Our Approach

Photo courtesy of our friends at The Diatribe

The Steelcase Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and a separate entity from Steelcase Inc.
If you are looking for Steelcase, please visit its website.

  Our Core Giving Strategies  

Photo courtesy of our friends at The Literacy Center of West Michigan

Creating conditions where all can participate, grow, & thrive

Our three Foundation community investment strategies are based on the best and most innovative approaches to philanthropic efforts and learning from stakeholder interviews and experience. They advance the Steelcase Foundation’s mission and are supported by our Guiding Principles. The cumulative impact of the three strategies will move the community, sector, and Foundation closer to the vision where the inherent brilliance of the community is embraced and efforts are focused on creating conditions where all can participate, grow, and thrive.

Elevating Community Brilliance + Expertise

Focuses on elevating and supporting the vision, work, and voices of leaders, community members, and smaller early-stage nonprofits that are most aware of and immersed in the current and future needs of children and their families.

Strategic Partnership to Meet Community Needs

Collaborative learning and partnership with nonprofits through grantmaking to support what is working and invest in new and innovative approaches and ideas to meet community needs.

Systemic Change + Movement Building

Partnerships and Foundation-led initiatives that directly leverage the Foundation’s power to influence and inform philanthropy and policy and use our expertise to drive and support larger-scale social change.

  Our Vision, Mission, + Guiding Principles  


We acknowledge the inherent brilliance of community and work to ensure that ours is one in which all people can participate, grow, and thrive.


We collaborate and connect resources with people and movements that advance, advocate for, and accelerate us toward a more just and liberated community.

Our grantmaking focus to increase access to quality, public education and cultivate communities that create conditions for children birth through young adult to thrive through:

  • Quality learning experiences.
  • Multi-generational support, advocacy, and engagement.
  • Removal of barriers and systemic impediments.
  • Arts and culture opportunities that enhance young people’s learning, engagement, and sense of belonging.

Guiding Principles

  • People
    We believe our humanity, fate, and liberation are interconnected. We know that talent lives in community and that solutions are often among the people more impacted by unjust systems.
  • Partnership
    We build authentic partnerships while addressing power dynamics through deep listening, co-creation, and mutual accountability to advance positive change.
  • Diversity + Inclusion
    We believe that organizations operate best when there is clear representation at all levels from communities within which they work, and when diverse voices are sought, heard, elevated, and honored.
  • Integrity
    We honor our word and treat all people with respect, dignity, and fairness.
  • Humility
    We invest and partner with gratitude and appreciation and seek to lift up and center community brilliance.
  • Innovation
    We encourage risk-taking, courageous leadership, actions rooted in the indigenous wisdom of the community, and new approaches to achieve long-term impact and systemic change.
  • Learning
    The issues we face are complex and intersectional. Adaptive learning, continuous improvement, and mutual accountability helps move us toward meaningful results.

  Featured Partner Stories + Learnings