Members of the Detroit-based nonprofit Developing Kids pose with a check for $100,000 from Impact 100 Metro Detroit. The nonprofit’s president and CEO, Kimberly Johnson, wrote a grant and was awarded the funds during Impact 100’s annual Big Give event.

Members of the Detroit-based nonprofit Developing Kids pose with a check for $100,000 from Impact 100 Metro Detroit. The nonprofit’s president and CEO, Kimberly Johnson, wrote a grant and was awarded the funds during Impact 100’s annual Big Give event.

Photo provided by Jennie Miller


Youth service nonprofit awarded $100,000 grant

By: Jacob Herbert | Southfield Sun | Published June 11, 2021

SOUTHFIELD — When it comes to the world of nonprofits, funding is just about everything.

Proper funding allows organizations to expand their services, thereby making more people aware of the nonprofit’s mission.

Developing Kids is a nonprofit based in Detroit and run by Southfield native Kimberly Johnson. Johnson’s organization primarily serves youth on the west side of Detroit. They provide school and summer programming, serving around 600 youth ages 5 to 24. Most of the services they provide are high-quality after-school programs, summer programs and development activities.

Johnson was recently awarded one of two $100,000 grants by Impact 100 Metro Detroit, an organization made up exclusively of women who every year give out large grants to local nonprofits.

“We see our role as fueling transformation through nonprofit heroes,” said Impact 100 President Amy Bouque. “We’re trying to redefine philanthropy so that each of us, by contributing $1,000, are part of this movement of women who are leaning into their communities to find ways to make meaningful impact with these $100,000 grants.”

Impact 100 consists of 252 women. Each year, every member is expected to donate $1,000 of their own money to be dispersed as grants. Since there are 252 women in the group, they donate $252,000 in grant money each year. Two nonprofits get $100,000 grants, and the $52,000 remainder is dispersed evenly between the other three finalists. Freedom House Detroit and Developing Kids were the two nonprofits to be awarded $100,000.

“I stood there at the side of the stage and I was shocked,” Johnson said. “They called our organization’s name first, and it was happening so fast. I started walking towards the stage and because we were the first organization called, we thought we had the smaller grant, but I was still very grateful for that. Then I saw them walk towards me with a check with the zeros and my emotions took over. I lost control.”

In her pitch to Impact 100, Johnson said she wanted to expand the services they provide for young people ages 14-24 because that is the largest population they serve. The nine-year Southfield resident wants to deepen the services and expand to support 100 to 150 more youth in that age range. Also in the pitch, Johnson spoke on literacy intervention — in Detroit, before the pandemic, only 17% of third graders could read proficiently, she said.

“When I listened to Kim Johnson’s pitch and she told the story of the children’s lives that she’s able to impact through the after-school programming, she has a story similar to those she’s serving,” Bouque said. “I knew that she would speak to the hearts of the women. She spoke to our hearts and really connected us. When she told her story, the lives that she’s impacting and what our $100,000 would do for her organization, I instinctively guessed that she would be a recipient.”

Johnson and Developing Kids currently work out of the St. Suzanne Cody Rouge Community Resource Center at 19321 W. Chicago Road in Detroit. To start off, Johnson will provide the expanded services from that building, but she is also in the process of searching for an additional location on the northwest side of Detroit, which she can now afford to do because of the grant money.

“I am truly thankful for the opportunity to be a recipient of the grant award and grateful to be able to build relationships, because I plan to develop 252-plus new friends,” Johnson said. “These women are extraordinary, and I am looking forward to building this relationship and introducing them to all of the aspects of Developing Kids. I thank them for donating not just their treasure but their time and their talents.”

Johnson said she is looking forward to possibly joining Impact 100 in the near future.