Tools &


There’s lots of talk about equity in the social change sector, but what does it look like to do equity as individuals, organizations, and as an ecosystem? 

Through close collaboration with our peers in Southeast Michigan’s nonprofit ecosystem, we are laying the groundwork for social and racial equity.

Playbooks for Social Change
Our work doesn’t end with a consensus around a shared vision. Our vision—and the steps toward achieving it—must live through works that can be handed on to others. Our playbook trilogy acts as a guide and roadmap toward building a more diverse—and therefore more robust—nonprofit ecosystem.
Playbook I: Collaborate
Too often, mindsets of scarcity and competition undermine our collaborative work. These anxieties are natural, but they also prevent organizations with shared goals from forming mutually beneficial partnerships. Our first playbook examines ways to form healthy dynamics.
Playbook II: Invest
The ways in which nonprofits receive grant funding often reinforce harmful racial and social power dynamics. To achieve more equitable outcomes, we need to find new ways to invest in nonprofits both in terms of financial resources, and in the nurturing of BIPOC leaders. Playbook Forthcoming, 2023: How We Invest.
Playbook III: Think
We need to reexamine so much of the received wisdom surrounding nonprofit work. What mindsets, values, and norms no longer serve our community? By countering cultures of unwellness that lead to burnout and dysfunction, we can create a healthier ecosystem that supports individuals, organizations, and all of society. Event Forthcoming, 2024: How We Think.
Building a Network: Redefining Capacity Building

In March 2019, Michigan Community Resources worked with sector partners Michigan Nonprofit Association, Nonprofit Enterprise at Work, and the University of Michigan School of Social Work to publish Building a Network: Recommendations for Redefining Capacity Building in Southeast Michigan.


Detroit Capacity Building Forum: How We Collaborate

In February 2021, we convened 70+ stakeholders for “How We Collaborate” – a forum about creating space for inspiration and action. We started from the assumption that as nonprofits, consultants, funders, and more, we share a common north star: advancing racial and social equity in the communities we serve.

Detroit Capacity Building Forum: How We Invest

In May 2022, we convened 250+ social change allies for “How We Invest”– and convened nonprofits, funders, consultants, and other change allies to connect around the systemic issues that we in the nonprofit ecosystem face as we work to drive deep, transformative impact in the communities we serve.

Consulting with Purpose Series

In the summer of 2023 Michigan Community Resources and Co.act Detroit hosted an enriching series for consultants and professionals who share a deep commitment to supporting nonprofits. Through collaboration and knowledge sharing, we facilitated meaningful connections with like-minded individuals who are passionate about supporting the nonprofit sector.

The Detroit Nonprofit Leadership Census

The Detroit Nonprofit Leadership Census was an effort led by Michigan Nonprofit Association, Data Driven Detroit, Grand Valley State University Johnson Center for Philanthropy and the Knight Foundation.

Michigan Community Resources and Co.act Detroit leveraged our collected strengths as conveners to engage nonprofit and community leaders who completed the survey to capture their vision for how the data could and should be used as a call to action for the nonprofit ecosystem.

Capacity Builder Ecosystem Map

This interactive Ecosystem Map visualizes the 2021 network of capacity builders who provide services to nonprofits in Southeast Michigan. These specialists operate in several essential capacity areas, including fundraising, strategic planning, and more.

You can use this tool as a guide to understand the key categories of capacity building services in Southeast Michigan’s ecosystem.