3 New Clusters Join "A Call to Service" Initiative

The Skillman Foundation has approved five new grants worth a total of $405,000 for its faith-based initiative, “A Call to Service.” Three of the five are new grantees and had spent the past year with the initiative building their organizational capacity as well as partnerships with other organizations in their neighborhood clusters to develop comprehensive after school programs for children and youth.

Announcing the grants approved at the mid-year board meeting in June, President and Trustee of the Foundation, Kari Schlachtenhaufen, said that the unanimous approval of new grantees for the second year of the initiative shows that small, faith-based groups just need technical assistance to help build their basic, non-profit support structure to qualify for funding.

“When we launched A Call to Service, we showed our commitment to working with small faith-based groups with two radical moves – providing instruction for all interested in meeting the basic requirements to apply for funding and making it mandatory that clusters be formed to serve children in neighborhoods,” explained Schlachtenhaufen.

A total of 150 faith-based organizations that were not successful in the first year of “A Call to Service” continued with additional training to prepare for the second round this year. Topics covered in the sessions included board development, fiscal operations, strategic program planning, fundraising and acquiring non-profit status. About 50 of them formed eight clusters to submit proposals in the second round.

Last year’s four grantees represented 23 churches and houses of worship, and served a total of 520 youth with after school programs in the Detroit area. This year, the three new grantees awarded $75,000 each include Abayomi Community Development Corporation, Cathedral Community Services, and Safe Center. The Vanguard Community Development Corporation and L.I.F.T. Women’s Resources Center each get $90,000 to continue the high quality, after school activities started a year ago.