Detroit Impact is a program of the Detroit Revitalization & Business Initiative. Each year, 8 teams of University of Michigan graduate students in business, law, architecture and urban planning undertake 4-month consulting engagements with Detroit-based businesses and organizations to help them solve a pressing business problem.
Detroit Impact 2012 – 2013 Partner & Project Descriptions
Michigan Corps is a platform empowering Michiganders to use the web and more to lead change in our home state. The organization’s mission is to unleash the collective power of Michiganders (the ‘Corps’) as leaders in social innovation across the state, by creating easy yet meaningful opport
unities for ‘Corps Members’ to engage in impactful initiatives. The Detroit Impact team was tasked with creating a recruiting and marketing strategy to attract Michiganders to engage with Michigan Corps, and develop consistent product offerings that create purposeful connection. Team members mapped the existing Michigan Corps membership base, articulated motives for ‘Corps Member’ engagement, identified best practice case models for crowd-sourcing projects / place-based service models, articulated a value proposition for “joining the ‘Corps’”, provided recommendations on product strategy, and developed an incentive strategy to sustain engagement.
Fresh Corner Café
Fresh Corner Café L3C (FCC) is a Detroit-based fresh food delivery service that partners with local restaurants and food producers to provide fresh and healthy pre-packaged meals to liquor stores, gas stations, small grocers, cafes, and corporate offices throughout the city. Through wholesale purchasing and a cross-subsidization model that charges higher prices to those who can afford them, FCC is able to provide affordable and high-quality café experiences in underserved areas throughout the city while strengthening the local food system.
The team created a marketing strategy for the Fresh Corner Café’s (FCC) new lunch delivery service, Fresh Corner Express. This strategy clarified FCC’s target customer and made recommendations to turn Fresh Corner Express into a profitable service offered throughout Detroit (and elsewhere).
Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program (DRFP)
Detroit Revitalization efforts, including nonprofits, profit companies, and governmental agencies. Fellows work to build capacity, cultivate relationships, foster collaboration, and accelerate progress across organizations engaged in revitalizing Detroit.
The team was tasked with building a cross-cutting collaborative project (“Legacy Project”) across multiple organization Detroit Revitalization Fellows are placed in. The team provided strategic facili
tation of a coherent process to support the design, research, community outreach and implementation planning of the project.
Midtown Detroit, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of community and economic development in the Midtown area of Detroit. Midtown Detroit aims to foster and facilitate reinvestment and community development in Midtown through collaboration and partnerships with key stakeholders and support founders.
The team created a revitalization strategy for the New Center/North End neighborhood, an area that thrives with life during workday hours, yet suffers from a dearth of retail and recreation options at all other times. Detroit Impact team members were tasked with building a redevelopment strategy and implementation plan that fits into the context of the New Center/North End neighborhood, including the potential for mixed-use development, increased retail options, and improvements to building facades and streetscapes.
Chalkfly.com is the #1 online office and school supply company in Detroit, offering 10,000+ products, 24/7 Customer Service, 365 Day Returns and Free Shipping. While also providing great customer service, competitive pricing and industry leading technology, Chalkfly is hoping to drastically improve education in America by providing school supplies for students across the country. The company gives 5% of qualified purchases back to schools to improve education across America.
The Detroit Impact team was tasked with developing a business development strategy to grow Chalkfly’s online office supplies business and realize the greatest ROI from its growth activities. The team assessed and identified the best markets for Chalkfly to enter, and developed a strategy to most effectively penetrate these markets.
Challenge Detroit is a community-wide initiative created to retain and attract tomorrow’s leaders, and to inspire them to make an impact on the growth and revitalization of the greater Detroit region. Challenge Detroit is a year-long program commencing in September 2012 that brings together 30 of tomorrow’s leaders to live, work, play, and give in Detroit.
The team developed a recruiting strategy for identifying and attracting top talent to Detroit and a fundraising strategy for attracting and retaining key investors. The project included creating a segmentation of professional demographic groups and developing targeted recruiting and marketing approaches for both Challenge Detroit candidates and investors.
Playworks is a national nonprofit organization that supports learning by providing safe, healthy and inclusive play and physical activity to low-income schools at recess and throughout the entire school day.
The Detroit Impact team built an assessment framework to understand when the Playworks program will reach a point at which it is self-sustaining. The team identified key metrics for the program and developed a sustainability strategy for Playworks to roll out at participating elementary schools.
Henry Ford Learning Institute / Henry Ford Academy
Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create small schools and hands-on learning programs to build thriving communities where education is everyone’s responsibility.
The Detroit Impact team was tasked with developing a marketing and branding strategy for Henry Ford Academy. The team helped HFA identify its key brand pillars and developed recruiting and marketing tactics to reach elementary families in Detroit, including the creation of promotional materials and specific messages to targeted families through traditional and social media.