Knight Foundation and Fisher Foundation Help Increase Capacity of Community Leaders

In Press Release

Training and professional development to help increase capacity of community leaders with $245,000 from Knight Foundation and Fisher Foundation

Funds from The Fisher Foundation Will Specifically Impact Detroit’s Brightmoor Neighborhood

DETROIT, Mich., March 22, 2017 – The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan will support training and professional development for Detroit changemakers tackling economic and neighborhood revitalization with $245,000 from the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The programs will focus specifically on capacity building and professional development to encourage organizational growth and economic vitality. In their third round of funding to the capacity building program, the Knight Foundation will invest $150,000, adding to its previous $515,000 in support, to fund talent and leadership development across ten Detroit-based organizations supporting urban growth. The Fisher Foundation is looking to strengthen and empower individuals and organizations specifically in the Brightmoor neighborhood by investing $100,000 in 28 community organizations.

Funding from the Fisher Foundation and Knight Foundation will provide grants to aid in capacity training for Detroit community leaders overseeing a myriad of community-focused industries, including arts and humanities, economic development, environmental and urban affairs, and early childhood education. The grants will be entirely concentrated on talent development that supports business and leadership training, as well as providing the opportunity to connect and engage with similar civic leaders; together sharing challenges and solutions along the way. The Community Foundation will administer and manage the professional development programs grants.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s efforts to invest in Detroit’s for-impact leadership through investing in these critical leaders and their personal development plans,” says Doug Bitonti Stewart, Executive Director at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation. “In partnership with the neighborhood based leaders of Brightmoor, the Fisher Foundation is ready to replicate the success both the Community Foundation and Knight Foundation have achieved throughout Detroit, specifically targeting the social impact leaders in this vital neighborhood.”

Additional Brightmoor neighborhood organizations that were awarded grants from the Community Foundation with support from the Max & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation through the “Supporting Brightmoor Leaders Program” include: Brightmoor Alliance, Brightmoor Artisans Collective, Brightmoor Maker Space, Brightmoor Redford Aldersgate, Children of the Rising Sun Empowerment Center, City Covenant Church, City Year – Detroit, Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance, Crystal Swann Child Care, Development Centers, Don Bosco Hall, Everybody Ready, Greening of Detroit, Kristy’s Early Childhood Development Centers, Leland Community Affairs, Michigan Community Resources, Neighbors Building Brightmoor, Side walk Festival of Performing Arts, St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat Center, Urban Links Village, Village of Shiny Stars, Voices for Earth Justice, and a cohort training for four block clubs.

“Ensuring that leaders who care about the community have the skills and resources they need to advance its growth is essential to the success of our city. The organizations that will benefit from this program strive to foster neighborhood connections, expand opportunities for Detroiters and increase civic engagement—by making them stronger we can help advance these goals,” says Katy Locker, Knight Foundation program director for Detroit.

Starting after Detroit emerged from bankruptcy in 2014, the “Nonprofit Capacity Training” grants from the Community Foundation and Knight Foundation strive to invest in talent at organizations engaged in strengthening communities. The Detroit-based organizations receiving the third round of “Nonprofit Capacity Training” grants include: Allied Media Projects, College for Creative Studies, Community Development Advocates of Detroit, Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, Focus:HOPE, Global Detroit, Jefferson East Inc., Michigan Community Resources, M.O.S.E.S., and Southwest Solutions.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Max & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, and Knight Foundation will be holding a press conference on March 22, 2017, announcing the latest round of grants for the “Supporting Brightmoor Leaders Program” at Motor City Java and Tea House, 17336 Lahser Road, Detroit, from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more,

Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation works to enrich humanity by strengthening and empowering children and families in need. In the Jewish tradition of justice (tzedakah), the Foundation works to repair the world (tikkun olam) in partnership with organizations and volunteers who share our mission. For more information, visit

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $800 million through more than 55,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair, and Livingston counties. For more information, please visit


Brianna Suarez, Program Associate, Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, 248.415.1444,

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation 301.908.2677,

Colin Bowyer, Communications Manager, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, 313.961.6675,