The purpose of Catapult is to engage young entrepreneurs in civic engagement and to prepare them — individually and collectively — to assume positions of community leadership consistent with their roles as business leaders. Since 2015, Catapult leadership has made grants and provided mentoring to emerging nonprofits.
A steering committee of 8 entrepreneurs from Detroit and Ann Arbor helped develop this targeted grantmaking program. Its primary purpose is to encourage and support nonprofit organizations that are creating impactful solutions addressing challenges in our region.
In 2015 and 2016, Catapult hosted an annual pitch competition featuring 10 finalists who represented diverse emerging nonprofit organizations in southeast Michigan. Over the two years, 5 grantees were selected through the Catapult grantmaking program, receiving up to $7,500 each and yearlong technical assistance and coaching from the Catapult Steering Committee.
Are you an emerging nonprofit organization interested in applying for a Catapult grant? Please see the sections below on eligibility and the 2017 timeline. We encourage interested applicants to call Surabhi Pandit, Senior Program Officer, to discuss your proposal.
Catapult Steering Committee recommendations will be reviewed by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which will make the final determination of all grant recipients.
Steps in applying to Catapult are as follows:
After reviewing the background information, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Community Foundation to discuss a proposed project before submitting a proposal. Organizations can call 313.961.6675 and ask to speak to Surabhi Pandit, who is the program officer for Catapult. She is available to discuss ideas and answer questions about the grantmaking process.
Once you’ve reviewed the grantmaking guidelines and spoken with Surabhi, it’s time to start your grant application.
Atlantic Impact received support for a leadership and mentorship program for Detroit high school students and regional college students interested in studying abroad.
Detroit Horse Power received support for a program that teaches life skills to Detroit youth through riding and caring for horses.
Trans Sistas of Color Project – Detroit received support for capacity building.
Write A House received support to expand organizational capacity by hiring an apprentice to help renovate houses for emerging writers.
Young Detroit Thinkers received support for the Detroit City Chess Club to fund chess tournaments and equipment for area schools and recreation centers.
| Abir Ali
Ali Sandifer Studio
What has been your most exciting entrepreneurial experience?
The first time that an Ali Sandifer piece was knocked off by another company. Truthfully, it was more startling than exciting but we inevitably decided that imitation was a form of flattery.
Mercury Fund (Catapult Co-chair)
Where do you see Catapult going?
I think we are going to reinvent the way that emerging non-profit organizations are cultivated.
The Outloud Group (Catapult Co-chair)
Where do you see Catapult going?
I see Catapult as the proving ground for emerging non-profits that are ready to truly expand their reach in the community. High-potential nonprofits combined with seasoned entrepreneurs means bold solutions to real challenges in our community.
| Amy Kaherl
Why is entrepreneurship important to you?
I found entrepreneurship by accident! I feel empowered to create, give, act with aims of justice and love.
Why are you interested in Catapult?
Non-profits have an incredibly challenging job. They do some of the most important work in our society, but they often struggle with funding. That can be especially challenging if you’re trying to get a new non-profit idea off the ground, and that’s where Catapult comes in. I’m thrilled to be helping the next generation of non-profit leaders, in both a financial and coaching capacity.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
Senior Program Officer
313.961.6675, ext. 123
Contact Surabhi if you have grant-related questions.