Blog Archives

Is something magical about to happen in Detroit?

by Ulises Silva, Detroit LISC Communications Program Officer

Photo: Detroit Free Press

There’s a lot of positivity converging upon Detroit these days. Businesses are starting to open up shop here. Ambitious projects like the New International Trade Crossing and the M1 Light Rail are in the works. And today, an NBA legend told a packed press conference that we can, in fact, work together to deliver a win to Detroit.

It would almost seem that, despite the lingering perceptions that Detroit is a dying city (“Why should we invest in Detroit?” being a common question, and one our Sustainable Communities director, Angelita Espino, responded to), the Detroit narrative is beginning to shift toward one of hope, revival, and transformation. And it’s starting to shift because of the efforts of businesses and residents alike whose faith in Detroit has never wavered—and whose faith appears on the verge of being rewarded. Read the rest of this entry


Five easy ways to thoroughly confuse funders, partners, and clients


by Ulises Silva, Detroit LISC Communications Program Officer

The next time you’re explaining your organization’s strategy to prospective funders, take a close look at their faces. If they’re squinting, creasing their eyebrows, and vaguely reminding you of six-year-olds at an astrophysics seminar, chances are, you’re being unclear.

Nonprofits need to engage funders to get, well, funds. We need to engage partners because we can’t do the work alone. And we need to engage clients (e.g., residents, patients) because we want them to know about the services we’re offering. And there’s no faster way to lose all three than by complicating simple explanations about the work we do.

In fact, here are five easy ways for nonprofits to thoroughly confuse funders, partners, and clients and send them running to the nuclear fission seminar instead. Read the rest of this entry

Five easy ways for nonprofits to kill a social media campaign


by Ulises Silva, Detroit LISC Communications Program Officer

By now, if you haven’t at least heard of Facebook, Twitter, or social media, you’re either a newborn (and a phenomenally gifted one if you’re already reading this), an inanimate object that’s just gained sentience (congratulations), or a 19th Century time traveler who’s just arrived (welcome, and sorry about the air quality).

Social media is growing. And fast. In fact, as of today, 13% of U.S. adults online are now “twittering” (as my boss would say), and it’s just seven months since we were enthusiastically quoting, “8% of adults are on Twitter!”  And because of its fast growth, vast networking capabilities, and low cost (approximately $0.00 to open most accounts), social media can be especially effective for nonprofits looking to increase their visibility. Read the rest of this entry