognizing our city as one that builds on its history, celebrates its present, and looks excitedly to the future.

Michigan Central Station Children’s Endowment Campaign

CO-CHAIRS

Bill and Lisa Ford

STEERING COMMITTEE

Lizabeth Ardisana
Tom and Lindsey Buhl
Lauren and Jon Cotton
Mark Davidoff
Tony and Sarah Earley
Luanne Thomas Ewald
Elena Ford
Dr. Herman Gray
Anne Mervenne
Benita Miller
Vivian Pickard
Donna Satterfield
Lois Shaevsky
Gloria Walker-Larkins
Gwen and Evan Weiner

CAMPAIGN CABINET

Liz Alvarez and Joe Klecha
Pamela Applebaum
Dennis Archer, Jr.
Marilyn Bartley
Joan Budden
Bob and Mary Ann Bury
Beth Chappell
JoAnn Chávez
Cindy Ciura
Zenna Elhasan
Alexandra Ford English and Riley English
Brooke and Al Fisher
Emily and Henry Ford
Nick Ford
Tina and Gordon Ford
Will Ford
John Green and Kelly Major Green
Margery Krevsky-Dosey

Debora Matthews
Leslie Murphy
Amy Nederlander
Jennifer Hudson Parke and Joe Parke
Olivia Peoples
Sandra Pierce
David Reich
Mark Saffer
Linda Schlesinger Wagner
Mark and Theresa Schulz
Bill Seklar
Mickey Shapiro
Susan Sherer
Kim and Paul W. Smith
Robin Terry
Chris Thomas and Nicole George
Margaret Trimer

News & Media

March 19, 2024
July 1, 2024
March 19, 2024
March 19, 2024
March 19, 2024
March 24, 2024