Story

Challenge Detroit is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to attracting and retaining talent in an effort to create a social movement centered around the revitalization of the great American post-industrial city. The organization partners with companies and nonprofits to provide future leaders the opportunity to work in Detroit and assist local nonprofit organizations in their efforts to address challenges and opportunities in the city and region.

Situation

When the idea for Challenge Detroit was hatched in 2007, Detroit’s national story was one of hopelessness and despair. What bright, energetic leader would want to move to a city that seemingly had little to offer? Challenge Detroit needed to gain the support of regional companies, leaders, influencers and other nonprofits and required a national recruitment effort to draw around 30 of tomorrow’s leaders to live, work, play and give in Detroit.

Strategy

Leadership from Prosper Strategies provided counsel on organizational structure, board recruitment and fellowship recruitment to get the organization off the ground. Then by building media campaigns to highlight the companies, nonprofits and individuals involved in the program, we have worked to change the narrative about the city’s potential and ways Challenge Detroit is making an impact. Challenge Detroit is now in its third year and has successfully brought more than 100 leaders to live, work, play, give and lead in Detroit.

Results

As a result of Prosper Strategies’ outreach, Challenge Detroit has been nationally recognized for its revitalization efforts in Detroit. The program’s executive director was named one of the 10 people who could save Detroit by Governing Magazine and its three recruitment cycles have attracted nearly 2,500 applicants. Challenge Detroit has been covered in USA Today, Bloomberg, BBC, Inc., The Atlantic and many other publications.

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