Planning Stage (September 2022 – March 2023)


The Planning Stage is designed to support organizations in doing the hard work of figuring out how to turn their Big Idea into reality. Over the course of seven months, grantees will:

  • Check critical assumptions.
  • Develop partnerships.
  • Gather feedback from community members and potential participants.
  • Design program workflows and materials.
  • Prototype elements of the idea.
  • Prepare program evaluation materials.

Although planning work will look different from one project to another, grantees are expected to undertake all necessary work to prepare their ideas for implementation during this stage. In addition to up to $20,000 in funding, grantees will receive continued technical assistance, including:

  • Workshops and individualized coaching sessions with human-centered designers and researchers.
  • Evaluation planning support from experienced program evaluators.
  • Research assistance from student researchers.
  • Access to Catchafire, a worldwide database of skilled volunteers.

Throughout the seven-month planning stage, grantees will meet with the challenge manager on a regular basis to share progress and request additional technical assistance. Community input and feedback loops will be collaboratively designed with grantees during the planning stage. Detroit residents interested in sharing their input should contact Challenge Manager Alena Farooq at


Check out the 17 teams that received a planning stage grant below. Interested in collaborating or offering support? Please reach out to Challenge Manager Alena Farooq at


Lead: Detroit Greenways Coalition
Collaborating: The Greenway Guy; Impact Detroit

We will work with Detroit employers to provide commuting bicycles to Detroit residents who don’t own reliable cars and need better transportation options to get to work.

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Black Worker Center – Detroit

Lead: National Black Worker Center

Establish a Detroit Black Worker Center centered on worker-driven solutions to close the income gap between Black and white Detroiters and create an equitable workforce.

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Collective Homeownership

Lead: Higher Ground Abodes
Collaborating: Kuumba Collective

Foster the development of Housing Cooperatives under a Community Land Trust for and by extremely low-income (ELI) Detroiters who aspire to achieve financial stability and permanently affordable housing.

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Community Investment Trusts

Lead: Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit (D4)
Collaborating: GenesisHOPE

Explore the feasibility of creating accessible community investment trusts across Detroit, thereby mitigating racial wealth gaps and resident displacement.

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Credit Escalator™

Lead: GreenPath Financial Wellness
Collaborating: One Detroit Credit Union

Provide a new tool that builds credit and helps eliminate negative collection debt and/or lack of credit history while adding a positive credit line to the credit report. It will work in conjunction with ongoing financial coaching, counseling and education to ensure long-term financial success.

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East Chadsey Condon Alliance

Lead: Southwest Economic Solutions Corporation

Increase household incomes promoting greater financial stability, economic self-sufficiency, and intergenerational wealth building through the development of a diverse Community Investment Trust.

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Family Mobility Savings Match

Lead: Communities First

Offer immediate support to Detroiters by helping them meet their immediate needs, while simultaneously setting the foundation for their financial futures.

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Functional Sentencing

Lead: Street Democracy

Turn misdemeanor sentencing into an opportunity to propel people toward a better financial future.

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Home Repair Clearinghouse

Lead: Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit (D4)
Collaborating: Gilbert Family Foundation; Rocket Community Fund

Streamline the home repair process by leveraging community understanding of home repair needs in Detroit neighborhoods. Connect homeowners to skilled tradespeople who can help.

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Partnership for Economic Independence 3.0

Lead: Warren Conner Development Coalition DBA Eastside Community Network

Support 50 residents to achieve financial stability and economic mobility through 1-on-1 coaching and wraparound supportive services.

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Passport to Self Sufficiency

Lead: Coalition on Temporary Shelter
Collaborating: Cinnaire

Develop a comprehensive pathway for extremely low-income families to earn sufficient and stable income to meet their basic needs and purchase homes. This will maintain family stability so they can start to build generational wealth.

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Pitchtape for Small Business & Underrepresented Entrepreneurs

Lead: Pitchtape

Democratize business creation and expansion in Detroit with technology that removes barriers between early stage entrepreneurs and the capital and advice that they need to innovate.

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Redefining Re-Entry

Lead: Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency
Collaborating: City of Detroit Financial Empowerment Center

Ensure that adults involved in the justice system can thrive so all Detroiters improve their financial well-being.

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Shared Equity Homeownership

Lead: GenesisHOPE
Collaborating: MACC Development; Doing Development Differently in Metro Detroit (D4)

Use shared equity models of real estate ownership to protect and preserve the long-term affordability of housing and commercial spaces, which will help residents accumulate wealth.

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Solar Power for Detroiters

Lead: Manistique Community Treehouse Center
Collaborating: Bailey Park Neighborhood Development Corporation; Matrix Human Services; Fifth Third Bank; Yorkshire Woods; Eden Gardens Community Association

Empower Detroit residents to control their financial future through solar panel roof installation. This will provide significant monthly savings through energy cost reduction, ongoing financial literacy and coaching and banking products.

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Sure:D (Safe Upgrades and Renovations for Efficiency: Detroit)

Lead: The Heat and Warmth Fund

Offer Detroit residents no-cost energy-efficient appliances and home upgrades to increase energy efficiency and value and ultimately provide generational wealth.

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Warrendale Equity Investment Fund

Lead: The International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, Inc.
Collaborating: Warrendale Community Organization; Islamic Center of Detroit; Warren Avenue Community Organization; Greenview Block Club; Evergreen Block Club; Second Grace United Methodist Church

A non-conventional, community driven investment fund that aims to reinvest in the neighborhood by offering zero interest loans through a pay it forward approach.

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