Projects that will have a long-term impact on the quality of life in the Michigan communities of Plymouth, Livonia, Northville and Redford.

Projects that encourage students to pursue careers in the automobile industry, with special interest in the counties of southeast Michigan.

Projects that that encourage an interest in car collecting and transportation history in Michigan.


The Margaret Dunning Foundation makes grants to 50l(c)(3) public charities. The Foundation does not award grants to individuals. Grants will typically not be made to governmental units (excluding school districts) or for travel, publications, conferences or seminars.

Secondary school automotive technology programs interested in submitting an application should contact us as a first step to discuss a special application process. We have a separate application for high schools.

Grants may support new programs and services being offered or developed by the grantee, for capital programs and for endowment. Grants for operating support will be made only in exceptional circumstances.


The Foundation’s grants typically range from $5,000 to $100,000, although grants outside this range have been awarded when special circumstances have arisen.


A written application with the following information should be submitted to the Foundation:


Cover Letter

  • Legal name, address and telephone number for the applicant organization and the name, email, and contact number of the main contact for the proposal.
  • Mission, year founded, operating budget, and brief background of the applicant organization.
  • Executive summary, including project purpose (briefly), amount requested, and total project cost.
  • Executive director name, contact information, and signature.

Project description

The following information about the proposed project can be provided in a written narrative rather than a q&a format.

  • Description of the issue the proposal is addressing and how the target population will benefit.
  • Desired outcome, basic objectives and workplans of the proposed project and its potential impact.
  • Indication as to whether the proposed activity is new, expanded or an ongoing part of the organization’s programming.
  • Evaluation plan including criteria for judging the effectiveness of the proposed activity, as well as any information on whether the applicant has evaluated similar efforts by other organizations.
  • Relevant qualifications and experience of the organization and the principal staff
  • Time limits of the proposed activity and length of time for which the Foundation’s support is needed.

Financial information

  • Dollar amount of grant support requested.
  • Detailed budget for identifying the proposed use of the grant.
  • any additional support anticipated from other funders, or the applicant’s provisions for future project funding beyond the initial grant period.

Supporting material

  • Copy of most recent Internal Revenue Service 501(c)(3) federal tax-exemption letter
  • List of current board of directors, trustees or governing board, with individuals’ affiliation
  • Resumes of principal staff, if applicable
  • Organization’s operating budget for current year
  • Copy of most recent certified financial audit
  • Copy of most recent annual report


Applicants who submit a proposal by:Will typically hear back from the Foundation
by the end of:
December 1March
March 1
June 1September
September 1December


Email your application to [email protected]