Reflecting on 5 Years

Detroit Philanthropy started from a simple idea…helping you help others. After a career stewarding financial resources for social good, I felt passionately that there was a better way to serve the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, and more importantly, the community as a whole. From that notion Detroit Philanthropy was born.


As we approach our 5-year anniversary coming up on April 26, I’ve been reflecting on what’s led to this point – the accomplishments, the lessons learned, the clients served, the entrepreneur struggles and people that have played a part in all of it. And quite honestly, I’m a bit overwhelmed with emotions - something that if you know me…you know doesn’t happen to me often.


So, after struggling this last week (or two) to put the words on paper, here’s a little about how I’m feeling.


  • HONORED - From helping nonprofits plan and execute fundraising campaigns to providing family foundations and businesses with strategies for furthering their impact, I am honored to have been chosen to work alongside them as they impact so many of our friends and neighbors.


  • INSPIRED – With the 2020 launch of Community Connections, I am continuously inspired by the change agents that have come together to learn from, grow with and hold up one another – all for the greater good.


  • OVERJOYED (and a little RELIEVED) – Global pandemic and all, I managed to successfully build a thriving consulting practice – a feat I assure you is not for the faint of heart, but I’ll save those trials and tribulations for another day. The joy and relief at having reached this 5-year milestone is nothing short of tremendous.


  • PRIVILEGED – Since 2018, nearly 30 clients have entrusted me to help them reimagine their fundraising, increase their social impact and strengthen their community presence. Not only has it been a privilege to help strengthen the philanthropic sector in these ways, but it has been a privilege to wake up every day and do work that means so very much to me.


  • THANKFUL – Thank you to my amazing teammate Stephanie who helps keep Detroit Philanthropy running. Thank you to the businesses that partnered with us to form Community Connections, especially Delta Dental who has been on board since the start. Thank you to the nonprofit leaders who continue to show up for our webinars and now our in-person events. Thank you to my business coach and all the mentors who have taught me, pushed me and supported me.


  • GRATEFUL– There are those who wish you well and there are those who do everything they can to lift you up. For those who shared resources and wisdom, those who referred clients, those who opened doors, and those who never stopped cheering me on – I am forever grateful for the abundance of support and encouragement! Detroit Philanthropy would not have come this far without you.


And finally, I am DETERMINED. Determined to continue to do this work that I love. Determined to continue to grow Detroit Philanthropy’s services and impact. Determined to continue to help you help others!


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About Rachel M. Decker

Having spent nearly 20 years in the nonprofit sector as an effective and strategic fundraising and foundation executive, Detroit Philanthropy Founder and President, Rachel Decker is passionate about helping others, making meaningful connections, solving problems and, most importantly, creating impact in our community. With the founding of Detroit Philanthropy, she turned that passion into a commitment to champion philanthropy throughout metro Detroit as a philanthropic advisor, fundraising consultant and speaker.

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