Nonprofit Capacity Training Program

In General

Nonprofit Capacity: Investing in the People Behind Detroit’s Revitalization

We know that Detroit needs investment in infrastructure. Investment in growing businesses, “greening” our neighborhoods, fixing streets and lights and broken buildings. One thing we have learned from this partnership between the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is that some of the most important investments we can make are in the people who are driving change in the city.

Behind Detroit’s revitalization is an army like no other. In addition to public sector leaders, there is a cadre of nonprofit leaders who support them in providing essential services to city residents. They are tackling issues such as land rights and outdated zoning, they’re updating antiquated processes and technology, and working hard to meet today’s needs while building new and better ways of doing business for the future.

In 2014, the Nonprofit Capacity Training Program, funded by Knight Foundation and administered by the Community Foundation, invested $400,000 into 26 nonprofit organizations to help provide meaningful, cutting-edge skills training for key staff. The results? 164 people attended workshops they could not have otherwise afforded. These experiences expanded their thinking about important topics like economic growth and development, placemaking, and neighborhood revitalization. In addition, the training opportunities delivered organization-wide benefits that helped each nonprofit better fulfill its mission. Check out some of our “snapshots”  to learn what several of these leaders took away from their experiences. And you can even meet a few of them in this video.

Today, we are pleased to announce a second round of investments in this program. An additional $115,000 will expand the impact of this project and touch more leaders and organizations, listed here.

As this work continues, we just want to take a moment to say thank you to all the nonprofit leaders who are making progress happen in the city and region.

Katie G. Brisson is vice president, program, at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and Katy Locker is Detroit program director at Knight Foundation. Follow Brisson and Locker on Twitter via @katiegbrisson and @katylockerindet.