Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Fund Raises Second Detroit Fund To Extend Coalition’s Social Impact

Jun 22, 2022


$5 million commitment from a range of philanthropic funders endorses the community-centered, participatory funding model that has led to deep impact in Detroit over its first five years

Detroit– June 22, 2022 – GreenLight Fund Detroit, with broad support from a diverse group of funders, today announced the close of its Fund II. This $5 million philanthropic commitment to Detroit will support at least five more years of impact, by providing an opportunity for Detroiters to implement GreenLight Fund’s model to identify still-unmet needs, then address them by bringing proven programs from around the country to fill service gaps and accelerate opportunities for individuals and families to achieve economic and social mobility.

“Our vision is to drive equitable, social progress locally by continuing to center Detroiters’ voice and priorities through our selection and support model over the next five years,” said Rishi Moudgil, GreenLight Fund Detroit Founding Executive Director. “We are so grateful for this coalition of social investors from all corners of Detroit for pooling their funds and entrusting decision-making to our community to best lead us forward.”

This second spend-down Fund will continue the work begun in 2016, when GreenLight Fund announced it would expand to Detroit with a $3 million commitment, which ultimately served as a model for other cities as GreenLight Fund has since scaled to an additional 6 sites, now in 11 cities nationwide. This new Fund exceeded its target goal and includes support from a wide range of philanthropic individuals, families, corporations, foundations, minority-owned businesses, professional sports franchises and professional service firms.

“Detroit has proven to be one of our success stories across America,” said John Simon, GreenLight Fund Board Chair and Co-Founder. “From the neighborhoods that tell us where they see needs, to the philanthropists who have come together like never before, GreenLight Fund’s approach in Detroit has been a model for other cities to emulate with its inclusive process for measurable impact in the community.”

GreenLight Fund Detroit Fund II includes the following investors: American Axle & Manufacturing, Anonymous, Aptiv Foundation, Lizabeth Ardisana, Bain Capital, Jim & Carolyn Bellinson, Bridgewater Interiors, Center for Arab American Philanthropy, The Children’s Foundation, Kevin & Jeanine Clark, Matthew & Karen Cullen Family Foundation, Brian & Connie Demkowicz, Detroit Future City, Detroit Lions, Detroit Pistons, Walter E. Douglas, DTE Foundation, Ernst & Young, First Independence Bank, Flagstar Bank, Ford Motor Co., Eric Fornell, Gentherm, Carol & Tom Goss, Pat Greene, Neil & Annmarie Hawkins, Hudson-Webber Foundation, Jabil, Hans-Werner & Anke Kaas, Bill & Melissa Kozyra, The Kresge Foundation, Fred & Michelle Minturn, Rishi Moudgil, MSX International, The Paulateer Family, PwC, Derron & Selam Sanders, MacKenzie Scott & Dan Jewett, John & Susan Simon, Matthew & Mona Simoncini, The Skillman Foundation, Shannon Smith, The Song Foundation, The Stebbins Family Foundation, Strategic Community Partners, Alice Thompson, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Rick & Kathy Wagoner, Walker-Miller Energy Services, Monica Wheat, and Ken Whipple.

“GreenLight Fund Detroit combines a data-driven approach with a thoughtful, people-centered process, and it works,” said David Dauch, Chairman and CEO of American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM). “AAM is proud to be a part of this coalition that will enable additional proven programs to be selected and integrated into our community, while breaking down barriers and making a difference for so many.”

GreenLight engages with local communities to address challenges that can make a significant difference in the lives of residents facing barriers to prosperity. Each year, the local GreenLight Fund Detroit team partners with the community to elevate a specific unmet need, find and assess programs with successful national track records meeting that need elsewhere in the country, and launch a program in Detroit with the best local fit. To make measurable progress and ensure long-term sustainability, GreenLight provides multi-year start-up capital and hands-on support, facilitates partnerships and regularly assesses progress against targets.

Since 2017, Detroit’s inaugural Fund invested and launched in partnership with local agencies to bring and embed three proven models to the region: Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), New Teacher Center and Springboard Collaborative. These organizations have raised several million dollars in follow-on funding, hired local leaders to scale their work, and demonstrated progress on key social impact metrics that were requested and vetted by the community. Every stage of the process focused on racial inclusion and equity.

“GreenLight Fund Detroit’s approach centers the community in a process for change that aligns to our values for equity and justice, and we are enthusiastic about our investment,” said Melanca Clark, President and CEO of Hudson-Webber Foundation. “We look forward to the next phase of GreenLight Fund’s work, helping to address long standing disparities and opening opportunities so more families in our community can thrive.”

Over the next several years, Fund II will make four additional investments in partnership with residents in the community that confront poverty and inequities daily. The organization will continue to make decisions in partnership with its local Advisory Councils, composed of a diverse group of leaders and residents from government, business, philanthropy and neighborhoods. The collaborative approach facilitates cross-sector alignment and supports due diligence, local partnership development, and portfolio management.

“GreenLight Fund Detroit’s successful Fund II coalition is a vote of confidence in their long-term focus on sustainably addressing community needs by scaling evidence-based programs,” said Kevin Clark, Chairman and CEO of Aptiv. “Their efforts align with Aptiv’s values of inclusion and always doing the right thing, with a passion for results. The Aptiv Foundation is pleased to support the collaboration and community engagement that makes their model effective.”

Anika Goss, CEO of Detroit Future City said, “We’re partnering with GreenLight Fund Detroit because they are committed to the same values that we believe will help break down the barriers and racial disparities that affect our residents. Their diverse coalition of partners is a testament to the trust their leadership has built to find common ground and make tangible progress.”

“GreenLight Fund’s innovative model has been proven effective by running a locally-driven process that starts with community priorities and then brings in leading programs to address local needs,” said Jerry Norcia, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DTE Energy. “The DTE Foundation is pleased to continue our support of GreenLight Fund Detroit and look forward to further positive impact in the region.”

“By building partnerships and complementing existing work happening in Detroit, GreenLight Fund is making positive change happen,” said Maha Freij, President & CEO, ACCESS; Founder, Center for Arab American Philanthropy. “We are proud to support the next phase of GreenLight Fund Detroit and can’t wait to join forces in lifting prosperity in our region.”

“When the GreenLight Fund first came to Detroit, The Children’s Foundation was starting a strategic evolution dedicated to improving the social determinants of health,” said Larry Burns, President and CEO of the Children’s Foundation. “The GreenLight Fund has become an extremely important partner in our community-wide efforts and we are extremely optimistic and excited that together the next several years will be even more impactful for children and their families.”

“We believe that Detroiters are visionaries and they have the answers that we all need to design a better tomorrow,” said Angelique Power, President and CEO of the Skillman Foundation. “We’re so excited to partner with GreenLight Fund again as they use such a thoughtful, deep community-driven process where we can listen, learn and build together.”