Benefitting Our Communities, All Over the Globe

Benefitting Our Communities, All Over the Globe

We understand the value of communities that make it possible for us to lead healthy lives and harvest new talent.

Our Community Commitment

We’re dedicated to using our resources to provide for communities and projects in line with our company values. We build relationships with the community to make a positive impact inside and outside our walls.

Our contribution efforts are focused on:

  • Art + Culture
  • Urban Education
  • Diversity + Inclusion
  • Economic Development
  • Environmental

Global Initiative

Global Relations Team



At Steelcase we’re committed to benefitting the communities in which we live in – all over the globe. Since our founding in 1912, we’ve made community support efforts an integral part of our operations.

Global Commitment

Steelcase employees around the globe are encouraged to take part in volunteer and leadership opportunities with our unique community programs. As a company we’re honored to provide monetary and furniture donations to the communities that help Steelcase grow and innovate.

Internal Commitment

Internally, we’re dedicated to continual diversity support, training and acceptance. We partner with organizations that promote community cultural programs. Steelcase leads regular diversity seminars and discussions to demonstrate our dedication to serving global markets.

Global Relations Team

Global Relations Team

Our Global Relations team ensures time and resources are being focused on projects that employ our values of:

  • Supporting urban education
  • Encouraging diversity
  • Aiding in economic development
  • Providing human services
  • Continuing sustainable efforts

Education Commitment

Grand Rapids Preparatory Academy

Founded in 2008

The Grand Rapids Preparatory Academy (UPREP) focuses on inspiring children to make positive changes internally and externally through their parents and community.

UPREP is a tuition-free college-preparatory school for students in grades six through twelve.

The project was founded by Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett and other local CEOs based on a similar school in Detroit, MI.

West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology

Opened 2005

West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology (WMCAT) is part of a national network dedicated to continued education. The education center inspires students outside classroom walls and offers additional training for adults to thrive in the workplace.

The programs include an intensive classroom segment and additional out of the classroom externship hours. The center was inspired by education initiatives in Pittsburgh, which had over 30 years of success.

Schools of Hope

Nationally Recognized

The nationally recognized School of Hope program through United Way has provided structured tutoring for public school children for more than 20 years.

For over 10 years Steelcase employees have met weekly with public school students to help improve reading levels as measured by state-wide standardized testing.

Economic Development

Habitat for Humanity

Steelcase is a Global Partner to Habitat for Humanity

In 2004, Steelcase formalized its partnership with the Habitat for Humanity of Kent County. We donate to Habitat forHumanity to strengthen families and neighborhoods through house building and affordable home ownership.

Steelcase has contributed to the disaster aid relief funds to various Habitat locations globally, provided volunteers and used our factory space for Habitat volunteers to build house frames.

United Way

Steelcase has been a long-time supporter of United Way’s community rejuvenation efforts and has been recognized as the largest corporate and employee contributors to United Way.

About 90 percent of the money raised by United Way is put back into community efforts judged by local citizen discussion.

At global headquarters, employees and retirees have been leaders in donating time and efforts to United Way events. Each year our employees contribute hundreds of hours to the United Way Day of Caring.

Urban League

Steelcase is a leading partner with the Grand Rapids Urban League. Steelcase has partnered with the Grand Rapids Urban League to support annual event awarding outstanding citizens.

For over twelve years, the company has partnered with the Urban League for the annual Martin Luther King Corporate Breakfast by providing facilities and funding for this event.

Encouraging Diversity

Institute for Healing Racism

In part of our efforts to educate and support diversity in the workplace, Steelcase supports the Institute for Healing Racism.

Since 1999 we have sponsored a 10-week program for coalition.  The institute is a 10-week program that explores the history of racism in America and methods of healing racism wounds.

Summit On Racism

The Summit on Racism is an annual workshop focused on brainstorming ways to end racism. Steelcase has provided financial support for the summit since 1999.

Organized by the Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism’s Racial Justice Institute the workshop draws people from all areas of Michigan.

Steelcase Foundation

Vision, Mission + Values
Grant Process
Matching Gifts, Updates + Reports
Staff + Trustees



Guiding Principle 1:
Operate Independently of Steelcase

Established in 1951, the Foundation focuses on the areas of human service, health, education, community development, the arts and the environment – giving particular concern to people who are disadvantaged, disabled, young and elderly as they attempt to improve the quality of their lives.

Steelcase founders and original trustees Walter Idema and David Hunting Sr. established the Foundation as an independent trust to support “charitable, scientific, literary or educational” causes. Carrying the founders’ vision forward, today’s trustees and staff believe that:

  • People are the bottom line
  • Improving the human condition is all-important
  • Approaching problems holistically leads to imaginative and often dramatic solutions

2016 Annual Report

Vision, Mission + Values

Vision, Mission + Values

Guiding Principle 2:
Approach Community Problems Holistically

Our Vision

We empower people to reach their full potential

Our Mission

The Steelcase Foundation believes quality, accessible public education is paramount to achieving its vision.  The Foundation assists  its philanthropic partners in generating education initiatives, in addition to work and cultural opportunities.  This focus occurs primarily in Steelcase Inc.’s  founding community of West Michigan.

Our Values

  • People:  We have a sense of responsibility to others and are committed to improving the human condition.
  • Partnerships:  Partnerships are at the heart of success.  Collaboration accelerates listening, learning and working together to achieve the best possible outcomes.
  • Diversity:   Organizations operate best when there is clear representation of the people they serve, at every level.
  • Integrity: Our relationships are conducted with high integrity, respect and fairness.
  • Humility:  Our work is our primary focus; our public presence is understated.
  • Innovation: We are a passionate agent of innovation, encouraging risk-taking and new approaches to achieve desired results.
  • Results:  We support diligent, highly-responsive accountability and continuous improvement to achieve meaningful results, with lasting impact.

Grant Process

Grant Process

Apply for a Grant

The Steelcase Foundation makes grants to IRS-determined non-profit organizations based where Steelcase manufacturing plants are located (Grand Rapid, Michigan and Athens, Alabama.) We prefer not to be the sole support for a program.  Also, we do not provide grants to individuals or to organization that:

  • Discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sex, disability, or national origin.
  • Have received a Steelcase foundation grant within the past 12 months.
  • Request support for a conference or seminar.
  • Request support for religious programs (nonsectarian programs for humanitarian purposes are eligible for consideration.)

Application Process

To obtain a Steelcase Foundation grant application, send us a letter on your letterhead, signed by your organization’s chief executive officer. Include the following items in your letter:

  • Description of your organization or project
  • Expected results of the project
  • Amount of grant funds requested
  • Copy of your IRS 501(c )(3) non-profit certification

Send your letter to:

The Steelcase Foundation,
P.O. Box 1967/GH-2E,
Grand Rapids, MI

If your proposal meets our grant criteria, we will send you a more detailed application form.

Matching Gifts, Updates + Reports

Matching Gifts, Updates + Reports

Matching Gifts

The  Steelcase Foundation and partners with Steelcase employees, retirees and directors by matching their gifts to arts/culture, education and environment/conservation programs.  The maximum contribution amount is $10,000 per year.  The amount can be a combination of gifts to a number of different organizations. In FY2016, (12/1/15 through 11/30/16) the Foundation provided $470,658 in matching funds.

View recipients

Matching gift forms are available from the Foundation office (616-246-9860).

Staff + Trustees

Staff + Trustees

Today’s Steelcase Foundation Board includes several descendants of the original Steelcase families, including those of Walter Idema and David Hunting Sr., who established the Foundation to support the communities where Steelcase does business.


James P. Keane

Brian Cloyd

Mary Anne Hunting

Mary Goodwillie Nelson

Craig Niemann

Cary Pew

Robert C. Pew

Elizabeth Welch

Kate Pew Wolters

View Trustees’ bios


Julie Ridenour




The Steelcase Foundation,
P.O. Box 1967/GH-2E,
Grand Rapids, MI

Our Giving Policy + FAQs

We understand the value of communities that make it possible for us to lead healthy lives and harvest new talent.

Likewise, we make it a priority to support communities that are within need of our resources. Steelcase gives our time, talents and treasures to programs that specifically focus on our values: community and economic development, education, human services, arts and culture, and sustainability

Steelcase focuses on donating business time, employee talent and company treasures to improving the environment in which we work and live.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions in relation to our community relations can be found within our FAQs.

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