One of the many, many things I admire about the non-profit sector is its ability to innovate and survive in the face of adversity. There are many examples that I could provide to demonstrate this resilience, but I will focus on just one of the most recent ones that were profiled in the NYTimes.com in their article "As Detroit Struggles, Foundations Shift Mission".
Over a dozen Detroit foundations have decided to pool their money into an emergency fund for struggling charities, and they are also investigating ways in which they can strategically use funds that have been ravaged by the stock market decline. By pooling their funds, approximately $100 million over years from 10 foundations, this collaborative foundation network will attract skilled workers to the city, fill empty houses, and occupy empty retail storefronts. The impact of collaborating and leveraging expertise and funds has led to a refreshing strategic approach to the issues facing the Detroit economy.
Not only will this pooled fund leverage the capacity to restructure Detroit's economy beyond the capacity of any single foundation, the effort has also attracted additional funding from three national foundations (W.K Kellogg, Kresge, Charles Stewart Mott) which will further enable this collaborative foundation network to fulfill upon its mission.
Do you know of other collaborative initiatives that have arisen as a result of the recession - either on behalf of foundations or non-profits? I would like to profile them - email me at blog [at] restructure.ca.
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