The Download

The Download

September 20, 2021

Monday, September 20, 2021

Early Education Center at the Marygrove Campus Officially Opens

The Early Education Center (EEC) at the Marygrove campus in Detroit officially opened its doors on September 7. The new $22 million center welcomed 144 infants, toddlers and preschoolers. 

The cradle-to-career educational campus has been in development since November 2019.

On Friday, The Kresge Foundation and partners cut the ribbon for the official opening of the center.

The School at Marygrove and the entire P-20 campus is the result of a landmark partnership between CMF member The Kresge Foundation, the Marygrove Conservancy, the University of Michigan School of Education (SOE), Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), Starfish Family Services and IFF.

“The Marygrove Early Education Center reflects the alchemy possible when partners from different sectors join energies and resources in service of Detroit’s children. We have created an early education facility that not only offers unprecedented quality of care, but also provides a new anchor for the redevelopment of the surrounding Livernois-McNichols neighborhood,” Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, said in a press release.

The P-20 partnership is among the first of its kind in the nation and is supported by a $50 million commitment by The Kresge Foundation, the largest philanthropic investment into a Detroit neighborhood in history.

“Kresge will likely invest upwards of $75 million on this campus. We do it with pride in the knowledge that it will enrich the lives of families in the Livernois-Six Mile neighborhood for generations,” Rapson said during Friday’s celebration.  

As CMF reported, in fall 2019, DPSCD and the University of Michigan School of Education opened the first component with The School at Marygrove, which now houses students in grades 9-11 and eventually will be a full K-12 institution.

The elementary school will commence with kindergarten, and students in grades 1 and 2 in fall 2022 and will create a streamlined experience for children and families from early childhood through their K-12 school. At full capacity, The School at Marygrove will serve approximately 1,000 students.

Star Fish Family Services will lead operation of the center as well as support a diverse and highly qualified team of educators and administrators. The University of Michigan School of Education organizes and leads a team of experts to adapt and develop curricula designed to engage children – even from the earliest ages – in powerful learning opportunities.

Starfish and leading University of Michigan education scholars created a full-day culturally responsive curriculum specifically for the Marygrove EEC, focusing on equity, STEM and social justice. Starfish also encourages individual development to be responsive to each child’s interests, strengths and needs. 

The Marygrove EEC will house 12 classrooms with at most eight children in infant and toddler classrooms and 16 preschool classrooms. 

Want more?

Learn more about the Marygrove Early Education Center. 

Read the full press release from The Kresge Foundation. 




The Michigan Impact Investing Hub: A New Table to Bring Partners Together

CMF is working with leaders around the state in launching a new structure and support to promote better communication and facilitate more collaboration in the impact investing space.

The Michigan Impact Investing Hub is a model for convening and connecting stakeholders engaged in impact investing, including nonprofits, foundations, advisors, fund managers and beyond.

The Hub consists of a four-leaf clover ecosystem in which similarly situated stakeholders will periodically gather, share what they believe is needed in Michigan’s impact investing ecosystem and propose actions to meet those goals.

A team of peers from each “Leaf” will be more regularly convened to share thoughts and brainstorm ideas as a collective, and the results will be shared back with all Hub participants.

“It is our hope that the Hub will promote communication amongst all stakeholders, which will lead to more idea sharing and collaboration and result in more impact deal flow,” Jennifer Oertel, CMF’s impact investing expert in residence said.

CMF has been at the forefront of this field since 2013 through the leadership of our community of philanthropy, including CMF’s Impact Investing Committee and its partners. Since that time the practice of impact investing has made significant strides forward.

Over the years stakeholders have increasingly expressed through various statewide and regional convenings that they would like a common point of convening. 

“It’s exciting because we’re finally getting to this point that we’ve been talking about for several years,” Renee Johnston, president and CEO of Saginaw Community Foundation, CMF trustee and chair of CMF’s Impact Investing Committee said. “The Hub gives members another opportunity to engage in this space versus just attending a seminar. It aligns them with resources and connectors and allows them the opportunity to be a part of a greater network,” Johnston said. 

The Hub will serve as a shared table to build relationships and break down communication silos.

“By casting a wide net so that anyone interested or involved in impact investing in Michigan may participate in the Hub, we hope to create a more level playing field where all stakeholders may come together to share ideas,” Oertel said. 

According to Oertel, the Hub is designed to strengthen the work of those newer to the practice as well as those who have been engaged in this work for many years. 

“We believe that the collective group, no matter how experienced one is, will benefit from the growth of the ecosystem, connecting with others they don’t normally come across, and being able to express their opinion about what the ecosystem needs in order to continue to grow and thrive,” Oertel said.

According to Oertel, when CMF began this work, there were a few large private foundations that were active and some community foundations were periodically doing deals that weren’t necessarily labeled as impact investing.

“Today, we have scores of examples of impact investment work, more CMF members are hiring staff dedicated to impact investing,” Oertel said.

Although there has been great evolution in impact investing, Oertel shared that there is still work to do to make it a mainstream practice. 

“Hopefully in the near future, the idea that someone, especially philanthropic organizations with their public missions and additional tax benefits, would invest their capital without a thought as to the potential social impact of those investments, will be but a memory of the way things used to be done,” Oertel said. 

The Saginaw Community Foundation has been involved and engaged with impact investing over the past five years. 

“I see the Saginaw Community Foundation as an investee as well as an investor. As an investee, I’m hoping that we can be connected to those investors through the Hub who can either help continue to educate us or provide opportunities for us in this space,” Johnston said. 

Johnson shared that the Hub is another example of how Michigan is a leader in philanthropy. 

“I hope that our members see that the Hub could be built to move mountains in our state and beyond on behalf of philanthropy and I’m hoping that our members see a potential role for themselves within this Hub,” Johnston said.  

Phillip Fisher, founder of Mission Throttle, chair of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and former chair of CMF’s Impact Investing Committee, shared that the Hub is an opportunity for people with aligned values, interests and passions to work together to scale social capital for community benefit.

“The Hub will serve as a resource center ‘collective’ bringing field leaders together with those who wish to experience the power of impact investing on the same journey,” Fisher said. 

The Hub officially launches on October 4th. Join us for the Hub kickoff event to grow your network and your knowledge base and be a part of shaping this exciting new endeavor.

“If members have questions on whether or not this is a space for them but they’re interested in learning more about what their role could be, they should really explore this and take advantage of what CMF has to offer,” Johnston said. 

Two-Year impact Investing Fellow Opportunity

CMF is hiring a Two-Year Impact Investing Fellow who will support both the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and CMF. The fellow will help advance the foundation’s work to ensure organizations focused on social and environmental impact have access to growth capital to expand innovation and grow organizational capacity and sustainability. The Fellow will additionally be engaged in CMF’s work with foundations across the state engaged in and exploring impact investing as a vehicle to positively and equitably affect change in communities.

Want more?

Register for the Impact Investing Hub Kickoff event. 

Read more about the Two-Year Impact Investing Fellow position. 

Learn more about Impact Investing. 





The State of Diversity in Philanthropy

CHANGE Philanthropy recently released its second edition of the Diversity Among Philanthropic Professionals (DAPP) Report that provides a look into the diversity of our sector’s workforce in 2020. 
We’re highlighting the report’s key findings, recommendations and resources. 

In 2020, CHANGE Philanthropy conducted their second DAPP Survey that collected anonymous responses from individuals on the staff and board of participating foundations aimed to help grantmakers accurately assess the culture and climate of their foundations. 

According to the report, 2,390 individuals from 124 foundations participated in the survey

The DAPP report can be used as a tool for philanthropy to identify trends, gaps and opportunities for improvement in diversity and inclusionary practices in the sector. 

Key findings from the DAPP report:

Racial and ethnic diversity increased among staff and board members at participating foundations compared to survey findings in 2018. 

•    Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) accounted for 45.3% of the staff and board at the participating foundations, an increase from 37.8% in the 2018 DAPP survey. 

•    There was the greatest representation of BIPOC staff and board members at public foundations (50.4%) and the least at community foundations (29%), similar to 2018 findings.

•    In the Midwest region, 35.4% of the staff and board at participating foundations identified as BIPOC. 

There was a decline in individuals from participating foundations who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and asexual. 

•    The survey found that lesbian, gay, bisexual and asexual individuals accounted for 13.6% of the staff and board at participating foundations, a decline from 16.2% in 2018.

•    According to the report, this decline could be attributable to a new survey option to choose, “My sexual orientation is not listed here,” which 6.6% of the respondents selected.

•    In the Midwest region, 11.7% of respondents identified as lesbian, gay bisexual, asexual or a different sexual orientation. 

Among the participating foundations across the country, a majority of staff and board identify as female. There was a slight increase in individuals who identify as gender non-conforming, genderqueer and non-binary. 

•    68.1% of individuals identified as female, compared to 69.1% in 2018. 

•    27.7% of individuals identified as male, compared to 28.2% in 2018.

•    2.3% of individuals identified as gender non-conforming, genderqueer and non-binary, which doubled from 1.1% in 2018. 

•    1.5% of individuals identified as transgender, a decrease from 2% in 2018.

•    In the Midwest region, 71.1% identified as female, 25.6% male and 1.1% as gender non-conforming, genderqueer and non-binary and .2% identified as transgender. 

A majority of individuals who participated in the survey were over the age of 30, with a decline in individuals in their 20s and under compared to 2018 data. 

•    8.5% of individuals that responded were in their 20s and under, compared to 10.5% in 2018.

•    24.3% were in their 30s compared to 25.1% in 2018.

•    26.8% were in their 40s compared to 25.3% in 2018.

•    21.6% were in their 50s compared to 21.3% in 2018. The rest of the respondents were in their 60s and older. 

The number of individuals working in philanthropy who identified as a person with a disability doubled in 2020: The 2020 DAPP found that 12.6% of people working in philanthropy identified as a person with a disability, compared to 6.3% in 2018.

•    In the Midwest region, people with a disability made up 7.8% of the respondents.

•    Across various staff roles, people with disabilities were most represented in program staff (15.1%).

The 2020 DAPP survey found that more people working in philanthropy were born outside of the United States (12.3%) compared to 2018 (10.3%).

•    More people born outside of the United States were represented at corporate foundations (17.1%) compared to other foundation types.

•    In the Midwest region, 5.4% of those working in philanthropy were born outside of the United States. 

The 2020 DAPP Survey introduced questions about religious affiliation; a majority of respondents identified as Christian. 

•    36.6% identified as Christian and 22.1% identified as spiritual but not religious. 


The report offered eight recommendations for foundations who want to further diversify their staff.

•    Examine your motivations and commitment to a diverse organization.

•    Explicitly commit to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) values and efforts.

•    Engage in an ongoing process of auditing and adjusting your own DEI policies and practices.

•    Adjust your human resources policies to support a diverse workforce, such as ensuring that your benefits package provides adequate leave time, supportive of a diverse range of family configurations and makes appropriate accommodations for people with differing abilities.

•    Align your institution’s non-discrimination policies with current best practices.

•    Advance learning opportunities for your staff and board to continually improve on DEI.

•    Engage in specific outreach to communities of color, LGBTQ communities, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities in your recruitment for staff roles, board positions and committee opportunities.

•    Adopt retention strategies to assure that a diverse range of employees feel supported and affirmed in bringing their full selves to work.

The report also highlights a variety of resources from CHANGE Philanthropy’s coalition partners including Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), ABFE, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), Funders for LGBTQ Issues, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Native Americans in Philanthropy and more. 

Want more?

Download the full report. 

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