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Visionary Philosophy

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation has charter goals to improve the ­educational, religious, economic, and cultural lives of Michigan's people as their needs can be defined in a world which constantly presents different challenges and opportunities. Grants are limited to organizations located in Michigan. The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation Trustees carefully consider proposals submitted and look for programs where their contribution can be leveraged. Organizations requesting funding for a new program should be sure that they have planned for that program's future self-sufficiency.


We believe initiatives that truly build a better community will last beyond a single grant cycle. We want to ensure they can be sustained. This means our work often goes beyond that of a grant making foundation — serving as an advisor to help organizations build their own layers of operational strength.



The only thing worse than a problem nobody wants to solve? Everybody trying to solve the same problem … and not working together to do it. We help organizations layer their efforts, expertise and resources together with those of others. This not only gives us stronger organizations that accomplish more; it creates shared effort and investment that strengthens the commitment of all.


Capacity Building

We love to see our grants being used to do good works in the community. But we love even more to see them being used as a lever — to multiply our grant into even greater impact. Providing matching grants is one way we help organizations become stronger at raising funds on their own. We also work with them to build their own fund-development and leadership programs. Making the agencies and organizations we serve better fund-raisers and leaders adds new layers — of protection, of results, of possibilities.


2016 Annual Report

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 2016 Annual Report screen grab