How might community impact look different when partners come to the table as equals to co-create solutions for social challenges? What transformative opportunities are possible when partners demonstrate transparency and vulnerability to break down barriers?
We believe that real social change requires nonprofit organizations and foundations to develop deeper, more trusting relationships. While the inherent power dynamics are always a challenge, we believe that the way forward is to focus on shared goals and challenges in a space where candid — even if uncomfortable — conversation is supported. To this end, the Nonprofit-Funder Dialogue Series was designed to build trust and challenge traditional roles and power dynamics between funders and regional nonprofit leaders.
The three-part Dialogue Series was intended to both develop relationships and make recommendations on how to address this specific issue by:
- Providing a space for nonprofits and funders to speak candidly
- Breaking down silos and challenging traditional power structures
- Focusing on authentic relationship building and listening
- Inspiring action toward greater equity in funding and other resources
- Creating the container for ongoing partnership
The Dialogue Series was a collaboration between the Johnson Center and Co.act Detroit, with facilitation provided by The Eureka Group.
Special thanks to the following organizations for their financial support of this series:
- Frey Family Foundation
- Grand Rapids Community Foundation
- Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation
- Skillman Foundation
- Lake Michigan Credit Union
- Hudson Webber Foundation
- Steelcase Foundation