Michael E. Porter Research Fund

A Tribute to Our Founder

Photo by Bethany Versoy Photography

In 2023, ICIC created the Michael E. Porter Research Fund to honor its founder and strengthen the foundation of financial support sustaining, informing, and transforming ICIC to create more competitive and inclusive communities. The fund, which has raised more than $1,200,000 in unrestricted contributions for ICIC’s cutting-edge research, will support the organization’s ability to pursue trailblazing research projects, create new and effective programming, and continue expanding our efforts to drive inclusive economic prosperity and close the racial wealth gap. 

Since 1994, the challenges facing under-resourced communities have persisted, including high unemployment, low wages, underinvestment, and systemic racism. At the same time, increasing concentration of poverty, gentrification, suburbanization of poverty, growing income inequality and income segregation, and expanded immigration have changed the face of concentrated poverty, creating new challenges for community and economic development. 

These challenges necessitate a mix of proven and new solutions that are tailored to the needs of individual communities. To develop these solutions, ICIC conducts research in five priority areas: 

  • Community and economic development
  • Small business and entrepreneurship
  • Industries and industry clusters
  • Anchor institutions
  • Evaluating technical assistance programs and impact investing initiatives.

These areas reflect the continuing relevance of Michael Porter’s concerns and methods, adapting them to new challenges.

Our research agenda has continuously positioned ICIC as the leading and most trusted resource on under-resourced communities and their economies, keeping us agile, flexible, and responsive to economic challenges and societal changes affecting small business ecosystems.

Michael Porter’s Legacy: Transforming ICIC and Beyond

Embark on a journey with us celebrating Michael Porter’s profound influence on ICIC and his lasting legacy to the world, through his visionary leadership and transformative impact

Special Thanks to Our Partners

A special thanks to our partners whose support has seeded the Michael E. Porter Research Fund. Their generosity underwrites ICIC’s ambitious research agenda and helps realize our vision to eliminate concentrated poverty and close the racial wealth gap. We gratefully acknowledge 100% participation by ICIC’s board members.

If you would like to contribute to the Michael E. Porter Research Fund, visit:

William Ackman and
Neri Oxman



Seth and Beth Klarman

Michael E. Porter Family Foundation

Ronald A. Homer


Non-Endowed at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Barry B. and
Eleanor G. White

Steve Grossman

John McQuillan

Lynda M.

Jim Smith

Susan Schiro and
Peter Manus

Murray Maloney
Family Fund