About Us

Our Founder: Ruth Rawlings Mott

Cultivating Community Vitality, Nurturing Hope & Pride

Ruth Rawlings Mott (1901–1999) was raised in El Paso, Texas. Her father was a family practice physician who served those in need on both sides of the border. Her mother was a businesswoman, kindergarten teacher, and founder of the El Paso YWCA.

Ruth went east to study physical education, became a teacher in the Baltimore Friends School, and returned to El Paso to open her own dance studio. It was there that she met and married Charles Stewart Mott and then moved to his estate, Applewood, in Flint, Michigan. She became a mother, an active partner with her husband in the community, and prominent in her own right as a local leader, foundation trustee, and national philanthropist.

Mrs. Mott established the Ruth Mott Foundation as a means of extending the reach of her philanthropy beyond her lifetime with a continued presence in Flint. Ruth Mott’s values and conduct inspire the Foundation to be inclusive, welcoming, and egalitarian, to act with kindness and good humor, treat all people with respect and dignity, and encourage personal responsibility, practice prevention, and maintain “the long view”.

Ruth Mott Foundation

Refined Strategy to Focus on North Flint

The Ruth Mott Foundation, a private foundation committed to promoting the health and vitality of its home community of Flint and the surrounding area, has adopted a more targeted place-based approach to philanthropy. Under its new strategy, Ruth Mott Foundation will focus on north Flint. At the core of this strategic focus is a commitment to support community voiced and driven priorities and plans. Through this approach, the residents of north Flint will shape those solutions intended to strengthen their neighborhoods and help create and sustain opportunities to contribute and thrive.

We define north Flint as the city limits on the west, north and east, and Flushing Rd./5th Ave./Longway Blvd. to the south.

“Place-based philanthropy has demonstrated that concentrating on a defined area with significant challenges can result in increased impact on a community,” said Maryanne Mott, Ruth Mott Foundation’s Chairman. “We are focusing on north Flint because it’s the area in our community where we believe our efforts can make the biggest difference.”

Additionally, we will seek to fund resident-driven, innovative solutions that have the potential for an outsized impact on long-standing problems. We will also consider capacity-building in order to bolster our impact.

Click here for more information about our new strategic plan.

Applewood: The Charles Stewart Mott Estate

100 Years of Family, Fun, and Farming in Flint

Charles Stewart Mott built Applewood in 1916 as a family home and gentleman’s farm. Today, it’s a vital community resource open to all from May through October.

We celebrated Applewood’s 100th year in 2016 with regular public hours, including engaging new tours and events, and expanded opportunities to learn, share, and grow. These new programs continue C.S. and Ruth Mott’s tradition of giving back to the community that gave them so much.

Applewood was transferred to the Ruth Mott Foundation upon Ruth’s death and became an essential part of the foundation’s philanthropic work.

In addition to an elegant home with an attached greenhouse, the 34-acre estate includes an apple orchard with 29 heirloom varieties, extensive gardens, a gatehouse, barn, and chicken coop. Applewood Estate is a Michigan Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites.