(CBS DETROIT) – All across Detroit, community organizers put their blood, sweat, and tears into their work, and like many non-profits, it’s hard to find funding to keep the mission alive.

Credit: Detroit Residents First Fund

“How could we get the money into these natural leaders that weren’t doing the on the groundwork, but the underground work?” said Maria Salinas, Congress of Communities Executive Director.

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Thanks to the Detroit Residents First Fund donors, grassroots organizations now have a new source to tap into.

“It’s designed to provide funding for black, indigenous people of color, those who are underserved and under-funded by philanthropy,” said Daija Butler, Assistant Director of Planning for Wayne Metro Community Action Agency.

On Wednesday, Aug. 18, organizers gathered to celebrate the announcement of the $5.7 million fund, powered by the Ford, Kellog, Erb, and Skillman Foundations.

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“And 15 organizations were awarded up to $50,000 to continue to do the work to grow their communities,” said CW50’s Cryss Walker.

Mark Covington from Georgia Street Community Collective says his organization was able to expand programs through the grant.

“As an organization, it was hard for us to get grants from like the big foundations, so this, the DRFF grant was a lifesaver for us,” said Covington.

The Detroit Residents First Fund is looking for more donors to raise $10 million to continue to support community leaders.

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