Announcing the 2020-2021 Activate Fund cohort!

Jul 14, 2020

Co.act Detroit Announces $1.4M Activate Fund Grants

32 Grants Help Nonprofits Meet Mission and Collaborate


DETROIT, July 14, 2020— Co.act Detroit, a hub for accelerating collaborative action in Southeast Michigan’s nonprofit community, announces 32 grants totaling $1.4 million to help regional organizations and collaboratives meet their missions and to work together on shared projects. The Activate Fund application process drew more than 300 organizations to virtual and in person information sessions, and nearly 500 organizations asked questions or received office hours about the fund. Organizations chosen come from Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties and range in size, age, subsector and ethnic diversity.

“Co.act Detroit and our partners designed the Activate Fund through a multi-lens approach,” said Allandra Bulger, Executive Director of Co.act Detroit. “Of course we’re focusing on strengthening individual organizations and their capacity to meet their missions, but also strengthening a broader network of players — foundations, for-profit organizations, academia and government. Because we recognize that in order to accomplish the transformational change we’d like to see in our communities, we all have to work together. The Activate Fund is a model for that type of network building.”

More than 260 nonprofits across the region applied for Nonprofit Fundamentals grants, intended to help meet their missions. The Activate Fund advisory committee narrowed the pool of prospective grantees to 50 finalists and ultimately selected 25 awardees whose candidacy was evaluated based on a combination of organizational size, age, location and diversity. These organizations will receive funding in August to pursue a specific project that was identified in the application process and will choose from a pool of pre-qualified service providers to implement the project. Grantees will also take part in a peer learning network. All grant funds will be spent by March 30, 2021.


Nonprofit Fundamentals grantees are listed below. It is notable that:

● 68% are led by people of color

● 64% are led by women

● 52% have an operations budget less than $1 million

● Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw counties are represented

Nonprofit Fundamentals Grants announced include:

● $10,000 to AIGA Detroit

● $50,000 to American Indian Health and Family Services

● $50,000 to Build Institute

● $37,000 to the Center for Community Based Enterprise, Inc.

● $50,000 to the Chaldean Community Foundation

● $43,000 to Congress of Communities

● $50,000 to the Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS)

● $50,000 to the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP)

● $47,000 to Detroit Hives, Inc.

● $50,000 to Detroit Police Athletic League, Inc.

● $50,000 to Downtown Boxing Gym Program

● $43,000 to Family Assistance for Renaissance Men (FARM)

● $50,000 to Give Merit

● $50,000 to Journey To Healing

● $50,000 to Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team (MCREST)

● $50,000 to the Michigan League of Conservation Voters Education Fund

● $50,000 to the National Veteran Business Development Council

● $50,000 to New Detroit, Inc.

● $50,000 to the Student Advocacy Center

● $50,000 to The Arts League of Michigan (dba the Carr Center)

● $50,000 to The Education Trust-Midwest

● $50,000 to The International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, Inc.

● $50,000 to The Yunion, Inc.

● $50,000 to Wayne County SAFE

● $50,000 to We the People


“The Activate Fund grants are a critical step in achieving the vision of Co.act Detroit – to be a resource for the nonprofit ecosystem in southeast Michigan,” said Kelley Kuhn, Vice President, Michigan Nonprofit Association. In addition to supporting nonprofits directly, Co.act Detroit aims to help all community stakeholders better understand the needs of nonprofits and coordinate services to support their efforts, now and in the future.”

The Collaboration Pilot is intended to bring together nonprofit organizations to work on a shared idea or challenge, with facilitation, space and other meeting support. More than 25 groups representing 260 nonprofit organizations applied for this pilot. Co.act Detroit will award seven collaboratives with in-kind services valued at $210,000. These seven collaborative groups (composed of 170 organizations) will receive resources to enhance their work including paid space (physical or virtual), facilitators and convening support.


Collaboration Pilot Awardees:

● Alliance for Youth Good Food (25 partners)

● Collective Impact Network for Opportunity Youth (14 partners)

● Culture Source (three partners)

● Detroit Neighborhood Housing Compact (80 partners)

● Millenials for Nonprofits (two partners)

● Reading Works Network of Adult Education and Training Programs (28 partners)

● Shared Services at the Durfee Innovation Society (18 partners)


Co.act Detroit received a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation for the $1.5M Activate Fund. “Our support for Co.act Detroit is grounded in the notion that they will support the nonprofit ecosystem in our region in being more collaborative and inclusive,” said David Egner, President and CEO of the Wilson Foundation. “We see this in their adaptive approach to convening an advisory committee across four counties and multiple disciplines, to the thoughtful way hundreds of nonprofits and service providers are now going to be connected with each other.”

Co.act is now vetting more than 220 service provider applications. Service providers will be available to Activate Fund grantees and a larger database will be available to all applicants and grantees as a shared network of service providers for the sector. More information about the Activate Fund can be found at

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