Kresge Foundation to Fund Innovative Neighborhood Projects


To continue the revitalization of Detroit’s neighborhoods, Kresge’s Detroit Program is seeking a second round of applications for a three-year, $5 million initiative to fund Detroit-based nonprofits in transformative projects across the city.

As in its first year, Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit grants totaling $1.5 million will be made citywide on a competitive basis. Implementation grants of between $50,000 and $150,000 will be awarded to shovel-ready projects that can begin in early 2016 and be completed within 12-18 months of the grant award.

Planning grants of up to $25,000 will also be awarded to organizations with promising ideas.

This second round of grants will emphasize planning grants to ensure a strong pool of implementation-grant applications in the third year of the initiative. Kresge will seek to award at least one planning grant in each of the seven Detroit City Council districts; it is anticipated that 15-20 planning grants will be awarded.

Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit was launched in fall 2014, and the first round of grants – 11 implementation grants and seven planning grants chosen from a pool of more than 100 proposals – was announced in April. The intention, as stated by Kresge President and CEO Rip Rapson, was to “light up the map with the reality of positive change.”

A number of those changes can be seen already. Projects completed or near completion, include the installation of exercise pocket parks in central Detroit, park development and sculpture installation in North Corktown-Briggs, and the renovation of a vacant building to allow the Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program to mentor more young people. Ongoing projects, such as a neighborhood clean-up stabilization effort in the Osborn neighborhood involving thousands of volunteers, have already had dramatic impacts.

“The first round of this grant program proved that Detroit is filled with neighborhood leaders who have the commitment and imagination to plan and execute projects that will have a profound impact on the quality of life,” says Laura Trudeau, managing director of Kresge’s Detroit Program. “We are excited to see the next round proposals. It’s an honor to be able to amplify the energy and enthusiasm of neighborhood-based organizations through Kresge Innovative Projects: Detroit.”

Kresge’s Detroit Program aligns with the Detroit Future City Framework Plan, a long-range development document informed by a multiyear research and community engagement effort, which was funded by the foundation.

Detroit applications will be evaluated, in part, by how they advance neighborhood priorities in alignment the Detroit Future City Framework Plan. Projects must be led by a Detroit-based nonprofit organization and take place within the city of Detroit. For more information, visit