Advancing Macomb pushes to help community with more nonprofits

While Macomb County is the third largest county in Michigan, it ranks last for nonprofits.

"We commissioned this philanthropic investment study with Grand Valley State University to test that hypothesis that our nonprofit sector was under resourced and the results confirmed what we had already been seeing," said Diane Banks, the executive director of Advancing Macomb. "I think it’s a combination of our communities growing quickly and outpacing the work of the nonprofit sectors."

The county receives only 2% of grants awarded by the state’s private foundations and only 1% of grants awarded by the nation's largest foundations.

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Advancing Macomb is working to change that.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said the recent study shows a need for a call to action.

"So, the question becomes with this data are we going to get that support if we start asking for it?" he said. "We need to start asking for support to grow these quality of life opportunities in Macomb County for everyone."

The work of charitable nonprofit is vital to any county or city.

"They provide services to residents that can’t be found elsewhere through government or business services, so they fill an important gap," Banks said.

Advancing Macomb is meeting with nonprofits leaders to attract their attention to the county.

"We’re really in a good position to serve as an access point for connecting donors and volunteers business leaders to organizations they really care about in Macomb County," Banks said.

As Advancing Macomb works to increase the impact of nonprofits in Macomb the organization continues its work to make a difference.

"We have been providing some professional development and free technical assistance for nonprofits," Banks said. "We’ve helped some of our communities raise funds for projects such as some mural projects in downtown Mt Clemens."