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Rural Innovation Exchange: Grants to help small nonprofits across Michigan

April 06, 2023

Grants to help small nonprofits across Michigan


Like other nonprofit organizations across the state, the Brain Injury Association of Michigan was forced to pivot during the pandemic.

The Brighton-based organization significantly downsized its office space, reduced staff, and went virtual. One of its biggest fund-raisers, a black-tie affair in the spring that drew about 1,200 people and raised a half million dollars, was canceled. An annual conference, held at the Lansing Center in September and also well-attended, went virtual.

Nichole Shotwell“We have one of the largest brain injury conferences in the country. That was a really significant hit for us,” says Nichole Shotwell, interim president and CEO of the organization that provides services to brain injury patients across the state. “Our black tie event and our conference were our fundraising anchors – one in the spring and one in the fall. Those were big hits.”

Like other nonprofits, the Brain Injury Association of Michigan has not fully recovered from the pandemic, operating with fewer staff and far fewer dollars. The pandemic’s impact has been particularly hard on nonprofits in rural areas and those led by, and serving, Black, Indigenous and people of color.

Some help is on the way, however. The Michigan Nonprofit Association and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (LEO) are promoting a $35 million MI Nonprofit Relief Fund, encouraging small charitable nonprofit organizations to apply for grants. Small nonprofits are eligible for one-time grant funds from $5,000 to $25,000.

Read the full article here.

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