City Connect Detroit, a nonprofit grant making intermediary based in Detroit, MI, requests $1.5 million per year for 5 years from the Social Innovation Fund (SIF). The agency will match SIF support 1:1 to create a geographically-based, youth development-focused SIF, the Detroit Positive Youth Development Fund, with $3 million in annual capacity. Approximately 5-8 annual subgrants will be made by City Connect Detroit from the fund, each with a value of $300,000 to $480,000. Nonprofit subgrantees of this fund will also match subgrants 1:1, with help from City Connect Detroit and its program partners, and use the funds to implement, expand, and evaluate evidence-based programs for youth ages 11-18 in 6 targeted Detroit neighborhoods. The Skillman Foundation will contribute $750,000 towards the year 1 match and help City Connect Detroit and subgrantees raise the remaining match in years 1-5. NOTABLY, each phase of fund activities is organized around the existing Good Neighborhoods/Good Schools Initiative (GN/GS) and designed to create a coordinated system of sequential, developmentally appropriate (age/stage appropriate) supports for young people in targeted neighborhoods.
The goal of this initiative is to create conditions in targeted neighborhoods that make youth more likely to be safe, healthy, well-educated, and prepared for college and work by 2016. This goal - also the goal of the GN/GS Initiative - is aligned with 8 SMART objectives - including an objective of 75 percent youth engagement in all neighborhoods - described in this proposal and drawn from the GN/GS 2016 Goals, a series of goals defined by community stakeholders for the GN/GS Initiative. Like the GN/GS Initiative, this proposal is built on local and national research and on local experiences and is designed to change the odds for young people in Detroit. It targets six low income neighborhoods where 30 percent of Detroit children live: Brightmoor, Chadsey-Condon, Cody Rouge, Northend Central, Osborn, and the Southwest Detroit Neighborhoods. This proposal links with five years of focused work in these neighborhoods and will help build a system of supports and opportunities for youth in each area.
Five years of activities are planned as part of this effort. City Connect Detroit will lead a sub-granting process to identify quality youth development programs, most likely from metro Detroit, with at least preliminary evidence of success and with some capacity to grow those programs. Subgrantees will work with City Connect Detroit and its evaluation partners to develop shared success indicators and to collect data on program results in the first two years of the program. Beginning in year 3, City Connect Detroit will grow effective programs by providing funds and technical assistance to add youth participant slots at new and existing service sites. In years 4-5, implementation, evaluation, and scaling will continue, with increasing emphasis on the development and scaling of coordinated youth service "hubs" in each neighborhood. Evaluation partners will support growth with program- and system-level evaluations. Program expansion will be guided by City Connect Detroit through annual reevaluation of its subgranting portfolio and through technical assistance provided by partners to this proposal. [Note about priority outcomes: This initiative supports the priority outcome related to increased economic opportunities for participants by increasing their capacities for educational and work success.]
Leading this effort is City Connect Detroit, a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded by Detroit-area foundations in 2001. The agency was designed to attract investments to Detroit and Michigan by organizing collaborative initiatives and leveraging their common agendas to solicit local, state, and national support. This work has led to a portfolio of more than three dozen community collaborative efforts since 2001, and the attraction of approximately $110 million in grants and donations to local change efforts. The agency has developed administrative capacities to regularly serve as a fiscal agent and grant making intermediary. Its work has integrated it closely with partners in this proposal: The Skillman Foundation, The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Brandeis, Child Trends, Data Driven Detroit, the Youth Development Commission, Andrew Schneider-Munoz, the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and The Michigan Nonprofit Association.