Because of its breadth and complexity, it's difficult for ordinary citizens to understand the nonprofit ecosystem in Southeast Michigan. Even those within the nonprofit sector have challenges coordinating their efforts and preventing too much overlap of services.
That's one reason why the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation
is opening a yet-to-be-named Center at the corner of Woodward Avenue and East Grand Boulevard. According to the foundation, the space will be a hub "for nonprofit leaders and practitioners to gather and have access to a connected and well-informed network of resources aimed at accelerating solutions around the mission-related and sector-based issues they face."
"It's our vision that the Center will build greater capacity and enhance capabilities within the organizations that we work with," said David Egner, President & CEO, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, in a press release. "Over time, we also plan to add innovative problem-solving practices in the Center to assist nonprofits and social innovators in developing new approaches and delivery systems to address challenges in our region."
The foundation decided to open the center after internal research and conversations with other local nonprofits lead it to the conclusion that there wasn't enough coordination or opportunities for dialogue.
The center will be managed by TechTown Detroit
through a three-year $4,750,000 grant. After a build-out beginning next year, the foundation expects to have some operations running by mid to late 2018.
Other partners in the effort include the Michigan Nonprofit Association and Community Wealth Network.