Background Image

The Kresge Foundation

Manager: Cheryl Mirer
Priority: Open


Founded by the late Sebastian Spering Kresge for the "promotion of human progress." Kresge amassed a fortune as founder and chairman of the board of the S.S. Kresge Co., a 5-and-10-cent syndicate operating through the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico (now known as K-Mart Corp.). The foundation is not affiliated or associated with K-Mart or any other organization. The foundation received distributions of cash and securities from the estate of the late Clara K. Kresge totaling $7,533,191 in 1983 and $11,773,896 in 1984.


environment energy, environment government agencies, health care, public policy research, community/economic development


Giving on a national basis with emphasis on Detroit, MI, as well as some international funding.

No support for religious organizations, (unless applicant is operated by a religious organization and it serves secular needs and has financial and governing autonomy separate from the parent organization with space formally dedicated to its programs) private foundations, or elementary and secondary schools (unless they predominantly serve individuals with physical and/or developmental disabilities)

No grants to individuals, or for debt retirement, projects that are already substantially completed, minor equipment purchases, or for constructing buildings for worship services.


Total giving: $130,183,827

Qualifying distributions: $162,742,127

Giving activities include:

$128,241,663 for 598 grants (high: $6,000,000; low: $5,000)

$1,942,164 for 760 employee matching gifts

$15,946,298 for 10 loans/program-related investments


  • $5,000,000 to Nonprofit Finance Fund, New York, NY, in 2013. For ArtPlace America Funder Collaborative
  • $5,000,000 to Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroit, MI, in 2013. For The New Economy Initiative
  • $2,250,000 to Nemours Foundation, Jacksonville, FL, in 2013. For project, Accelerating Population Health Innovation for Families and Communities
  • $1,500,000 to Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Detroit, MI, in 2013. For Detroit Early Childhood Innovation Fund
  • $900,000 to Institute for Sustainable Communities, Montpelier, VT, in 2013. To advance and accelerate urban climate and sustainability solutions in the United States
  • $300,000 to Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI, in 2013. For Detroit Center for Design + Technology
  • $250,000 to Innovation Network for Communities, Tamworth, NH, in 2013. For Carbon Neutral City Network
  • $250,000 to MDRC, New York, NY, in 2013. For Aid Like a Paycheck, program to help low-income college students achieve academic success. ALAP is based on the idea that after tuition and fees have been paid to the college, disburse remaining financial aid to students every other week, like a paycheck, rather than in one or two lump sums.