Smith Family Leadership Circle

A Tribute to William H. Smith – Founder of the Smith Family Leadership Circle

William H. Smith (Bill), a great friend and patron of Detroit Public Television, established the Smith Family Leadership Circle for the express purpose of building the internal capacity to fulfill our top organizational value – Understanding Our Diverse Community.   Since its establishment in 2013, the Smith Family Leadership Circle has raised over $6.5 million from over 50 active and past members.

Consider honoring Bill and his late wife Patsy by joining the Smith Family Leadership Circle with a donation of $10,000 or more today.  You will join leaders in our named programming categories in continuing the vision Bill believed in so strongly – translating understanding of our community into broadcast, online and in person programming that serves Detroit at the highest level of quality and partnership.

Bill passed away in December 2022 at the age of 97, surrounded by his loved ones. The impact of the Smith Leadership Circle cannot be overstated. With Bill and Patsy’s commitment to expanding our service to the community, Detroit Public TV has made giant strides in the areas of early childhood education, environmental and public affairs journalism, arts and culture, and the physical and mental well-being of our region. We will honor his memory by doing good, boldly and together, for the betterment of all. We’ll miss you Bill.

Capacity and Context in a Complex World

As a patron of the Smith Family Leadership Circle of giving, you commit to building the capacity and expertise at Detroit Public Television that translates to deep and evolving understanding of our community and the resources needed to serve at our highest quality.  You may choose to direct your gifts of $10,000 or more annually to programming in one of the five named program categories or you may decide to direct DPTV to utilize your investment in a flexible manner where it is most needed.  Our five programming categories are:

Smith Family Leadership Circle Giving Levels

The William and Patsy Smith Leadership Circle – $10,000-$24,999


View Benefits

  • Subscription to DPTV Passport on-demand streaming access
  • Invitation to Society for Excellence events*
  • Invitation for 2 to Bravo! Annual Donor Gala*
  • Recognition in our Annual Report, Media that Matters
  • Access to a Dedicated Philanthropic Giving staff member (see contacts in right sidebar) *
  • Invitation to Fall Preview Luncheon*
  • Invitation to premiere screenings*
  • Invitations to events and conversations with DPTV producers and on-air hosts*
  • Advance notice of behind the scenes opportunities
  • Annual personalized report from the President and CEO
  • Invitations annual Stakeholder Meeting for program area of your choice*
  • On-Air Recognition in a bi-monthly group spot around primetime programming

President’s Circle $25,000 – $49,999

All benefits listed above, plus…


View Benefits

  • Invitation to President’s Circle Luncheon*
  • On-Air Recognition in an individual spot four times per year around available programming of your choice
  • Name listed as a supporter of the DPTV Programming initiative of your choice on the website for 12 months
  • Opportunity to participate at a taping or workshop and interact for the day with on-air talent and crew*
  • Opportunity to have your gift presented as a challenge grant on-air

Chairman’s Circle $50,000 – plus

All benefits listed above, plus…


View Benefits

  • Invitation to a personal discussion with DPTV President and CEO and Board of Trustee Chair*
  • On-air recognition in an individual spot eight times per year around available programming of your choice

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person events are currently on hold

Smith Leadership Circle Members

Lead Gift:

  • The William H. Smith Family

Programming Categories:

  • The Richard C. Devereaux Foundation Fund for Energy and Environmental Programming
  • The Cynthia & Edsel Ford Fund for Journalism
  • The Lauren and Phillip Fisher Fund for Children’s and Education Programming
  • The A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Foundation Fund for Arts and Culture Programming
  • Available for naming:  Health and Wellness

Leadership Circle Members:

    • Michael and Adele Acheson
    • Loren and Sarah Baidas
    • James & Marcia Bonahoom
    • Natalie Charach
    • The Colina Foundation
    • Carole Cooper
    • The Marvin and Betty Danto Foundation
    • Julie Dawson
    • William Deleeuw
    • Richard C. Devereaux Foundation
    • Kenneth Eisenberg
    • Janice Fatt
    • Phillip Wm. & Lauren Fisher
    • Benson & Edith Ford Fund
    • Cynthia & Edsel Ford | Henry Ford II Fund
    • Dale & Bruce Frankel
    • Nancy and James Grosfeld Foundation
    • Phoebe Grylls
    • Myrna Hitchman
    • Tracey & Rich Homberg*
    • Invie & Richard Jessup
    • J. and Lillian Kemler Foundation
    • The Donald and Mary Kosch Foundation
    • Lim Family Fund
    • Lisa & Hannan Lis*
    • Dana Locniskar & Christine Beck
    • Lyon Foundation, Inc.
    • Ann & Jim Nicholson*
    • Stephanie & Timothy Nicholson*
    • Polk Family Fund
    • Ralph L. & Winifred E. Polk Foundation
    • William & Jean Clark Rhodes Foundation
    • Robert & Kathleen Rosowski
    • Sue Sarin
    • Paul and Carol C. Schaap DAF at the CFSEM
    • Mary Schlaff and Sanford Koltonow
    • Michael & Suzette Simpson
    • Leonora Smit
    • Peggie J. Hollingsworth-Smith
    • William H. Smith and Family
    • Strum Allesee Family Foundation
    • Barbara & David Sturtz*
    • Manny Torgow*
    • Carlene & Rob Van Voorhies
    • Matilda Wilson Fund
    • Seven who wish to remain anonymous


    *DPTV Board of Trustees and Emeritus

About Bill Smith

Founded in 2013 by William H. Smith , the William H. Smith Family Leadership Circle (SLC) was intended for the express purpose of empowering Detroit Public Television to build the expertise, sound organizational structure and processes to produce programming of unique value, and to engage with other organizations as our community builds partnerships. Leveraging donations at and above $10,000 per year for this purpose extends the reach of every member’s donation as the impact of Detroit Public Television grows.

To date, (2/11/2020) the SLC has raised a total of $6,452,221.31 for this purpose. As a result, DPTV has had the ability to grow building staff and knowledge capacity in each of the named programmatic areas, leading to a strong focus on delivering in-depth impact to our community. Over the years, Bill brought his family (children Ken, Wendy and Scott and many grandchildren) into his relationship with Detroit Public Television, and to honor that, DPTV has decided to rename the William H. Smith Family Leadership Circle to reflect the whole Smith Family. Please consider joining the Smith Family Leadership Circle with an annual gift of $10,000 or more today.


Zainab Al Dabbagh, Senior Officer, Major Gifts

Malcolm Bondon, Individual Giving Officer

Ryan Laurie, Vice President, Development Operations

Jenna Moritz, Director, Philanthropic Giving

Kathryn (Katie) Baynes, Major Gifts Officer

To download a printable donation form, click here >

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