Community Leadership

Young people find more success when they're supported by caring adults.

Be they parents, teachers, relatives, neighbors, youth workers or coaches, the adults in a child's orbit can do powerful things to alter the trajectory of a child's life. What's more, a network of leaders who care about children, and who are committed to working in partnership with them, can do powerful things to influence resources to align for the best interest of youth.

Through our community leadership work -- which includes neighborhood councils and our Community Connection Small Grants Program -- we develop resident leaders to accelerate the development of a network of mobilized, informed and diverse population that actively supports young people’s educational and personal achievement. 

Investing in nontraditional leaders

Also important is encouraging and supporting youth leaders. Our youth are our emerging leaders. They must be listened to and invested in. 

Read about the importance of investing in community leaders from a group of Detroit resident-leaders in  Maximizing Returns: Investing in Nontraditional Leaders. This report was commissioned by the Skillman Foundation as part of Kids Matter Here: An Analytic Review of the 10-year Good Neighborhoods Initiative.



Community Connections Small Grants Program

The Community Connections Small Grants Program provides a pathway for the Foundation to support innovative, grassroots efforts to impact community change. While the Foundation typically awards grants to nonprofit organizations with federal tax-exempt status and revenues greater than $100,000, the small grants program awards grants of $500 to $5,000. It gives the Foundation flexibility to provide opportunities beyond these limitations and makes it possible to respond quickly to community needs. Since implementation in 2006, the small grants program has awarded approximately $3 million to nearly 500 community groups. A panel made up of residents meets monthly to review grant applications and make funding recommendations for grants. 

AR GNI Strengthening Grassroots Leadership

Download an evaluation of the Community Connections Program, 2006-2015

To learn more, or apply for a small grant, visit Prevention Network, our partner and the program administrator.

Our strategies

  • We work with partners to make it easier for Detroit residents to collect and analyze data.
  • We help build networks that make collaboration and collective impact possible.
  • We support leadership development opportunities for youth and adults.
  • We work to strengthen community assets that share our agenda for children.