Week 4 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 4

I wanted to write about what I had learned about my nonprofit organization this past week and how it relates back to the upcoming project I was given to be working on throughout the summer.

The main idea that people at my fellowship try to emphasize is how the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) is their commitment to “cultivating economic and social impact in Downtown Detroit by connecting public, private, and philanthropic sectors; providing stewardship of public spaces; and developing programs that engage and benefit all”. The main goals DDP promotes are “supporting small-business growth; helping people navigate the city of Detroit; and providing research on the city’s demographics, economy, and livability”. The main goal I seemed to be working with in the Parks + Public Spaces Programming sector is to help small businesses grow, specifically minority-owned and Detroit-based businesses, through collaboration.

The DDP does not receive their funding from taxed but rather from earned revenue channels like sponsors, so the combined efforts of raising revenue for the organization while also helping aid small businesses was a project I wanted to focus on in my fellowship work. Specifically, they had me start in a team related to planning and modeling their “gift shop”, this gift shop would be one of the revenue channels for the organization and my managers were planning on getting it out by the fall.

On the other side of the project focusing on the organization’s impact and looking more closely to what can be improved by the Parks + Programming sector: my managers and I came up with a project that would create a statistical analysis and surveys to see where small businesses wanted to see improvements from our organization. The businesses that would be targeted would be the local food trucks in Campus Martius park, vendors in DDP hosted Night Markets, and the talent/performers collaborated with onsite at DDP events in the parks. The statistical analysis would focus more on seeing how many minority-owned and Detroit-based businesses the DDP is working with and if there needs to be more added/how many there are in proportion to all the businesses we work with. By focusing not only on the statistics of this businesses but also hearing from them directly to see what improvements can be made, the DDP can gain a better understanding of their impact from working with these minority-owned and Detroit-based businesses.

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