Why Detroit Philanthropy

Detroit Philanthropy believes that philanthropy should be a fun and rewarding experience, but we also recognize that creating social change in a meaningful and impactful way is not an easy task.

Metro Detroit is full of worthwhile and critical causes.  In fact, there are almost 7,000 of them ranging from the environment to education, arts to advocacy, health care to homelessness, and everything in between.  So where do you start? And if you have started - if you know what you're passionate about and who you want to help - how do you ensure you're actually moving the needle on the cause you are supporting?

Detroit Philanthropy can help you answer both of these questions!  By working with you to understand your charitable goals and the causes that are important to you, we can get you moving in the right direction.  By connecting you with proven nonprofits, or by formally assessing the nonprofit(s) you currently support or are considering investing in, we can ensure impact.

We know that you are a caring and compassionate person who simply wants to help.  But we also know that in order create meaningful change, it is imperative that outcomes and assessment do not take a backseat to emotion. By guiding you through the process from start to finish (or at any point along the journey), we ensure that your resources are put to their very best use while also making philanthropy the rewarding experience it should be. To put it simply - we help you, help others!

What We Do

Detroit Philanthropy believes in the power of social impact.  By creating thoughtful linkages between metro Detroit philanthropists and high-impact, effective nonprofits we ensure the philanthropist's charitable vision is fully realized, resources are maximized, and meaningful impact is generated.

With nearly 20,000 nonprofit organizations throughout Michigan and almost 7,000 in the metro Detroit area alone, navigating the nonprofit sector is often challenging for those seeking to make a meaningful impact. Detroit Philanthropy alleviates those challenges by first helping philanthropists (individuals, foundations and corporations) better understand their role, refine their vision, and develop a philanthropic strategy through the Social Impact Creation Cycle.

Once these five areas have been addressed, Detroit Philanthropy assesses identified nonprofit organizations as potential ‘impact partners’ to ensure they are effective and well-managed organizations generating impact in our community. Consider, if you were investing in a company, you would review the business plan and speak with management to find out about ROI, value proposition, scalability, profit margins, etc.  That same philosophy should apply to your charitable giving because donations ARE investments – investments in the community and in people’s lives. Consequently, Detroit Philanthropy ensures that the return on your investment - whether through financial support or volunteerism - creates a measurable, beneficial impact.  We call this impact the Social Return on Investment (SROI) and assess it by addressing the following.

  • What is the nonprofit organization's theory of change?
  • What will my financial support accomplish?
  • Who am I impacting?  How are lives being changed?
  • Are outcomes measurable and long-term?
  • Are they utilizing evidence-based techniques and approaches?
  • Are funds being stewarded effectively and efficiently?
  • Is the organization collaborating with other nonprofits to broaden the impact and my goals?
  • Is the nonprofit well managed financially? Are administrative costs in line with industry standards? Is funding directed towards services not overhead?
  • Who else is funding the organization/project?  Is there diversification.
  • Are there other ways to create meaningful social change?

After this formal assessment for SROI, Detroit Philanthropy works with the nonprofit(s) on your behalf to determine how funds can best be used and, more importantly, maximized.  Additionally, we ensure the nonprofit shares an impact report and other measurable outcomes related to your funding and/or volunteerism.

Who We Are

Rachel M. Decker, MPPA
Founder and President

Having spent nearly 20 years in the nonprofit sector as an effective and strategic fundraising executive, Detroit Philanthropy Founder and President Rachel Decker, knows that the need for philanthropy is greater than ever. She also realizes how deeply personal it is to give of your valuable time and treasure. But, deciding where to focus your resources can be tricky, and knowing if you made a significant impact is often uncertain.

That’s where Rachel comes in. She’s passionate about helping others, and more importantly, passionate about making connections, solving problems and creating impact in our community. With the founding of Detroit Philanthropy, she turned that passion into a commitment to help metro Detroit philanthropists fulfill their true charitable intentions.

With a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration and a background in nonprofit management, Rachel knows how to assess a charity’s validity and measure impact. And, after a career as a professional fundraiser, she understands the intricacies of charitable giving from both the nonprofit's perspective as well as that of the philanthropist or corporate partner.  Her experience and established relationships within the nonprofit sector, make her uniquely positioned to create thoughtful partnerships between philanthropists and the nonprofit organization or social cause they are seeking to support. By combining her expertise with a strong understanding your philanthropic goals, Rachel can help ensure that your resources are put to their very best use.

How we Help

Whether you’re an individual philanthropist, private/family foundation,  or a small to mid-sized, socially-minded company – let us help you, help others!

All services will be tailored to meet your unique needs and may include small consultations, development of various work products, nonprofit assessments, or full oversight/management of your philanthropic efforts.  Hourly fees, per project rates, and monthly retainer agreements are available.

Contact us today to discuss your philanthropic goals, and learn how Detroit Philanthropy can help you impact our community!!