April 24, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Kids Count in MI

More than one in five Michigan children are living in poverty, that's 22 percent, nearly 3 percent higher than the rate in 2008. That’s what we’re learning from the Michigan League for Public Policy’s (MLPP) release of the 2017 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The report notes, “the data shows us that in Michigan significant disparities in child well-being exist by race, place and income.” 

Out of Michigan’s 83 counties, Ottawa, Clinton and Oakland counties took the top three spots for best rankings for child well-being. You can see where your country ranks on page 27 of the report.

Highlights of the report’s key findings include:

Economic Security

  • Child care costs absorbed 38.3 percent of 2016 minimum wage earnings.

  • A parent working a full-time, minimum wage job with a family of three, still falls $1,657 below poverty each year.

Health and Safety

  • The data shows 31 percent of mothers didn’t receive adequate prenatal care throughout their pregnancy.

  • About 650,000 Michiganders rely on the Healthy Michigan Plan for health care. (The Affordable Care Act provides support for the Medicaid expansion in Michigan that results in the Healthy Michigan Plan.)

Family and Community

  • Nearly 17 percent of children live in high-poverty neighborhoods, including 55 percent of African American children and 29 percent of Latino children.

  • The rate of confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect rose by 30 percent from 2009. More than 80 percent of incidents were due to neglect.


  • 54 percent of 3- and 4-year-olds are not in preschool. Of Latino children, 59 percent were not in preschool, and the report shows they face higher barriers to access.

  • High school dropout rate is about 20 percent for students facing homelessness. The dropout rate for migrant students is nearly 21 percent.

The report provides a sobering snapshot of the issue areas and policies that require more work to improve child well-being factors statewide.

“Too many Michigan families are working but barely making ends meet and are one financial emergency away from disaster,” Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of the MLPP said in a statement. “Simply having a job is not enough anymore, and we need stronger policies to support workers with low wages and their families.”

The MLPP provided a road map for how stakeholders can improve the well-being of children throughout Michigan.

Recommendations include:

  • Ensure access to affordable, quality child care and support raising eligibility levels for state child care subsidies. CMF's P-20 Education affinity group, Public Policy Committee and Board of Trustees authorized that CMF take a position on child care subsidies, view the policy recommendations here. CMF will be proactive in educating state legislators regarding the importance of high-quality child care and the policy positions that support the improvement of our current programs.

  • Provide workforce development opportunities that improve both education and job skills. Support investments in adult education.

  • Invest in programs that educate women about the need for prenatal care, connect women to providers and remove barriers, such as transportation, to help them get to their appointments.

  • Support maintaining the Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, that provides 650,000 people access to health care through the Healthy Michigan Plan.

  • Invest in communities by expanding job and training opportunities with targeted policies.

  • Promote comprehensive strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect, including home visitation programs and parent engagement and education.

  • Provide sufficient funding to improve third-grade reading using a birth-to-eight framework.

Want more?

Read the 2017 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book.






Developing Future Talent for High-Tech Jobs

Michigan has a growing technology industry, a recent report shows our state ranks 10th in the country for tech employment, adding more than 10,700 new jobs in the state in 2016 alone.

Currently, the tech industry generates more than $30 billion into our state’s economy and there’s more room to grow.

Governor Rick Snyder said our state has made huge gains in this area over the past several years, strategically looking at attracting talent to Michigan and growing the tech industry, noting that talent development for the future is critical.

“Michigan also has a strong public-private partnership dedicated to working together to build statewide student proficiency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” Snyder said.

The Education Trust recently shared a blog highlighting the importance of ensuring that all children have access to STEM programs, as inequities remain among children of color and children from low-income families.

The Education Trust shares that nationwide, 70 percent of STEM jobs are filled by white people, while African Americans and Latinos each account for 6 percent of the STEM workforce.

How can we create equitable access to STEM opportunities?

We're sharing some examples from CMF members who are working to remove barriers and provide equitable access to STEM programs and initiatives for students across the state.

Consumers Energy shares its STEM work on its website, saying the skills are in high demand as STEM jobs are expected to grow 1.7 times faster than other jobs. Consumers Energy works with FIRST Robotics in Michigan to provide access to robotics programs to middle schoolers across the state. Their goal is to make robotics teams available in every middle school in the Lower Peninsula.

Square One Education Network, a CMF member, provides engaging STEM projects, learning opportunities and resources for students to further develop their STEM skills. Next week, Square One is hosting its annual engineering challenge for students, the Innovative Vehicle Design Competition, in Ann Arbor.

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation announced last week it awarded a grant for an educational center, connected to Muskegon Community College, that’s focused on developing STEM skills. The foundation said the center will serve as a connector to area businesses that need skilled workers for robotics, 3-D printing and other STEM-related jobs.

As CMF recently reported, the R.E. Olds Foundation helped fund the TechTransport Bus, which takes robotics, programming, web development and other STEM lessons on the road to Lansing area students, to ensure they have access to STEM learning opportunities.

The Bosch Community Fund awards grants to advance STEM education, last year the fund supported several initiatives in Detroit Public Schools Community District, including engaging young girls in STEM.

There are cross-sector efforts happening throughout Michigan, last fall the Michigan STEM Partnership, a statewide nonprofit, saw the growing need for increased STEM education and opportunities and launched a digital hub to provide online resources and information for employers, educators, families and organizations.

This week, CMF and stakeholders from around the state will attend the Governor’s Education and Talent Summit 2017 in Lansing where discussions will focus on filling workforce gaps, developing the pipeline of innovative jobs and exploring innovation with the state’s education plan.

Want more?

Join CMF’s STEM Learning Online Community

Check out the resources from the Michigan STEM Partnership

Read the Talent Retention Manual in CMF’s Knowledge Center and find out how two Michigan community foundations are incentivizing STEAM graduates to move back to their community and fill jobs.






Advancing Advocacy through Collaboration

Tax reform, health care reform, federal and state budget implications, from D.C. to Lansing we have talked a lot about policy. We’ve also shared resources about how individual foundations can advocate for issues of importance to philanthropy in various ways, but at a time when collaboration is essential, how can we most effectively leverage our collective voice and advocate together?

A couple of weeks ago, our lawmakers heard from the charitable sector as nearly 4,500 organizations, including CMF, signed a letter of nonpartisanship, asking them to maintain the Johnson Amendment, to keep politics and the charitable sector separate.

How can we continue working together and developing relationships to advance advocacy?

CMF has issue-based affinity groups that have explicit policy connections. These come to life in different ways, depending upon the members of the group. Some affinity groups support research on specific issue areas and then develop policy positions based on that research, and some work in strategic planning to determine the activities they will engage. CMF recently welcomed a new director of policy and practice, Elizabeth Whittaker-Walker to provide additional support to the affinity groups.

There are many ways to collaborate and advocate on issues of importance to philanthropy.

GrantCraft recently shared a resource series that provides insights from funders working in advocacy collaboratives about what it’s like, the challenges and the benefits.

We’re digging into GrantCraft’s series to share highlights about what you need to know about advocacy funder collaboratives.

Advocacy funder collaboratives are:

  • Focused on specific goals and have a shared vision among the funders.

  • Ready to respond quickly. Whether its rapid response grants or constantly ensuring their “strategies align with the changing political, economic and social context.”

  • Supporters of capacity building for nonprofits working towards their advocacy goals.

Different types of advocacy funder collaboratives include:

  • Learning networks: Funders explore an issue area together and often strategize their grantmaking and/or investments around priority areas.

  • Strategic alignment network: Funders who share a common mission and strategies and work towards a common goal but also do their own grantmaking.

  • Pooled fund: Funders’ grant or investment money is pooled together and the funds from the collective group are strategically awarded.

Potential benefits of an advocacy collaborative:

  • They may open new doors for funders to make investments they wouldn’t be able to do on their own, especially in the ever-changing policy landscape.

  • Create new connections and partnerships, leveraging collective impact.

  • Improve grantmaking practices by giving a funder an insider view on strategies and approaches from other funders.

  • The series notes, “Individual funders also believe their grantmaking is improved because the information shared through the advocacy collaborative is more comprehensive, timely, and rich.”

When it comes to advocacy there may be hesitation, but everyone can advocate. Public and private foundations can legally support almost every type of advocacy, including educating people about an issue, outreach, policy development and capacity building.

GrantCraft shares the successes of these types of collaborative efforts, stating it encourages funders to be more strategic within a group setting and more specific with grantees about the goals. It's often easier to measure outcomes due to the collaborative's laser-focused policy goals.

Advocacy collaboratives may not be the right fit for every funder but as CMF has reported on another resource, the Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook, there are many ways for funders to find their own space and make their voices heard through advocacy.

Want more?

Check out GrantCraft’s Advocacy Funder Collaborative resource series

Download the Philanthropy Advocacy Playbook: Leveraging Your Dollars from CMF’s Knowledge Center

Read Nonprofit Advocacy: A Michigan Primer, developed in collaboration with MNA and CMF

Connect with Elizabeth Whittaker-Walker, CMF’s new director of policy and practice

Have a specific question or research request for advocacy? Ask CMF, our team of experts are on hand to track down your answers.

Learn about our issue-focused affinity groups.






Call for Nominations

Do you know an individual or a couple who has dedicated significant service and contributions to Michigan philanthropy? If so, CMF wants to hear from you! CMF is currently accepting nominations for the Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy.

The Russell G. Mawby Award for Philanthropy, sponsored by CMF and the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), honors the work and philosophy of Dr. Russell G. Mawby in encouraging private action for the public good through philanthropy. Mawby is a founder of both CMF and MNA.

A volunteer peer panel will review all nominations and select the award winner. This year’s recipient will be honored in Detroit at the Governor’s Service Award celebration on August 21, 2017

Questions? Please contact Amanda Jarrett, communications coordinator at CMF.

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