The Kresge Foundation announced that 29 nonprofits – from education nonprofits to parks conservancies to cultural institutions to traditional community development organizations – are to receive $1.5 million in grant awards as part of its Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit Plus (KIP:D+) initiative. This latest round of KIP:D+ brings the total of granted projects and planning efforts to 184 – along with $13.7 million in total grant support dollars – since the effort launched in 2014.
These grants will fund community leaders and residents with the necessary resources to plan and implement projects that transform, beautify and connect communities across the metro Detroit region. The selected nonprofits will spend the next two years envisioning, planning and implementing projects that revitalize Detroit-area neighborhoods.
“The launch of KIP:D nearly a decade ago signaled a sea change in our support for resident-led efforts to transform Detroit neighborhoods,” said Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “With KIP:D+, we see these transformative energies still radiating across Detroit and now into Highland Park and Hamtramck. Along with Co.act Detroit and Michigan Community Resources (MCR), and the Detroiters joining the KIP:D+ selection and advisory committees, we are able to amplify and extend the essential factor: a multitude of Detroiters who care about improving their neighborhoods.”
Organizations from all seven City Council districts of Detroit, as well as Hamtramck and Highland Park, make up the 2023 cohort, with project visions as diverse as the three cities.
The KIP:D+ grant program is notable for funding projects led and driven by residents and community leaders. Each project awarded includes a clear plan for resident engagement and inclusion. In addition to implementing projects, many organizations are using funds to leverage data and technology to ensure resident voices inform what comes next for their neighborhoods.
In 2017, Kresge began a partnership with MCR to support grantees and prospective grantees. And the idea was not only to support grantees individually, but to also support grantees as cohorts, as a community of change agents learning from one another with a common cause. And in 2021, Kresge brought in Co.act as the administrators of Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit, which is when Kresge brought in the “Plus” to designate this new three-party collaboration and the expansion of the program to include both Hamtramck and Highland Park.
“This year’s cohort of grantees vividly illustrate the diverse and dynamic landscape of community-based initiatives flourishing across the city and in neighboring communities,” said Alisha Butler, chief program officer at MCR, which has provided wraparound support to each cohort since 2017. “It’s great to see the ideas from new organizations, while also celebrating the innovative projects introduced by partners we’ve had the privilege of collaborating with throughout MCR’s 25-year history.”
“We convened a selection committee that included a 75% majority of residents, artists and nonprofit and community partners, and we’re seeing the program evolve in ways that continue to center community voice and yield equitable outcomes,” said Allandra Bulger, executive director at Co.act,. “The diversity of this year’s cohort is a reflection of the vibrancy and hopes of the Detroit area’s residents.”
A selection committee chose the 29 organizations to receive one of four grant types, ranging from $20,000 “Pre-Planning” grants to $150,000 “Implementation” grants. Of granted organizations, 76% have leaders who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous or people of color) and 72% are led by women. Organizations include a wide range of budget sizes, with 62% working with annual operating budgets of less than $500,000 per year.
The organizations included in the 2023 KIP:D+ grantee cohort include: