2021: A Year of Partnerships in Action

Dec 8, 2021

Over the past two and a half years of Co.act Detroit, our team has come to understand quite intimately the mantra, attributed to Mariame Kaba, that “nothing that we do that is worthwhile is done alone.”  And though we were launched with the understanding that the issues and barriers the nonprofit sector faces can not be solved by one organization alone, we could not have predicted the beauty and richness of the connections we’ve built with so many organizations across southeast Michigan.

In addition to the programs and events listed below, we would like to express our deep gratitude for the commitment of our Co.Lab Connect partners, many of whom have worked with us since our launch. Throughout the years, these organizations have consistently offered in-kind services, sharing their years of knowledge and expertise with nonprofits throughout our region:

  • Apparatus Solutions
  • Data Driven Detroit
  • EarlyWorks, llc.
  • Michigan Community Resources
  • Michigan Nonprofit Association
  • Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW)

As we close out another year with many of us reflecting on professional goals, organizational impact, and personal dreams, we look through the prism of collaborative action to view our achievements over the year.


At the beginning of 2021, we launched the Earned Revenue Accelerator program, which helped Wayne County nonprofits grow earned revenue streams from existing services or products. Six organizations chosen in April participated in a virtual curriculum that culminated in a pitch celebration and graduation in June.

Partner organizations and speakers included: Gingras Global; TechTown Detroit; Lydia Michael (Blended Collective); Judy Nimer Muhn(Nonprofit Enterprise at Work); Ellen Currin; Susie Wayntraub (Waxenberg Wayntraub, PLLC); Christa Chambers-Price (LaunchingFounders.com); Andrew J. Goldberg (The Law Office Of Andrew J Goldberg).


In partnership with Michigan Community Resources, we hosted the 2021 Detroit Capacity Building Forum, bringing together 75 attendees from across the capacity building ecosystem — including nonprofit and community leaders, corporate and philanthropic funders, intermediaries and technical service providers — to discuss shared challenges and opportunities for collaboration.


In partnership with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, we announced the Fundraising in a Crisis certificate program, providing scholarships totaling $16,600 to 28 out of 41 participants in two cohorts.


In partnership with Michigan Nonprofit Association and Insights3, we launched a series of programs offering nonprofits support in navigating stimulus programs like the Paycheck Protection Program.


In partnership with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State, we kicked off the Foundation-Nonprofit Dialogue Series with two convenings on the east and west side of Michigan, respectively. The dialogues brought together foundation and nonprofit leaders for private, candid conversations about dynamics within funder-grantee relationships, with an emphasis on generating actionable data from these conversations.


In partnership with Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD), with support from the McGregor Fund and the Hudson-Webber Foundation, we announced awardees of round 2 of the Detroit Community Development Mini-grant Fund. The fund supported the crucial work of Detroit community development and neighborhood organizations as they responded to the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.


We celebrated two years of Co.act Detroit and invited friends and partners to share their favorite Co.act moments and memories. We also hosted the Activate Fund celebration inviting grantees, service providers, selection and advisory committee members from across all four programs to connect, network and celebrate the culmination of the program with us.


Co.act Detroit program coordinator Charnae Sanders shared reflections on the Black Healing Justice Project cohort, which was created in partnership with the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM) and the Kresge Foundation.


As part of our Social Impact Leader series, presented in partnership with YNPN Detroit, we hosted Javacia Harris Bowser for a workshop on crafting personal and professional missions visions and values statements. Watch all Social Impact Leader Series recordings on our virtual resource library!


In partnership with thousands of change-makers, activists and visionary leaders, around the world, Co.act Detroit’s Allandra Bulger and Kyla Carlsen participated in the 2021 Upswell Summit, leading a session on equitable grant programs.


In partnership with Michigan Community Resources and The Kresge Foundation, we launched the KIP:D+ grant program!  Learn more here.


In partnership with Michigan Community Resources and organizations throughout Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park, we’re hosting informal KIP-Share meetings throughout the month of December. Sign up for a session for the opportunity to ask questions and network with other nonprofits in your district! Learn more here.

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