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A view on the eastside of the city, just off of Jefferson Avenue.

The Kresge Foundation has created a $5 million, three-year initiative to fund nonprofits working in neighborhoods across the city. The initiative, called Kresge Innovation Projects: Detroit will provide (in the first round) between $50,000 and $150,000 each for seven to 10 shovel-ready projects that can be completed in 18 months. Smaller grants will be awarded to organizations with promising ideas.

The effort comes partially as a response to large scale developments and investment flowing to core city areas including Midtown, Downtown, and along Woodward Avenue. The neighborhoods are a critical element in a strong revitalization of the city, and it’s important that they become better places to live for the residents who reside in them. The vehicle for the effort will be non-profit community organizations.

“Nonprofits throughout the city are actively working to transform Detroit, neighborhood by neighborhood,” says Rip Rapson, Kresge’s president and chief executive officer. “We want to expand our pool of nonprofit partners, particularly those working at the grass roots, by recognizing and amplifying that energy and enthusiasm.”

According to a press release, the grants are designed to be “quick wins” for neighborhoods. The first year of the initiative will be a pilot program funded by up to $1.5 million. The pilot will guide expansion of the program in the next two years.

Applications for the first round of funding are due by Tuesday December 2nd, and recipients of funding will be announced by March 2015. An application guide is available online.

Competitive Applications Will:

* Take place within the city and be led by a Detroit-based nonprofit organization.
* Demonstrate a transformative impact.
* Fulfill the Detroit Future City strategic framework and advance neighborhood priorities.
* Use inclusive, collaborative processes for design, development and implementation.
* Extend benefits to a broad set of stakeholders and community residents.

Applicants are asked to pay particular attention to portions of the Detroit Strategic Framework, including:

* Transformations of vacant land
* Public space and open space
* Renewal of city systems, such as water, waste, transportation and communication
* Stabilization of neighborhoods

So what kind of projects could you imagine for one of these grants? Check out Rochelle Riley’s Article in the Free Press for some good ideas.