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Community Collaboration For Impact

June 27th, 2022 Back to Browse Stories

This story officially appeared in our 2022 Yearbook.

Communities are stronger when organizations and individuals develop shared approaches to addressing problems.

As a community foundation, we explore creative ways to foster collaboration and give nonprofits the tools they need to make a lasting impact in their neighborhoods — and we’ve learned that the best collaborations start with trust.

Coleman Yoakum of Micah 6 Community
talks about renovating an old school into a thriving
community center with the support of the
Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

That’s why we’re proud of our work with the Pontiac Funders Collaborative, which has granted more than $1.3 million to grassroots nonprofits to support economic growth in Pontiac. The financial investment is significant. But its impact is about much more than money.

The collaborative — supported by a diverse group of foundation and corporate funders — centers on a deliberate partnership with the Pontiac community. While the Community Foundation manages the effort, our work is informed by Pontiac leaders and community members who are actively implementing a collective impact process.

This process includes working closely with residents and community stakeholders to establish a shared vision, set goals, and invest in community organizations that can help achieve that vision.

This trust-based approach has led to investments in programs that train civic and community leaders, build the capacity of small and mid-size nonprofits in Pontiac, and help nonprofits communicate and partner.

An example of this successful approach is how one of the grantees, the Micah 6 Community, is working to transform a local abandoned elementary school into a thriving community resource center.

The Pontiac Funders Collaborative is just one example of how we work in communities to identify priorities and invest in programs and organizations that reflect their goals and shared values. When we collaborate with our communities to identify shared solutions and help our nonprofit partners flourish, our positive impact on the region grows.

Initial funders for the Pontiac Funders Collaborative:

  • Ballmer Group
  • Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Flagstar Bank Foundation
  • General Motors
  • New Economy Initiative
  • Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
  • Tauber Family Foundation
  • William Davidson Foundation
  • Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation

Learn More About the Pontiac Funders Collaborative

Photo: Coleman Yoakum, executive director of Micah 6 Community, is excited to transform the historic
elementary school into a thriving community resource center serving the residents of Pontiac.