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Oakland University Pontiac Initiative

North Foundation Hall, Room 121
318 Meadow Brook Rd.
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-4455
[email protected]

group of people giving a thumbs up sign, standing by banners that say "Promise Zone"

Building Capacity for Non-Profits and Neighborhoods

The Building Capacity for Non-Profits and Neighborhoods pillar consists of multiple non - profit organizations dedicated to supporting the needs of Pontiac residents and families. The pillar works to support emerging non - profit organizations by sponsoring non - profit organizations leaders to complete grant workshops or receive a non - profit management certificate


Pillar Leads

Headshot of Jean Ann Miller
Jean Ann Miller
OU Lead
Senior Director
Office for Student Involvement
[email protected]
Alexandra Borngesser head shot
Alexandra Borngesser
Pontiac Lead
Director of Grants and Philanthropy
[email protected]
Samino Scott head shot
Samino Scott, Ph.D.
Community Partner
Executive Director of Pontiac Collective Impact Partnership
[email protected]
Headshot of Susan Harding
Susan Harding, Ph.D.
Community Partner
Chief Executive Officer
[email protected]
  • Increase awareness of, and communication between, all nonprofits serving Pontiac
  • Increase the number of students in the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program
  • Promote cross-campus and cross-community collaboration for all social impact activities
Non-Profit Management Certificate Program
In October 2018, Oakland University’s Non-Profit Management Certificate Program graduated four non-profit leaders from the Pontiac community. Later in 2018 an additional six members of the Pontiac non-profit community collectively received over $25,000 in tuition waivers to attend this year-long non-profit professional development training. The Pontiac scholarship recipients Included Sonya LeDuff-Malone (OLHSA), Maggie Razdar (Kids Standard Magazine), Patrice Teasley (Pontiac Community Alliance), Leah McCall (Alliance for Housing), Chrishelle Griffin (Pontiac Policy Council), Catherine Johnson (God Is Raising Devoted Ladies for Excellence G.I.R.D.L.E.), Glen Konopaskie (Pontiac Transportation Museum), Melissa McQueen (Oakland Integrated Healthcare Network), Shannon Smith (Lighthouse of Oakland County) and Brent Sykes (Pontiac Youth Assistance).
Grant Workshops
OU-Pontiac Initiative Community Impact Sponsorship funding was awarded to Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency (OLHSA) to provide grant-writing training for Pontiac nonprofits and community groups. Forty-one Pontiac nonprofits attended one of two free workshops held on April 13 and May 18, 2019 on Oakland University’s campus. Two additional workshops trained 15 Oakland University student volunteers who donated their time to assist in the community sessions. Each workshop consists of a three-hour grant writing training as an experiential learning opportunity for Oakland University students and Pontiac community members pursuing grant writing skills. The trainings covered researching grant opportunities, key components of successful grant proposals, and basic management of awards. Participants that completed gained a general understanding of planning, developing, and writing successful grant applications. The sessions were taught by Dr. Pat Chatman.
Make a Difference Day
Each year, hundreds of Oakland University students participate in Oakland University’s “Make a Difference Day”. “Make a Difference Day” is usually held the second Saturday of October, students are encouraged to complete an online registration in advance in order to be placed at a particular site. Upcoming “Make a Difference Day” is Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Jean Ann Miller at [email protected].
Outcome Data
  • Nonprofit Management courses were provided to 46 students
  • Oakland University provided $62,550 in scholarships to Pontiac residents
  • Oakland University staff provided 2,426 staff hours to the Nonprofit Management Certificate Program