Will Michigan Philanthropy’s Support of Economic Development Be Inclusive?

This is an excerpt from the magazine Non-Profit Quarterly. To read the full article, click here

Increasingly, institutional funders and their grantees are expanding and venturing into partnerships with government and for-profit businesses to focus on economic development. Michigan has been a central example, as the latest issue of MiBiz, a local business publication in Michigan, explains.

Jeff Williams of Lansing-based Public Sector Consultants told MiBiz that “community foundations increasingly are serving as the kick-starters for economic development projects that no one entity wants to be the first to commit to because of the potential for failure.”

“In this new era of cynicism, a lot of community foundations are seen as neutral or trusted parties. If a community foundation says they’re going to put matching money up, suddenly developers, governmental units, and others will join in,” he said.

The article goes on to cite a number of Michigan examples. One is the New Economy Initiative (NEI), a project of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, which was created in 2007 with $100 million in initial contributions from 10 foundations, including Ford, Kellogg, and Charles Stewart Mott, in response to the loss of 367,000 manufacturing jobs in the state in the first decade of the 2000s. It is now one of the largest philanthropy-led economic development initiatives in the US as it strives to grow a culture of entrepreneurship in the region. The pool of funds has grown to $160 million and embraces a range of educational, government, and community-based service organizations that direct their efforts toward low-income communities.

Again, this is an excerpt from the magazine Non-Profit Quarterly. To read the full article:

Click Here