Detroiters who want to spruce up their neighborhoods or implement a program to enrich others, should apply for funding from the Kresge Foundation. This year, the Foundation has committed an additional $6 million over the next three years to energize, create and support neighborhood projects through Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit (KIP:D).
The ongoing commitment is the next step after a three-year, $5 million pilot initiative that supported 40 projects and 16
“KIP:D has tapped into the visions of Detroit residents for projects that strengthen neighborhoods and improve the quality of life,” said Wendy Lewis Jackson, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “The outpouring of interest in grassroots change confirms our belief that neighborhood residents have the imagination and verve to make change. What they need is financial backing and technical support.
In the past, KIP:D projects have ranged from the revival of empty or underused buildings as neighborhood hubs to the reclamation of blighted properties as greenways. Projects have made neighborhood streets and sidewalks friendlier to bicyclists and pedestrians; they have spurred artist-neighbor collaborations in parks, engaged youth in neighborhood revitalization efforts and supported the creation of rain gardens and bioswales.
As in the pilot phase, KIP:D will support both planning and implementation activities. Planning grants of up to $35,000 and implementation grants of up to $150,000 are available.
Jackson notes that the relaunch of KIP:D involves three main changes.
” Streamlined applications: The first-step of the online process requires less documentation than in the past. More detailed documentation and plans will be invited in the second stage of the application. (Videos won’t be judged on production values; cell-phone videos are acceptable.)
” Project flexibility: In the past, the Kresge Detroit Program prioritized implementation projects that could be completed within 18 months. In the upcoming round, grant periods will be increased to 24 months to allow more time for community engagement, planning, design and related activities.
” Technical support: In addition to $1.5 million available for projects each year, Kresge will grant an additional $500,000 annually to provide grantees with technical assistance, and to build them into a network of shared learnings and mutual support. Kresge will partner with Michigan Community Resources to coordinate technical and network building supports in the upcoming round.
First-step applications for 2018 will be accepted through Kresge’s online FLUXX system through Feb. 13, after which selected applicants will be asked for additional information. Kresge expects to announce between 10 and 20 grant awards in May. A similar timeline is planned for 2019 and 2020.
“Our goal is to meet Detroiters and their organizations where they are,” said Jackson, regarding the streamlined application process, increased flexibility and technical support. “We’ve had numerous meetings with past KIP:D grantees as a group to find out how we can better help them with the important work that they are undertaking. What we learn shapes our approach on an ongoing basis.”
Kresge’s neighborhood efforts in Detroit include support for specific areas of the city (such as the Livernois-McNichols area and support for organizations that work across the city, such as such as Michigan Community Resources and Data Driven Detroit.
Last summer, Kresge announced $3 million in operating-support grants over three years to 21 neighborhood-based organizations across the city. That initiative also complements and grew out of feedback from KIP:D grantees.
Application to KIP:D is limited to organizations that are at least 2 years old, located in and primarily serving Detroit and that have either 501 (c)(3) nonprofit status or are part of a college or university. These entities may also submit applications for collaborations with individuals and with religious congregations, for-profits and other organizations that are ineligible to apply on their own.
Kresge is encouraging projects that incorporate aspects of health, arts and education.