Michigan Nonprofit Association Blog

MNA’s Blog is designed to give you, the nonprofit community, an informal look into the issues currently facing Michigan’s nonprofit sector and an opportunity to share tools, resources and best practices. It’s also a way for us to get to know each other a little bit better through candid discussions of the topics, challenges and opportunities that our sector deals with on a regular basis. Check back daily and participate in the discussions by posting a comment or emailing our bloggers. We love hearing from you!

Top 10 Blogs from MNA in 2021

Top 10 Blogs from MNA in 2021

2021 continued to bring challenges related to COVID, furthered the conversation on racial inequality and social justice, and brought change to the very top of the Michigan Nonprofit Association.

The following are the 10 most popular articles of 2021. Revisit our most popular blogs from the past year or discover some of them for the first time.

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The power of the HUMAN connection in the IT sector

The power of the HUMAN connection in the IT sector

By Adam King, MNA Technology Director

As the IT Services Director at MNA, I am fortunate enough to meet and work with numerous nonprofits across Michigan that work to improve communities and make an impact on society. In late 2021, I had the opportunity to meet with the leaders of Human-I-T, an organization in Detroit.

Human-I-T is a social enterprise that is focused on the creation of equitable access to digital opportunities through several different programs. As part of their mission, they work with businesses and organizations to divert unwanted technology from landfills into the hands of people who need it the most. This program effectively solves two problems at once – filling the gap of the digital divide and curbing the e-waste crisis. Human-I-T then provides jobs to the local economy by wiping the sensitive data on the devices and refurbishing them for their second life. The refurbished devices are distributed to local organizations in need of this technology.

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How Data Impacts Nonprofits

How Data Impacts Nonprofits

By Nellie Tsai- Social Innovation Officer, Michigan Nonprofit Association

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A Year End Message from MNA's President & CEO, Donna Murray-Brown

A Year End Message from MNA's President & CEO, Donna Murray-Brown

As 2021 draws to a close I want to take the opportunity to reflect on a year that turned out much differently than any of us could have imagined. 2021 was yet another year disrupted by the pandemic with many of us forced to miss events or keep our distance from our colleagues, family, and friends. We continued to navigate meetings, fundraisers, and other events online. I salute those of you who found the strength to keep going even when times were tough. 
 
MNA’s commitment to advocacy and influencing change never wavered this year. We advocated for changes in the language and application process for the Paycheck Protection Program and we continued our webinars where we provided Covid-19 resources exclusively for Michigan nonprofits to help them operate in an environment that is anything but normal. Most importantly, we continued our quest for diversity, equity, inclusion and justice for all.
 
Some of our initiatives included:

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MNA Launches Anti-Racism Accountability and Action Cohort

MNA Launches Anti-Racism Accountability and Action Cohort

The past two years have laid the racial inequities that persist in our nation to bare. Throughout the pandemic and following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, MNA knew that we had to double down on our work to address racial inequality. Now more than ever before, we are committed to confronting ingrained systemic racism with action.

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Garden of Hope: A Michigan nonprofit helping girls be their best

Garden of Hope: A Michigan nonprofit helping girls be their best

As a middle school student, Asia Jones was inspired to help other girls around her succeed. Growing up in Mason, Michigan, she noticed that some of her peers weren’t getting the same kinds of opportunities that she was. “I realized that not all of my friends had the village of support I had, and I wanted to fix that,” she said. She and her mom, LaShaunta Waller, began hosting workshops for friends at their house. As Jones began helping girls at her school, she realized the larger need around the Greater Lansing Area.

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Detroit Foundation Urges Local Nonprofits to Apply for Grants

Detroit Foundation Urges Local Nonprofits to Apply for Grants

By Tammy Pitts, MNA Director of Communications and Marketing



The impact of COVID-19 on Michigan nonprofits has meant canceled in-person fundraisers and a strain on budgets and resources. Yet, at a time when local nonprofits need funding to remain afloat, one of the oldest charitable organizations in Detroit tells me that applications for grant funding are down. Grants are vital for nonprofits- especially in a pandemic. So, what could be the reason for a decline in applications for funding that can be used to help children in the Detroit area? Board member Eileen Dixon of the Detroit Industrial School Foundation provided some insight.

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Year-End Giving: How to inspire your donors

by Claire Horlings

We’re nearing the end of the year and you’re likely preparing to kick off your year-end giving campaign by writing an appeal letter to donors. If you’re wondering how to make your letter stand out from the crowd and get results, here are a few tips.  

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Nonprofit organizes trips to redistricting hearings to provide platform for Native American voices

Nonprofit organizes trips to redistricting hearings to provide platform for Native American voices

By MJ Galbraith | Courtesy of modeldmedia.com

Community Redistricting is a series about how Michigan communities are working together to end gerrymandering so that all residents have a voice at the local, state, and federal level. This series is made possible with funding from the Michigan Nonprofit Association.

After 80 Michigan residents stood before the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to comment on the draft maps released by the commission this past October, the in-person portion of the Lansing public hearing, it had appeared, was complete. It was time for the commission to move on to remote public commentary, held virtually via Zoom.

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Communities left questioning the redistricting process as they don’t see themselves represented

Communities left questioning the redistricting process as they don’t see themselves represented

By MJ Galbraith - Model D

Jerron Totten has a question for the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission.

If the purpose of the Michigan Redistricting Public Comment Portal was to enable the public, as the website itself states, “to submit public comment to the Commission, and tell them what’s important to know as they draw the new district lines,” why was the most popular map submitted not reflected in any of the Commission’s recently released draft maps?

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