October 1, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

Be Counted Michigan 2020

The Census 2020 Michigan Nonprofits Count Campaign (NPCC), supported by 20 CMF members, has been unveiled to the public.

The Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) announced the official launch last week in Detroit. As CMF has reported, the campaign is a statewide initiative led by MNA with CMF coordinating the fundraising efforts to support the $4.7 million campaign.

With seed funding from W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), more than $4 million has been committed from CMF members and the state of Michigan, to mobilize statewide, regional and community-based participation in support of the census to ensure everyone in Michigan is counted, especially the hard-to-count communities.

“An accurate count for census 2020 will be absolutely pivotal for equitable communities in Michigan,” Faye Nelson, director of Michigan programs, WKKF said.

Michigan stands to lose $1,800 in federal funding per year for 10 years for every person who isn’t counted, funding that supports critical services in our state.

“An inaccurate census count means hard to count populations will rely more heavily on nonprofit services and organizations,” Hassan Jaber, executive director and CEO, ACCESS and co-chair of NPCC said. “We cannot continue to stretch our resources to respond to the needs, so that’s why the leadership of MNA is so critical. We, together as a state need to come together and make sure that we have a complete count.”

Several CMF member community foundations are engaging in this work, serving as regional census hubs.

As census hubs they are the connector between the statewide campaign and the community-based nonprofit organizations doing direct outreach on the ground.

Census hubs:

  • Educate nonprofits in the region about what’s at stake for the 2020 census and possible roles for nonprofits to help ensure a complete count.

  • Involve representatives of hard-to-count populations in developing and implementing a plan for awarding, managing and tracking mini-grants to local nonprofits.

  • Partner with local complete count committees to coordinate efforts.

  • Serve as a campaign key messenger with local media and state/federal policymakers in support of funding and outreach for the census.

The Community Foundation for the Upper Peninsula (CFUP), Community Foundation of Marquette County and Community Foundation for Delta County (CFDC) are all serving as co-regional hubs and engaging with nonprofits and community foundations in the UP.

“Because of the mostly rural nature of the Upper Peninsula, it is of paramount importance that all residents be counted, and our nine affiliates are very well positioned to see that as many as is humanly possible are counted,” Gary LaPlant, president and CEO, CFUP and CFDC said.

Other community foundations involved in this work as census hubs and/or supporters of the campaign are collaborating regionally and some are partnering with their local United Way.

This campaign, which currently has the largest pool of funds for a state nonprofit census campaign in the U.S., is creating infrastructure that will be sustained after the census and will be ongoing to support civic engagement in Michigan.

“Together all of us have the chance to do something extraordinary – let’s do it,” Nelson said.

In addition to the official launch of the campaign in Michigan, last week there was a national convening, primarily of funders, co-led by The Ford Foundation and WKKF in Washington, D.C. highlighting how urgent it is that the philanthropic sector support the nonprofit sector to ensure there’s a complete census count throughout the U.S.

It was shared at the meeting that there is an intentional disinformation strategy underway aimed at discouraging populations from participating in the census. This strategy was uncovered through analysis by private sector companies that are working with national census funders and the leadership council.

This highlights the urgent situation facing our communities, an effort to diminish the voices of those who are considered hardest to count. Census funders are asking that if you suspect disinformation around census participation to report it immediately to the platform.

If such a disinformation campaign is effective and people don’t participate in the census in Michigan we stand to lose:

  • An estimated $1,800 of federal funds per year for every person who isn’t counted, for the next 10 years. Consider that Michigan’s state budget is comprised of approximately 40 percent federal funding, which means Michigan relies more on federal funding than any state in the country other than Mississippi. 

  • In 2020 Michigan could lose a congressional seat, resulting in a decrease in the number of seats Michigan has in the Electoral College.

Want more?

Connect with the campaign.

Learn about CMF’s census 2020 work.







New Initiative Launches Focused on Inclusive Economic Growth

JPMorgan Chase, a CMF corporate member, has launched a first-of-its kind corporate effort aimed at driving inclusive economic growth. AdvancingCities, a five-year, $500 million initiative, is a new investment fund that will finance projects that create greater economic opportunities for all.

AdvancingCities is expected to attract $1 billion in additional, outside capital that can be leveraged to finance such efforts.

Along with the fund, JPMorgan Chase announced it is accepting applications for its new AdvancingCities Challenge.

The challenge will make investments up to $3 million in cities that support innovative solutions to major systemic social and economic challenges such as employment barriers, financial insecurity and neighborhood disinvestment. Proposals must also drive collaboration between the public, private and nonprofit sectors.

JPMorgan Chase shared that the AdvancingCities Challenge could address the following issues:

  • Barriers to economic opportunity, particularly focused on race and gender.

  • Financial insecurity of residents that costs cities millions every year.

  • Reurbanization which may displace long-time residents and businesses.

  • The skills gap which is making employment challenging.

JPMorgan Chase shared in a release that the initiative was informed by the company’s model for impact used in Detroit, Chicago and D.C.

Their model for impact includes helping people develop their skills and connecting them to jobs; supporting the expansion of small businesses; neighborhood investments and revitalization; and providing people with the tools and resources to stabilize and maintain their finances.

The AdvancingCities Challenge highlights the Entrepreneurs of Color Fund (EOC) in Detroit as an example of success in supporting inclusive small businesses.

Since it launched in 2015, the EOC Fund, supported by JPMorgan Chase and W.K. Kellogg Foundation, has awarded loans to 43 small businesses in Detroit that are owned by people of color or that primarily employ people of color. Within the past year the fund soared to more than $18 million with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Fifth Third Bank and The Kresge Foundation investing.

The request for proposals (RFP) for the AdvancingCities Challenge closes November 30.

Want more?

 Learn about AdvancingCities.

Check out the FAQ and Request for Proposals.






ArtPrize 10

The world’s largest public art competition, ArtPrize, is currently underway in downtown Grand Rapids. For 19 days every fall three square miles of Grand Rapids showcase nearly 1,500 pieces of art, filling museums, businesses, restaurants and sidewalks.

During the competition the public can enjoy and vote on the art. This Friday ArtPrize will announce its 2018 winners, half chosen by the public and the other half picked by art critics.

As the event celebrates its 10th anniversary we’re taking a look at the impact ArtPrize has had and how CMF members are supporting this large-scale community event.

ArtPrize’s impact:

  • The 19-day event has resulted in $33.7 million in economic impact for the city.

  • Each year more than 522,000 total visitors come to ArtPrize from 47 countries and 50 states.

  • About 82 percent of educators say students are more likely to visit an arts or cultural institution as a result of their visit to ArtPrize.

“From the beginning, ArtPrize was a totally new type of citywide event intended to disrupt typical highly curated art prizes,” ArtPrize states. “And from the beginning it has provoked discussion, on the streets and online.”

ArtPrize shares that 24 percent of its annual funding comes from foundations.

More than 10 CMF members are supporters of ArtPrize.

Several of our corporate members including PNC Bank, ITC Holdings Corp, and DTE Energy Foundation have funded free education days for students, the ArtPrize awards show and much more.

The DeVos Family Foundations, Frey Foundation, Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation, Wege Foundation and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation are all CMF members and funders of the art competition.

Ensuring artists from all over the country and the globe can bring their art to Grand Rapids takes a lot of planning and support. The Frey Foundation helped to launch the ArtPrize Artist Seed Grants which award $50,000 to 25 artists to help fund their entries and also helps to fund the Featured Public Projects.

Frey Foundation is also a supporter of the ArtPrize venue SiTE:LAB which transforms old, unused buildings in the city into the home of contemporary award-winning art installations.

“Some want to see the building, which they may have known in an earlier time,” Paul Amenta, co-founder, SiTE:LAB said in a foundation article. “They might come for the good beer or the cool music. The art, for some, is a bonus. We want these exhibitions to be accessible to everyone, to engage the community, pose questions, generate discussions, and offer an experience.”

Beyond the art, coordinators are also mindful of the environmental impact of ArtPrize visitors, promoting public transportation to reduce the carbon footprint, selling reusable water bottles and offering recycling and composting bins around the event. The Wege Foundation is ArtPrize’s sustainability partner, supporting the event’s environmental sustainability programming.

ArtPrize officially ends this Sunday, October 7 at 6 p.m. If you’re joining us for Igniting Ideas, Sparking Change., CMF’s 46th Annual Conference, you can check out ArtPrize pieces on display in the conference hotel. On Sunday night we will also get exclusive after-hours access to Fountain Street Church’s curated ArtPrize exhibition during our strolling dinner.








Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Kicks Off STEM 2035 Cohort

Content excerpted from a foundation press release. Read the full release here.

This week Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s STEM 2035 Cohort will hold its first kick off meeting in Detroit.

Through the foundation, grants were awarded to 17 afterschool and summer science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs serving kids in grades 6-12 in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Pontiac and Western New York.

Grantees were selected based on a variety of factors, including their focus on middle and high school girls and underrepresented groups in the STEM field and innovative approaches to program expansion or new programming.

“During the next 16-plus years of our foundation’s spend down, we are looking to these organizations to not only equip young leaders for the STEM industry today, but to create pathways that will allow for success beyond our exit,” Amber Slichta, vice president of programs, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation said. “There are obvious gaps that prevent underrepresented groups from pursuing STEM in their education, careers and training. Through this initiative, we hope to fill these gaps and better prepare the next generation’s workforce.”

In addition to receiving funding for their programs, grantees will also be a part of the STEM 2035 peer learning community. Through this group, they will receive training and technical assistance, try new evaluation tools and quality improvement strategies, collaborate and learn together.

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