Ballmer Group pledges $16M to southeast Michigan nonprofits

Neal Rubin
The Detroit News
Steve Ballmer

City Year Detroit, the American Heart Association and the Michigan League for Public Policy are among 18 widely varied non-profits splitting $16 million in the first southeast Michigan grants from the Ballmer Group.

Ballmer Group, founded by former Microsoft CEO and Detroit native Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, focuses on improving economic mobility for children and families likely to remain in poverty.

Wednesday's announcement said that City Year's grant is intended to increase the number of children being helped with third-grade reading and math, along with connections to social services. The affected Heart Association program involves educating parents and kids on healthy food choices and effective physical activities. The donation to the Michigan League, in conjunction with a grant from the Ford Foundation, is intended to help include low- to moderate-income families in Detroit in state policymaking.

Among the other grant recipients are Live6 Alliance, for small business development; Planned Parenthood of Michigan, for reproductive health care and family social supports; and the Community Education Commission, for a partnership between charter school operators, Detroit Public Schools Community District officials, and others.