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What’s New at the Community Foundation?

September 22nd, 2019 Back to Browse Stories

Katie Brisson,
Vice President, Program

Fall is in the air!

I went to the first high school football game of the season last week, and my family is “settling” into the back-to-school routine.  It’s my favorite season, and often a time of reflection.

In my life at the Community Foundation, I’m in awe as we also continue to “settle” into the new normal this Fall, which involved a breadth of new collaborative efforts, expansion of work on well-proven programs, and intensified grantmaking with so many organizations doing amazing things across our region.

A few highlights…

Last week, we announced the formation of a new funders collaborative, focused on the needs of immigrants and refugees in our region. The effort is being developed based on a scan that we also released, the result of interviews and surveys of key immigrant-serving human service organizations. Did you know that Michigan is the 4th largest state in terms of refugee resettlement in the country?  Check out the scan found here to learn more.

We announced $1 million in grants through our Southeast Michigan Counts effort. These grants are supporting organizations across the tri-county area to promote and support a fair and accurate count in the 2020 United States Census.  Did you know that each person counted in the Census results in $1,800 per year coming to the region?! This is an issue that affects all of us.  You can learn more here.

Our Project Play: Southeast Michigan effort, a partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, has also reached some new milestones. We launched the SportPort effort at pilot sites across the region, which aims to break down the barriers youth face in accessing sports equipment and programing. Kids, parents and coaches will now be able to check out sports equipment at their local libraries or recreation departments, and receive a range of local sports programming via mobile vans and staff operated by the four YMCA chapter’s in the region.

The Michigan Opioid Partnership, a $5 million collaborative of seven health-focused foundations and the State of Michigan, has also made some significant strides. Managed by the Community Foundation, the partnership is making grants to both hospitals and jails across the state to help change the culture of how opioid addicts are served. It’s such a critical time for this effort, with over 1,900 deaths from opioid overdoses in Michigan in 2017 alone.

We launched the Organizational Talent Initiative, a partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Knight Foundation is making a new 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 through this partnership.

Meanwhile, our core grantmaking programs, built from endowments of thousands of generous donors across the region, continue to make strategic grants for very individualized needs of organizations.  You can learn about some of the $15 million in grants we awarded at our last board meeting here.

Want to learn more about us? Please sign up to attend one of our CFSEM 101 events this Fall!  We will be holding the same event on three different days in three different locations, to make it easily accessible to all of you!

Learn more and Register for CFSEM 101


Photo: Katie Brisson in Pontiac with special guest Lomas Brown for launch of SportPort, helping kids access sports equipment!