For Immediate Release
September 13, 2023
Contact Information

The Skillman Foundation

(BPRW) New fund supports wellness of BIPOC-led nonprofits

(Black PR Wire) DETROIT, MI –  Co.act Detroit and The Skillman Foundation announce the inaugural grantees of the WELL Fund, a grant program created to support the wellness and capacity of BIPOC-led nonprofits who serve Detroit youth (ages 5-24). The following five organizations will receive grants of $65,000 to support general operating funding, technical assistance, capacity building and leadership development, and support for wellness activities:

“The WELL Fund stands for Wellness, Equity, Leading and Learning,” said Terry Whitfield, Partnership Manager at The Skillman Foundation. “BIPOC-led nonprofits receive less funding though they are often more ingrained and attuned to the communities they serve. Our goal was to create a fund specifically to support the leaders of these organizations. We worked collaboratively with Detroit youth and their allies to shape what that opportunity should look like.”

In partnership with The Skillman Foundation, Co.act Detroit convened an advisory group that designed the program, including setting eligibility and grant requirements, and arranging additional support for grantees. Representatives from the Black Executive Directors Alliance of Detroit, Community Development Advocates of Detroit, the Youth Development Resource Center,  the Transforming Power Fund as well as Detroit youth made up the advisory group.

“The program is unique in terms of funding nonprofit wellbeing and sharing power with youth to decide who receives grants,” said Asia Blaney, grants program manager at Co.act Detroit. “But what also sets it apart is how youth were involved in the design of the program from the beginning, and how their recommendations influenced how we structured the awards.” 

A diverse and representative committee of Detroit youth, Co.act and Skillman staff, and other community stakeholders made up the selection committee, with youth comprising a 51% majority. The committee reviewed applications and made recommendations for grant awards. 

In addition to the five organizations awarded WELL Fund grants, the selection committee decided to award 4 organizations Committee Wellness stipends of $12,500 each. Those organizations are: The Color of Autism Foundation1 Michigan for the Global MajorityEncourage Me I’m Young Inc.; and Motor City STEAM Foundation.

About Co.act Detroit

Co.act Detroit accelerates transformative impact with nonprofit and community organizations in southeast Michigan through collaborative idea generation, cross-sector resources, and equitable access to world-class programming and learning opportunities.

About The Skillman Foundation

The Skillman Foundation is a grantmaking organization established in 1960. It has granted out more than $750 million and served as a vocal advocate to strengthen K-12 education, afterschool programming, child-centered neighborhoods, youth and community leadership, and racial equity and justice in Detroit. It is in the process of developing a new strategy to support Detroit youth, educators, and residents, and policymakers to, together, create an innovative, well-resourced, equitable education system. Learn more at