By Wendy Lewis Jackson and Aaron Seybert, The Kresge Foundation

TFN members Wendy Jackson and Aaron Seybert from The Kresge Foundation recently share their reflections on how the SBA Payroll Protection Program funds are vital to supporting Detroit’s nonprofit sector with the Detroit Free Press. Wendy, a former TFN board member, is currently the co-chair of TFN’s Inclusive Economies working group.

“From feeding the hungry, to supporting COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, nonprofits are integral to confronting the pandemic in Detroit, across Michigan and across the country. 

But the nonprofit sector is itself badly battered economically and deeply in need of substantial, targeted support. Nonprofits are anxiously awaiting a new round of the federal Payroll Protection Program, which is up for debate in Congress this week. If it passes, it would need to be followed by ardent support and prioritization of nonprofits from local lenders and state officials.

According to the Michigan Nonprofit Association, nonprofits employed nearly 470,000 people in the third quarter of 2018. This number represents just over one in 10 of Michigan’s total nonfarm jobs, and is larger than Michigan’s leisure and hospitality industry. 

In Detroit, this sector is particularly vital. Nonprofits are the institutional first responders working shoulder to shoulder with government to flatten the curve and meet emergency needs. Nonprofits make up the civic and societal muscle that’s worked to revitalize our community, and will be essential in rebuilding after the financial storm has passed.”

Read the rest of this op-ed here.

About the Authors

Wendy Lewis Jackson is managing director for the Detroit Program. She leads The Kresge Foundation’s efforts to revitalize Detroit and to strengthen its social and economic fabric. Her work supports organizations providing economic opportunity for low-income people and addresses the needs of vulnerable children and families.

Aaron Seybert is managing director of the Social Investment Practice at The Kresge Foundation. He previously served as a social investment officer supporting the American Cities and Detroit Programs at Kresge. He joined the foundation in 2016.  Prior to Kresge, he served as executive director at JPMorgan Chase Bank, where he was involved with community development banking focused on New Markets Tax Credits and Historic Tax Credit investing.