William Davidson Foundation

"Give people responsibility, hold them accountable, and success follows."

What We Support

 

Primary Focus Areas

The William Davidson Foundation awards grants to organizations carrying out work in Southeast Michigan, the U.S., and Israel, and seeks to have an impact in four primary focus areas.

Jewish Life and Continuity

We are committed to fostering the growth and preservation of Jewish life and culture and consider the well-being of the State of Israel as critically important to the perpetuation of the Jewish people. Whether in our home community of Southeast Michigan or on the other side of the world, we want to create environments abundant with opportunity for those who wish to live a meaningful and engaged Jewish life. We believe these communities are strengthened by capable Jewish educators and leaders. They are also enriched by mutual understanding and the inclusion of Jews of different backgrounds, practices, and perspectives – who are linked through a common history and peoplehood.

Economic Vitality

As an entrepreneur and investor, Bill Davidson helped boost local job creation and contributed to a thriving and resilient economy in the community where he lived and worked. The Davidson Foundation is similarly committed to the economic vitality of both Southeast Michigan and Israel. We want to ensure these communities weather the cyclical ups and downs of the global economy and continue to attract and cultivate the talent needed to expand opportunity and prosperity for generations to come. We believe entrepreneurs are often at the heart of building these dynamic economies so we are especially interested in joining and leading efforts that stimulate the creation and growth of new businesses.

Cultural and Civic Vitality

Vibrant cultural institutions and public spaces enhance the quality of life for a region’s residents, attract new visitors, families, and businesses, and help define a city and state’s identity beyond its borders. We invest in world-class organizations and high-quality cultural experiences that connect, engage, and inspire the creative talents within communities. We are also interested in catalytic efforts to create and transform the parks, plazas, markets, or other public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets and foster a shared sense of community.

Education

Our work in education ties closely to our other interests in the economic, civic, and cultural vitality of the Jewish people, Southeast Michigan, and Israel. The quality of education a person receives can open doors of economic opportunity by providing skills and knowledge. More importantly, education offers a pathway to insight, wisdom and shared experiences with others from diverse backgrounds. Mr. Davidson and the Davidson Foundation have a long history of investing in the education of future leaders in the Jewish community and in the ongoing professional development of business leaders and entrepreneurs. In Israel, the Foundation has also continued Mr. Davidson’s commitments to developing and nurturing the scientific knowledge and technological skillsets which are important to the country’s long-term economic development and innovative capacity.

 

Our Focus & Strategies

Proposals and applications for funding are currently by invitation only and must not only fall within these primary focus areas, but also must be aligned with one or more of our current priority strategies:

Jewish Education

Improve the effectiveness, strength, diversity and reach of Jewish educational options for students and their families in Southeast Michigan and Israel, and enrich and enhance teacher and professional leadership development for Jewish educators in Israel and the United States.

Next Generation Engagement

Support opportunities to encourage young American Jews to live rich, meaningful and connected Jewish lives.

Israel Experiences and Education

Increase knowledge, advocacy and passion for Israel through education, experiential learning and travel.

Signature Spaces and Experiences

Enhance the vitality of Southeast Michigan by making transformative investments in public spaces and experiences.

Creative Engagement in the Arts

Strengthen and promote the arts, design, and creative expression in Southeast Michigan and Israel.

Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Increase the economic vitality of both Southeast Michigan and the State of Israel by fostering a climate for entrepreneurship.

The foundation makes a very limited set of General Community Support gifts and grants, which may fall outside of these primary focus areas and strategies. These are currently restricted to our director discretionary and employee matching gifts, emergency response grants, and a small number of event sponsorships and organizational memberships.