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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!

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:

  • The launch of our Nonprofit Leadership Census Survey which highlighted the racial leadership gap among nonprofit leaders in the city of Detroit.  
  • In the fall of 2020, we kicked off our Community Conversations series which created a safe space for BIPOC-only leaders to freely discuss any issues that they were facing. 
  • And we launched our redistricting campaign in 2021 which provided funding, training, and technical assistance to 38 nonprofits representing historically underrepresented communities.
  • We also wrapped up the 2020 Census Campaign.

 As we end yet another year in this pandemic, I am in awe at the resilience of nonprofits who continue to serve so many communities in need--even as the world around them remains unpredictable. Nonprofits are changemakers- the social architects of a fair, just, beautiful, and sustainable world. And always improving the lives of others. Cheers to their valiant efforts!
A surprising change that caught many people off guard was me announcing that I would be stepping down as president and CEO of MNA on December 31, 2021. I did so to support my husband whose job relocated our family to Kentucky. While the decision for my transition did not come easily-- I am extremely proud of all that has been accomplished during my tenure and the work that MNA is doing. I am humbled and grateful to all who have been supportive of Michigan Nonprofit Association and of me personally: staff, board, MNA members, and colleagues in the nonprofit sector. I will cherish the relationships I’ve built during my time in service. 
My time at MNA is coming to an end, but I am excited that my colleague and friend, Kelley Kuhn, is taking over the reins- alongside a great team of passionate professionals who care deeply about serving Michigan’s nonprofit sector. As we look ahead to 2022, I encourage all of you to dream big, rest well, laugh often, and love on purpose!
With much gratitude,

Donna Murray-Brown
President and CEO, MNA