Detroit LISC Launches Business Planning Phase of Innovative Investment Strategy To Build Sustainable Communities in Detroit


DETROIT, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ — Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has officially announced implementation of the business planning phase of Organizational Sustainability, and selected a dozen non-profit partner organizations that will receive funding and resources to help move the Detroit LISC Sustainable Communities agenda forward.

This announcement comes at a crucial time when the industry as a whole is adjusting to the impact of the current economic downturn. A catalyst for positive change in the industry, Detroit LISC remains focused on how best to respond to the current economic situation, and at the same time effectively revitalize the neighborhoods of Detroit.

Detroit LISC is investing $3 million over three years to foster and perpetuate its core Sustainable Communities agenda. But, it comes down to more than just dollars and cents. The business planning phase of Organizational Sustainability will zero in on the strategic business planning process, which is designed to examine and assess a community organization’s current business and operating model, as well as to proactively build flexible and resilient operating structures that are resistant to economic upheavals.

“We believe the business planning process will be extremely important in aiding our on-the-ground partner organizations to successfully chart their course for the future, and create a sound working business model that can weather any economic storm,” said Deborah L. Younger, Executive Director, Detroit LISC.

The 12 community development partners that will participate in the business planning phase of Organizational Sustainability, and help further Detroit LISC’s Sustainable Communities agenda are: Central Detroit Christian CDC; Creekside CDC; Focus: HOPE; Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation; Greater Corktown Development Corporation; Jefferson East Business Association; Messiah Housing Corporation; New Center Council, Inc.; Southwest Detroit Business Association; Southwest Housing Solutions; Urban Neighborhood Initiatives; and Vanguard CDC.

Immediately, Detroit LISC will move forward with dispersing individual capital grants of $25,000 to support each community agency’s operating costs, and assign experienced outside consultants to work hand-in-hand with partner CDCs on the development of comprehensive organizational and business plans.

When selecting the 12 CDC partners, Detroit LISC objectively and thoroughly examined specific criteria, including the community organization’s current operating state, their ability to build organizational capacity, strategically respond to the current crisis and retool for a sustainable future, as well as the organization’s strategic alignment with Detroit LISC’s Sustainable Communities goals. A few of the non-profit community organizations did not meet the criteria and thus will not move onto the business planning phase of Organizational Sustainability.

According to Younger, the Detroit LISC door is always open. “We encourage these organizations to continue to communicate with Detroit LISC and keep us apprised of new strategies and progress within the organization, so that we can look at ways we could continue to support them, when possible, in the future.”

Detroit LISC has an unwavering commitment to neighborhood revitalization in the five target investment areas of Central Woodward, East, Northeast, Northwest, and Southwest. In 2008, Detroit LISC invested more than $30 million in Detroit neighborhoods.

Together, with its community development partners, Detroit LISC is breathing new life into communities, and creating vibrant and healthy neighborhoods for current Detroit residents, and generations to come.

About Detroit LISC

Detroit LISC is a local organization within the national LISC network. National LISC, founded in 1980, is the largest national community development intermediary, combining corporate, government, and philanthropic resources to help community-based organizations revitalize their neighborhoods. Detroit LISC serves as metro Detroit’s only comprehensive housing and community development resource that seeks to build sustainable communities, transforming distressed neighborhoods into healthy ones. Since 1990, Detroit LISC has invested $135 million and leveraged an additional $888 million to implement initiatives that help our community-based partners revitalize neighborhoods. For more information, please visit:

SOURCE Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation



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