1. To create opportunities for leadership development and to ensure leaders are equipped, cared for and have time and space to think strategically about their work.
  2. To support networks and organizations led by native Detroiters and/or people of color in their efforts to identify their neighborhood priorities and advocate for policies that support the social, economic and environmental sustainability of their communities.
  3. To raise the visibility of resident engagement, resident power and movement-building as worthwhile investments necessary to sustain transformation in Detroit’s neighborhoods.
  4. To create a fund where foundations, community leaders and residents work together to identify and implement innovative strategies to respond to rapidly changing conditions in our neighborhoods.

Key Definitions

The goal of the following definitions is to provide clarity regarding the ideas and concepts within the fund’s stated priorities. 

  • Informal Network: A self-organizing group of people or organizations whose relationships  exist outside of hierarchies and formal partnerships in order to be more flexible,  responsive and innovative.  
  • Community Development Organization: A professional not-for-profit tax-exempt  organization and the key facilitator of community development work in a defined  neighborhood. A CDO is a place-based organization accountable to local stakeholders  (especially residents), who comprise the majority of its Board. A CDO is distinguished  from other organizations by its role as the “sustained voice” in the community it serves,  working with other partners. A CDO is a trusted neighborhood institution with strong  relationships that knows stakeholders’ priorities and needs.  
  • Grass Roots Organization: Volunteer associations that focus on small geographic areas  or projects within a defined neighborhood. GROs partner with CDOs to create plans and  carry out projects. Examples of a GRO: block club, neighborhood council, business association, school organization, youth group.  
  • Leadership Development: Activities that are purposeful in expanding one’s ability to  envision, plan and execute strategies through partnership with others.  
  • Movement-Building: The collective processes and infrastructure that create shared  vision, strategy, and action across different organizations and sectors to create social,  economic, and environmental justice.  
  • Resident Engagement: An approach that centers on community members identifying the  changes they want to see within their community and as well as the on-going support  required to ensure their priorities are included in the final decisions.  
  • Resident Power: The ability of citizens to come together and build the necessary influence  to ensure the needs of their neighborhoods are not over looked. 
  • Social Capital: Networks of relationships among people who share the same values,  beliefs and norms that facilitate cooperation and benefit for its members.