DTE Energy Foundation Gives Nearly $6.7 Million to Nonprofits


DETROIT, March 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The DTE Energy Foundation today announced it awarded nearly $6.7 million to Michigan nonprofit organizations in 2006.

"The DTE Energy Foundation is committed to supporting programs and institutions that strengthen communities and help create a better tomorrow," said Fred Shell, DTE Energy vice president of corporate and government affairs and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. "We're very proud that grants we made in 2006 enabled hundreds of nonprofit organizations to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who live and work in the communities we serve."

Making high-impact grants

The DTE Energy Foundation awarded $350,000 to the six nonprofits named winners of its Achieving Excellence Awards. The state's largest corporate grant competition for nonprofits, the program recognizes exemplary work in four categories: Special Achievement, Leadership, Collaboration and Sustainability. Winners of the 2006 awards were: Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County, Pontiac; Warren/Conner Development Coalition, Detroit; Detroit Eastside Community Collaborative, Detroit; Three Lakes Association, Bellaire; The Guidance Center, Southgate; and Lighthouse of Oakland County, Pontiac.

Other grants made by the DTE Energy Foundation in 2006 include:

* The Nature Conservancy. The DTE Energy Foundation made a $500,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy's "Save the Last Great Places in Michigan" campaign to protect 15 significant forest, water and shoreline areas across the state. The Foundation made the first major corporate gift to this project and was instrumental in helping the organization reach a $2.5 million match from the Kresge Foundation.

* Detroit Public Schools. The Foundation awarded $118,000 to fund the Math, Science and Energy Enrichment Program at two of Detroit's most innovative high schools -- the Frederick Douglass Academy and the new Detroit International Academy. The program will provide students with opportunities to excel in math, science, leadership and technology. Funding will be used to upgrade school facilities to provide cutting edge instruction in those areas. It also will provide training and professional development for teachers and counselors to enhance their knowledge of energy and the energy industry.

* Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The DTE Energy Foundation awarded $115,000 to renew the DTE Energy Forestry Grants program, a partnership with the DNR that provides trees and seedlings in communities within DTE Energy's service territory. The grant also launched a new pilot program, Restoration of Our Trees, developed to help property owners replace trees lost due to the Emerald Ash Borer infestation.

* Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan. A $100,000 grant from the DTE Energy Foundation helped fund Junior Achievement's Finance Park -- a 12,500 square-foot, hands-on learning environment designed to teach middle school students about personal finance. The estimated 15,000 students expected to participate in the program each year will visit a DTE Energy storefront in the park to learn about utility bills and how to save money by conserving energy.

Matching employee contributions

The DTE Energy Foundation contributed $429,786 to nonprofit organizations supported by DTE Energy employees. Its year-round Matching Gifts program matches employee contributions to educational and cultural institutions and its annual Holiday Season Matching Gifts program matches employee gifts to human services organizations that provide food and shelter to those in need during the holiday season.

In addition, DTE Energy employees and retirees pledged more than $1.65 million to the 2006 United Way Campaign. The DTE Energy Foundation provided a contribution of $846,000, bringing the total donation from the company, employees and retirees to nearly $2.5 million.

Another $108,000 was contributed by the Foundation to nonprofit organizations through the DTE Energy Foundation Walter J. McCarthy Awards for Volunteer Leadership. The awards recognize employees' and retirees' community involvement. Each award includes a grant made to a nonprofit organization designated by the recipient. Since it was established in 1990, the program has awarded $750,000 to community groups throughout Michigan.

Evaluating results

In 2006, the DTE Energy Foundation forged two partnerships with a number of its grant recipients to measure the impact of its contributions to education and environmental projects.

The K-12 Math Partners Initiative will examine the effect DTE Energy Foundation grants have made in improving students' math performance and enhancing their interest in math and science. The Foundation's partners in this study are: Detroit Area Pre-college Engineering Program; Grand Rapids Area Pre-college Engineering Program; Communities In Schools; Wayne State University's Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Aerospace Academy; and Project Seed. The DTE Energy Foundation contributed $170,000 to these organizations in 2006.

The Foundation's Environmental Partners Initiative will look at how its grants are impacting water and air quality, biodiversity, Brownfield redevelopment and environmental stewardship. Organizations working with the Foundation on this project are: The DTE Energy Freshwater Institute for Teachers at Northwestern Michigan College; Conservation Resource Alliance; the Nature Conservancy; Wildlife Habitat Council; Greening of Detroit; Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge; and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The Foundation awarded grants totaling $335,000 in 2006 to these organizations.

The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its principal operating subsidiaries, Detroit Edison and MichCon. The Foundation directs its contributions and involvement to support initiatives dedicated to developing the human and economic potential of the communities it serves. Grants are awarded under the foundation's "LEAD" guidelines: leadership, education, environment, achievement, development and diversity in the DTE Energy service territory, which includes southeast, western and northern Michigan.


CONTACT: Eileen Dixon, +1-313-235-9154, or Lorie Kessler,
+1-313-235-8807, both of DTE Energy

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