Mackinac Policy Conference: Ric DeVore on how foundations can aid communities

A successful philanthropic plan must consider and adapt for the community it serves, according to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan president.

Last week, officials announced the launch of a new $54 million fund as part of a collaboration between the Wayne County Executive’s Office and New Economy Initiative (NEI).

NEI is a special project by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The foundation is part of a group that will provide $22 million in funding for the three-year initiative.

“You can’t go out on a Saturday morning, you and I, and tell a neighborhood ‘this is what you should do,’ and be prescriptive. You need to build these things ground up.” — Ric Devore, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan


Listen: How foundations have changed their giving strategy.

 


Guest

Ric DeVore is the president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, a nonprofit established in 1984. He says foundations like his should not only listen to the communities they serve, but also be more willing to take the risks necessary to fill those needs.

“You can’t go out on a Saturday morning” says DeVore, “and tell a neighborhood ‘this is what you should do,’ and be prescriptive. You need to build these things ground up.

“What works in southwest Detroit might not work on the east side. I think we probably need to be more vocal about some things that are troubling the community and just be willing to take the risk that somebody might not be happy with us — but it’s the right thing to do.”

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