Nonprofit Quarterly explores ups and downs of evolving public-private collaborations in Detroit
Kresge President Rip Rapson among those interviewed about philanthropy and the public sector.
TROY, Mich. – In a recent story in the online edition of The Nonprofit Quarterly, national correspondent Rick Cohen examined the challenges facing Detroit and the regional and national funders committed to helping the city overcome social and economic problems. The story was based on an extensive interview with Kresge Foundation President Rip Rapson, interviews with other leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic worlds, and with Detroiters.
The former executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Cohen posed a series of questions about the public-private partnerships, among them the tensions that might arise over unfamiliar roles and differing expectations.
Cohen’s more than 4,600-word story explored issues including the:
- scale of change being attempted in Detroit,
- limits of flexibility in the public sector,
- resistance to intervention by outsiders,
- and decision-making dynamics.
Frank in his review of periodically strained relations, Cohen’s story nevertheless concludes: “There’s no guarantee that the partnership between the foundations and the city will succeed in creating a new Detroit, but perhaps surprisingly, everyone we spoke to predicted success.”
Disclosure: The Nonprofit Quarterly has received grant support from Kresge in the past and is under consideration for additional support.