The continued growth of Dart Container
is good for more than just Mason. The Dart Foundation
, which is a family foundation established by the Darts, is growing as well. With both organizations taking up additional space, the Dart Foundation has recently moved from their Mason facilities into a new, 558-square foot office in the Marshall Street Armory.
“The move gives us a better chance to collaboration with other funders,” says Dart Foundation Grants Manager Claudia Deschaine. “There is a movement with many of the local foundations to come together and get behind projects together, and being here makes that easier.”
The new location also makes it easier for the foundation itself to grow. While Deschaine is current the organization’s only staff member, she hopes to add one new permanent job and a intern position in the near future.
Last year The Dart Foundation granted $3,435,276 to causes and organizations throughout the United States. Deschaine estimates about $500,000 of those funds were granted in the foundation’s focus area of Mid-Michigan. This year, The Dart Foundation is renewing the Dart Family’s original focus on the STEM fields for youth.
“Science is a natural interest of [the Dart Family],” says Deschaine, “because they were engineers. But there are a lot of important needs in the community, and they responded to those needs. Now they’re coming back to what they feel is most important.”