Frequently Asked Questions

Membership is open to high-growth startup founders dedicated full-time to their companies and to venture capitalists that invest in such companies. Members pledge 1% of either company equity or personal equity in their company to join. Investors pledge 1% of their investment carry. These commitments are designated to a “community impact fund” with Michigan Founders Fund that generates a permanent stream of charitable grants for Michigan-based organizations. In addition, members often make an optional annual contribution to support Michigan Founders Fund.

No. The pledge form is the first step in your intention to give back to your community and we will provide you the tools and support you need to fulfill your commitment. If you have pledged company equity via a warrant agreement, this will be legally binding, but until there is an exit event, the warrant has no value. We encourage you to track your impact so you can share your story with your employers, investors, peers and the community.

Yes, co-founders can commit 1% in total for Michigan Founders Fund membership.

We hope all pledging companies have a successful exit, but understand that may not be the case. If you have pledged via a warrant, until there is an exit event, the warrant has no value. This means Michigan Founders Fund cannot contribute cash on your behalf to support the community, but you are not on the hook for a donation.

Typically, acquisition agreements include some form of purchase offer to existing shareholders. Michigan Founders Fund will accommodate the acquisition process however we are able and funds from your donation will be used to generate grants for local nonprofits.

Advisory Council Members commit equity, carry and/or annual contributions to Michigan Founders Fund. They also serve as a central advisory group in developing the organizations core activities and use their time and resources to help grow the Michigan Founders Fund network and support new members in giving back to the community.

Michigan Founders Fund is a charitable fund that will produce grants for local nonprofits in perpetuity. As the fund grows, the scale of the annual grantmaking will grow with it. The purpose of the fund mirrors the mission of its stewards – the collective group of entrepreneurs committed to uplifting their communities and enriching the quality of life in Michigan. Michigan Founders Fund board and staff will determine on an annual basis how to maximize the impact of grants from this fund through one or more of its central grantmaking programs in areas such as:

  • Entrepreneurship + STEM education
  • Health and human services
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Youth, families and seniors
  • Racial equity
  • Arts and culture
  • Environmental and animal welfare

Member contributions help support program and event-related costs and some of the administrative expenses associated with Michigan Founders Fund so we can sustain and grow the program.

Yes, any contributions to Michigan Founders Fund, including Member or Advisory Council contributions, are 100% charitable. You will receive written acknowledgement from Michigan Founders Fund regarding your donation. Should this change in the future (based on changes in how contributions are utilized), Michigan Founders Fund will give you advance notice. Because your ability to deduct charitable gifts depends on many factors unique to your circumstances, always consult with a tax expert.

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By making the pledge to give where you live, you are ensuring the health and growth of Michigan communities and in turn, your business

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