Responding to the Flint Water Crisis

The Community Impact Fund has been created in response to the water crisis facing the city of Flint. Our faculty, staff, students, alumni, friends, community partners, and donors from across the country are turning to UM-Flint as a trusted community leader to help lead a response to this public health emergency. This fund allows the university to support the efforts that our students, faculty, and staff are undertaking with community partners to protect the health of residents in the region.

In this time of crisis, the University has both the opportunity and the obligation to be of service. Our faculty, staff, and students are already involved in the water crisis in many ways, including:

  • Campus hosted the first large-scale community filter distribution in October, giving out 3,000 filters in a single day.
  • UM-Flint’s GIS mapping center is the primary organization analyzing Flint’s water infrastructure and identify its problems.
  • Public Health and Health Sciences is providing a course on the Flint water crisis free of charge to the community.
  • Nursing faculty and students are committed to providing free lead screening until 100 percent of at-risk children are tested.
  • University Outreach and computer science students and faculty are developing a mobile app to help residents find services such as water bottle recycling, water and water filter distribution, volunteer opportunities, etc.
  • The Communications Department will be working with students on a crisis management communication plan in collaboration with local, county and state officials.

The Community Impact Fund is how we will invest local dollars in our communities to address the water crisis and other community engagement opportunities in the future. The fund, managed through the Office of the Provost, provides small seed grants through a competitive application process. These grants help awardees implement ideas or programs that help to improve community conditions in our region while allowing donors a way to give collectively to make the most significant impact on needs in the local community.

In particular, the fund is designed to enable student engagement and to encourage students to creatively address what they might do with their community, faculty, and each other.

For the immediate future, the University of Michigan-Flint Community Impact Fund is intended to encourage and support specific community engagement initiatives by students and faculty that are proposed in response to the City of Flint water contamination crisis. Initiatives will be conducted in collaboration with social and civic organizations and will optimize coordinated interventions to improve the well-being and quality of life of Flint residents. 

We encourage ideas from all disciplines. To be eligible, applicants must be full or part-time students, faculty, student organizations, and/or non-academic departments in partnership with students and/or faculty members.

Key engagement focus areas may include but are not limited to:

  • Education – early childhood, literacy, special needs
  • Nutrition – diet, food access
  • Health – health education, screenings/testing 
  • Human Services/Sciences – behavioral health, improvement of overall health and well-being
  • Environmental Science – physical environment, impact on natural resources
  • Entrepreneurship & Economic Development – assisting entrepreneurs and small business owners with economic issues related to the water crisis
  • While the first priority of this fund is to address the Flint water contamination crisis, other projects may be funded in the future, at the discretion of the Provost.

How to Give:


Donations to the Community Impact Fund are currently being accepted. You can make a gift to the fund through the University of Michigan’s secure, encrypted system.

By Mail:

If you prefer to donate by mail, please send a check with this completed One Time Gift Form to:

University of Michigan-Flint
University Advancement
303 East Kearsley Street
Flint, MI 48502-1950
By Phone: 

If you have any questions or wish to donate over the phone, please feel free to contact us at (810) 424-5448.

Checks may be made out to "University of Michigan-Flint."

How to Apply for a Community Impact Fund Stipend:

To be considered for a Community Impact Fund stipend, review the guidelines and submit your application through the link below.  For any questions or assistance with this application, please email Sheila Currier at

Click HERE for stipend guidelines and application form.