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Detroit nonprofits serving BIPOC communities to share $11 million in operating support


Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) today announced $11 million in new funding for its Community Development Organization (CDO) Fund, a foundation-backed initiative delivering critical operating support to approximately 30 Detroit nonprofits that serve or are led by Black, Indigenous or other People of Color (BIPOC). The CDO Fund, which is part of Enterprise’s Equitable Path Forward (EPF) initiative, will distribute the funds over the next two years to assist with community development and an equitable recovery from COVID-19.

The CDO Fund is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. It launched in 2020 with a $2.7 million commitment from Kresge and Ford to support the current 24 Detroit-based CDOs receiving support from the fund, which are listed below. The $11 million expansion will continue to support the work of those organizations in addition to at least four CDOs that will be added in 2021.

John Thune, right, executive director of the ‎Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, with Cleophus Bradley, left, director of operations, in front of their building on Gratiot.

“So many of our neighbors who reside in the city’s hardest hit zip code have struggled to withstand the pandemic’s impact on their households and surrounding community. The CDO Fund has given our organization the capacity needed to help residents meet their basic needs during uncertain times, and continue the work inspired by their voices that is already in progress,” said Lisa P. Campbell, Executive Director of the Sinai-Grace Guild Community Development Corporation, one of the CDO Fund grantees.

The CDO Fund was a down payment toward Enterprise’s work in Detroit and across the country through EPF to invest in BIPOC and other historically marginalized CDOs, create new capital tools and help dismantle the legacy of racism in housing.

“The CDO Fund is helping us change the system in Detroit. It brings to life grants and advisory services for BIPOC partners, which we set out to do with Equitable Path Forward, and we are so grateful to the Ford, Kresge, Wilson and Kellogg Foundations for making it possible,” said Melinda Clemons, vice president and Detroit market leader at Enterprise, who is advising the EPF effort nationwide. “The Fund is a national model for investing in local leaders and supporting BIPOC communities with pass-through grantmaking that can be replicated across the country.”

The CDO Fund builds on a three-year, $3 million Kresge effort that funded 21 community development organizations in 2017.

“Resident-led community-based organizations with adequate resources are a must if we want to see equitable development that benefits all Detroiters,” said Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “In a city distorted by racism for generations, empowering Black, Indigenous and People of Color leadership, in particular, is a must if we want a just future for all.”

“We are thrilled to continue our support for the CDO Fund and the nonprofits that are making a meaningful difference in the lives of so many Detroiters,” said Kevin Ryan, program officer for the Ford Foundation. “It’s critical that we continue to invest in local Black leaders and organizers of color who know firsthand what the best path forward is for the neighborhoods where they live and work.”

Lisa Campbell, executive director of the ‎Sinai-Grace Guild CDC, poses next to the Winship Community sign outside Sinai-Grace Hospital on West Outer Drive. “So many of our neighbors … have struggled to withstand the pandemic’s impact on their households and surrounding community.”

The CDO Fund is a model for providing necessary support to local organizations that could be replicated in communities across the country. Its streamlined

application process saves valuable CDO staff time; its broad flexibility allows it to meet the needs of each unique organization; and it helps to ensure equitable distribution of funds based on geography, race and ethnicity across organizations.

“COVID-19 has had a profound impact in Detroit. It has become clear that not only has the pandemic disproportionately impacted Black, Indigenous and people of color, but it has also revealed long term racial inequities in our communities that continue today,” said Faye Alexander Nelson, director of Michigan programs at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Nonprofits led by BIPOC Detroiters are best positioned to develop equitable solutions that have the potential to shift systems and lead to measurable change for our Detroit community.”

“As we continue to invest in collaborative programs and initiatives aimed at supporting inclusive economic growth across the city of Detroit, the CDO Fund fills a critical piece of those efforts by ensuring direct support is also getting to the groups and organizations that know the needs and opportunities of their communities best,” said Lavea Brachman, vice president of programs for the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “In addition to supporting the individual organizations, the Fund also bolsters the CDO ecosystem broadly which is beneficial for individual neighborhoods as well as the city as a whole.”

The 24 Detroit nonprofits currently receiving support through the CDO Fund are:

  • BLVD Harambee
  • Bridging Communities
  • Brightmoor Alliance
  • Central Detroit Christian CDC
  • Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance
  • Congress of Community
  • Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance
  • Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
  • Eastside Community Network
  • Hope Village Revitalization
  • Genesis HOPE
  • Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation
  • Joy-Southfield CDC
  • Mack Avenue Community Church CDC
  • North End Woodward Community Coalition
  • Osborn Neighborhood Alliance
  • Sinai Grace Guild CDC
  • Southwest Detroit Business Association
  • Southwest Housing Solutions
  • The Villages CDC
  • Urban Neighborhood Initiative
  • Woodbridge NDC