Supporting capacity building efforts of nonprofits working to advance community information and democratic engagement in Detroit.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, created the new Organizational Talent Initiative that convenes a cohort of nonprofit organizations working to advance community information and democratic engagement in Detroit. The Organizational Talent Initiative is supporting capacity building efforts that will foster the cohort’s growth.

Knight Foundation is making a three-year investment of $714,000 to support organizational transformation, sustainability, and increased impact in this new capacity building effort, which aligns with its Detroit strategy. Since 2014, $600,000 has been awarded to 26 Detroit nonprofits.

Grants and technical assistance sessions are the two complementary components of the Organizational Talent Initiative.


Grant opportunities are invitation-only and intended to enhance the capacity of organizations to execute community information or democratic engagement efforts with greater impact. Current grants are for local and national trainings for partial and full staff, professional coaching, conferences and peer to peer learning that encourages growth in capacity for organizations and staff.

Technical Assistance

The Community Foundation, Knight Foundation and Co.act will partner to develop two customized trainings that catalyze new models of democratic engagement and community information, and other trainings that highlight critical nonprofit functions such as financial management or succession planning. The cohort members and Foundation partners will work together to identify competitive local and national consultants to provide these services.


The 9 local organizations that are participating in the 2019 cohort are:

Allied Media Inc.,for its Detroit Community Technology Project to participate in a multi-day training retreat and receive long-term coaching, and to sponsor a management skills training session for four staff members.

Center for Creative Studies, for Design Core Detroit staff to receive storytelling training and to participate in the Racial Equity Institute’s racial equity training.

The Center for Michigan Inc., for staff to attend three journalism conferences and training intensives.

CitizenDetroit Action Group, for staff to receive facilitation training and organizational management trainings.

Detroit Future City, for training and project-based learning through Wayne State University Center for the Study of Citizenship.

Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit, for a study trip to Atlanta, focused on innovative community benefit agreement policies and Adobe suite training.

Global Detroit, for staff-wide training with the Racial Equity Institute.

Mary Turner Center for Advocacy, for board members, staff and resident leaders to attend Environmental Justice Academy and Housing Justice Academy programs.

Michigan Community Resources, for staff-wide training with the Racial Equity Institute and facilitator training for three staff members.

Sign up for updates about the Organizational Talent Initiative

Questions? Feel free to contact

Kamilah Henderson

Senior Program Officer