Growing up, recurring saying multiple individuals I look up to quoted was, “think globally, act locally.” Simply put, GreenLight Fund’s model and work are that in action. GreenLight Fund’s footprint is national, and the focus is local. However, the most crucial aspect about their work is its core values: how the collaboration, commitment to excellence, diversity, equity & inclusion, focused on sustainability, innovation, and rooted in community align every day.
The central theme that my co-intern Dono and I are working on is to more effectively show the work of the GreenLight Fund and the impact it has made (making) into a digestive format, through which more people can learn, get inspired and expand its reach. GreenLight Fund and its work focuses mainly on making a social investment with a social return. Their philanthropic ventures are non-binding grants whose results are only visible by how the portfolio organizations become self-sustaining and flourish after the four initial years (moving from active to legacy phase).
Since GreenLight Fund is a national organization with 11 sites across the US and Detroit being one of them, the portfolio organizations they operate with have replicated before. However, each site has unique aspects. In Detroit, elevating the voices of residents and community members is a main priority. It emphasizes making the work (funders, organizations, and other entities involved in the selecting portfolio and beyond) reflective of the community’s priorities. The three existing portfolio organizations are Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), New Teacher Center, and Springboard Collaborative.
I hope to contribute my best to this community-driven process that focuses on investments where they make the most impact while understanding the underlying structure of nonprofit management and transferable skills such as consulting and marketing.