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The document below is intended as a resource for metropolitan Detroit nonprofits related to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding opportunities that City Connect Detroit has identified and documented. We expect more opportunities to be identified in the coming weeks and will be updating our list and sharing it with you going forward. We hope that you find it useful.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or comments.

Funding Opportunities with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

As funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment act begins to trickle down, we’d like to keep you abreast of great resources for organizations seeking guidance. The state of Michigan’s Recovery and Reinvestment Plan website is an excellent place to start.  Michigan’s website (http://www.michigan.gov/recovery) has answers to pressing questions about the Recovery program as well as plenty of related articles.  From there you can also sign up for email updates and follow Michigan Recovery on Twitter.

If you haven’t already, check out City Connect Detroit’s quick briefings about the Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aimed specifically at nonprofits:

A Time For Collaboration
New Opportunities for Michigan Nonprofits

Have you found other websites helpful? Please feel free to share here!

City Connect Detroit recently held a series of Listening Sessions with leaders of metropolitan Detroit nonprofits to learn more about their challenges, opportunities, and ideas in these turbulent economic times. While uncovering sentiments echoing throughout our community of nonprofits, these sessions also provided an environment for thoughtful, candid conversations amongst peers about their experiences and hopes for the future. Not surprisingly, connections were made, collaborative ideas birthed, and solutions to common issues were shared.   

The report, Navigating Turbulent Times: Voices from Metropolitan Detroit Nonprofits, documents the key themes that emerged from these Listening Sessions. We believe you will find the report enlightening. It highlights the challenges of escalating need for nonprofit services at a time when funding is being cut, new opportunities for collaboration and joint ventures for efficiency and innovation, suggestions for strengthening the nonprofit sector, and many other compelling thoughts.

Through this process, we connected with a diverse group of nonprofits – from Detroit, several surrounding cities, and some as far north as Lansing – that serve hundreds of thousands of people. The nonprofit representatives participating in our sessions reflect the heart and soul of the nonprofit community in metropolitan Detroit—a dedicated, highly talented group of individuals who strive on a daily basis to improve lives and strengthen community.

We welcome your response to let us know what you think and to engage in ongoing dialogue with others about the ideas expressed. We also urge you to share this report with others you think would benefit from its insight.

Click here to download.

Many of you may have already come across this article from the Chronicle of Philanthropy.  Collaboration and/or mergers, in the wrong context can be considered taboo words.  As the article points out, nonprofits merge at about the same rate as businesses, and the nature of nonprofits can be provide a fruitful environment for mergers.  Is this something your organization is or has considered in light of the economic climate? Is your nonprofit in the process of merging or have you recently merged with another nonprofit?

Check out the article here: Charities Merge at Almost the Same Rate As Businesses.

In light of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), nonprofits with expertise and a history of success in program areas such as health, community, economic development, job training and creation, education housing and homelessness, infrastructure and others may find opportunities to collaborate with other organizations and entities to pursue funding and advance ARRA priorities in metropolitan Detroit. 

The link below will take you to City Connect Detroit’s second Quick Briefing around the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which focuses on using collaboration as a tool to pursue funding.

A Time For Collaboration (PDF)

Fabrizio Constantini for the New York Times

Fabrizio Constantini for the New York Times

 

Published: March 21, 2009

DETROIT — Two years ago, a charity called Women Arise went to the Hudson-Webber Foundation with a plea for help.

Hudson-Webber, a fixture in Detroit philanthropy, was a longtime supporter of the organization’s programs to help women rejoin society after being imprisoned. The foundation, however, did not typically get involved in the kind of messy personnel and financial problems that threatened Women Arise.

Worried about losing what the charity brought to the community, Hudson-Webber agreed to pay off its liabilities and settle the personnel issues — but only by merging it into Matrix Human Services, which offers an array of social services to low-income families.

The long economic decline of Detroit has prompted Hudson-Webber and other foundations in the region to change how they operate. Faced with sharply declining resources and exploding need, they are being forced to pick winners and losers, engaging in what Larry M. Gant, a professor of social work at the University of Michigan, calls “triage.”

“Insolvent organizations need to be dissolved, weak ones need to be merged and acquired, and only the strongest should receive the stimulus they need to become more financially sound,” Dr. Gant said. “It’s simple in theory but hard in practice.”

Thus, the Hudson-Webber chief executive, David O. Egner, is asking himself whether Detroit needs both a world-class symphony and its Michigan Opera Theatre, and, if so, whether they could share an orchestra.

“These are the kinds of questions we need to be asking,” Mr. Egner said.

At the Skillman Foundation, one local charity after another warns that without an infusion of cash, it will have to reduce services or shut down.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, for example, approached in December to say that one of its three facilities would need to be closed unless it received help from Skillman — even though the foundation had never given it money.

“They’re coming to us because they have nowhere else to go,” said Carol Goss, the chief executive of Skillman.

Foundations like Skillman and Hudson-Webber that are embedded in their communities have a harder time turning away local charities than do large national foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation.

“As a local funder, you don’t get to pick the best programs to work with or the problems you work on,” said Tonya Allen, vice president for programs at Skillman. “You have to deal with what you have in your own backyard.” Continue Reading »

As you may know, City Connect Detroit has been holding a series of listening sessions for nonprofits over the past few weeks.  We have had very rich, frank discussion with organizations from all over Southeast Michigan about the experiences and needs of nonprofits in these times. 

A topic that continues to surface has been the increase in those willing and able to volunteer their time to these numerous organizations.  With unemployment at record highs across the country, Detroit area nonprofits are not alone.

Volunteers may help nonprofits deal with capacity issues as the populations we serve and the need for our services continue to grow.  Many organizations are finding a pool of volunteers with very desirable backgrounds and experience, now able to follow passions or donate their much needed time to organizations that truly need it.  

Have you experienced an uptick in the number of volunteers with your orgnization?   Are you now faced with a highly-skilled volunteer workforce?  And with the increase in volunteers are you now experiencing any capacity issues while managing your volunteers?  

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