WILMINGTON RENAISSANCE CORPORATION

aka Wilmington Alliance   |   Wilmington, DE   |  www.wilmingtonalliance.org

Mission

Wilmington Alliance partners with community and civic leaders to prioritize Wilmington’s highest needs. The Alliance connects with neighborhoods, the business community, nonprofits, and local, state and regional development entities to drive economic opportunity and cultural vitality. Nurturing this network of catalysts for the betterment of Wilmington and its residents, the Alliance will focus on economic and workforce development, revitalization through community engagement, and creative placemaking.

Ruling year info

1994

CEO

Ms. Renata Kowalczyk

Main address

100 W 10th St Ste 206

Wilmington, DE 19801 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

51-0347680

NTEE code info

Economic Development (S30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Wilmington is a tale of two cities 69% of residents earn less than $33K yr. Pre-COVID, White household median income was $60,772. Black $30,034 and Latino $32,976 households had income disparity above cnty/ste/ntnl levels. Family poverty rates White 7% Black 26.9% Latino 25.3% - deep life expectancy inequalities. The difference between a resident born and raised on the East Side and one in zip:19806 is 16 yrs. The health crisis exacerbates equity issues. Communities of color are disproportionately impacted and at high risk of employment loss with needs for social services health care and access to food and safety. Wilm’s unemployment rate is 16.5% (July 2020); State is 10.4%. As a result of COVID 86% of small businesses can't withstand 2 mos lost revenue; 1/3 risk shutting down. Fed and State funding helps keep businesses open, but funding limited for new business/entrepreneurship that facilitates recovery. The NY Times speaks to eroding wage tax income, 47% of Wilmington’s revenue.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INCLUSION

This policy level evaluation and continuing work is undergirded and bolstered by our inclusion as the only Delaware cohort in the Reinventing Our Communities (ROC) initiative of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Wilmington has also joined the National League of Cities’ City Innovation Ecosystem Program as a cohort city. The Wilmington work group will identify significant policy and process barriers standing in the way of employment and wealth building among Black and Brown residents. Through 2022, the cohort will continue to develop strategies to mitigate barriers and address policies to drive a more equitable economy for all in Wilmington. The goal is to create strong workforce development initiatives for the City. This will be further solidified by our planned application to the National Fund for Workforce Solutions as part of a collaborative. The Alliance sees itself as the convener and repository for national best practices and resources for this important work. To bring it to successful fruition, in 2021 the Alliance plans to hire a Director of Economic Development and Inclusion.
Wilmington is Working: The Wilmington is Working Workforce Ecosystem Analysis (a workforce landscape environmental scan) will be released and implemented. The Alliance will convene this multi-partner effort and orchestrate collaboration of providers, employers, and seekers of opportunities. Guided by national best practices and the report’s goals and recommendations, we will create a robust pipeline of recruitment, training, placement, support, and follow up for the unemployed/underemployed. Our effort to close the digital divide (the Wilmington is Working Equitable Technology Fund) will continue to meet participants’ needs for devices as nonprofits’ online job training programs continue and expand.
Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Wilmington (E3 Wilmington): A partnership with the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation, E3 Wilmington will create conditions for successful entrepreneurship and business development, building citywide strategic coalitions providing resources and access to funding sources to identify, vet, incubate, and accelerate new business start-ups and small businesses. The program will help level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color by ensuring there is an equity focus.
Wilmington Strong Fund: With partners, this fund has provided grants to help small Black- and Brown-owned businesses recover from Covid-19 and to stabilize communities. If need continues, the Alliance will work in 2021 as required. To continue small business support, Wilmington Made (a shop-local initiative) will build a citywide network promoting local businesses, restaurants, stores, and cafes. It will elevate local businesses through multiple marketing channels, providing marketing and advertising expertise and expanding on our 2019 Market Made and West Side Made campaigns. Designed in partnership with other economic development organizations, the campaign will market, celebrate, and incentivize shopping locally.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Alliance will continue to contribute significantly to the work of the Community Intervention Team’s two program areas: case management as an intervention strategy for those youth most at risk and the M.E.E.T. program, preventative engagement for young adults 17-24. We will be the fiscal sponsor for this work.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We work with the community to invest in infrastructure that creates an equitable environment where community members have access to resources and experiences in their own neighborhood. If Wilmington is to thrive, its citizens must have vibrant neighborhoods that reflect equity and authenticity. To date, our successful programs have been undertaken and completed in West Center City (WCC). Using our placemaking experience, we plan to begin similar work in Wilmington’s Northeast section over the next two years. Continuing interlocking WCC work includes:
Art O Mat: This partnership with the City of Wilmington involves reclamation of a former nuisance property at 7th & Washington Streets into a multi-use programs-and pop-up-retail space. Funds are in hand, and we are awaiting final City approval to acquire and renovate this property in 2021. Programming in this space will be overseen by the Creative Placemaking coordinator and an intern position.
Kitchen Incubator. In partnership with Grace United Methodist Church, this project (long in development) is moving forward. We have committed funding for capital improvements and staff resources to lead the project. The Church has secured additional funding; we have hired Breckstone Architects; and BPGS has been added to the project as construction consultants.
This commercial kitchen space will serve culinary entrepreneurs and will support entrepreneurs from the Kitchen Incubator and additional vendors participating in our successful Farmers Market (resumed in 2021) and farm share pick up, a 45-member strong seasonal program located in The Rock Lot and Grace Church. The need for fresh and local produce continues to be intensified by the pandemic.
7th & West Streets Community Garden. The fully subscribed Garden, adjacent to the new 7th & West Community Park (dedicated in 2019), has remained active during COVID. A Farmer in Residence oversees the garden and guides the gardeners. We hope to expand on this model in 2021, bringing more community gardens under the Farmer’s guidance and increasing participation and interest in hyper-local food sources.
Gathering in the Parks: This program has presented weekly free outdoor programs in The Rock Lot and WCC locales since 2017. Its scheduled May 2020 expansion to 7th & West Community Park has been rescheduled to 2021 due to coronavirus restrictions. Since our community engagement via community programming has been postponed, the lack of positive activity and its effects have been felt in the neighborhood. Such programming supports community cohesion and builds the social capacity that will be desperately needed as we emerge from the pandemic.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
• Implement the Wilmington is Working Workforce Ecosystem Analysis comprehensive report that supports and scales ability to serve consumers through virtual recruitment, training, and launch.
o Identify organization and training verticals to allow student and staff online training.
o Provide equipment, systems, and support for up to 500 trainees to work/train remotely.
o Assist training programs in supporting partners to access services, enhance programming, and increase capacity via shared resources.
• Create a dashboard in partnership with National League of Cities and Compass Red that uses a lens of social determinants of health and equity (not centralized by City tracking).
• Coordinate/align organizations supporting entrepreneurs/small businesses with Black and Brown entrepreneurs through the Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3).
o Identify, recruit, train, launch, and support minority entrepreneur and small business owners via a concierge-based model.
o Identify relevant entrepreneurial-based organizations to engage, support, and shepherd up to 20 entrepreneurs.
o Assist up to 20 programs in providing wraparound support, resources, and an engagement network to meet growth goals and needs.
o Provide a unified access point to assess, triage, and assist entrepreneurs to launch or re-launch toward recovery.

PLACEMAKING
The Alliance will engage Interface Studios to evaluate our ongoing, long-term, successful creative placemaking work in West Center City to create a plan that would expand this work into the City’s Northeast neighborhood.

CAPACITY BUILDING
The Alliance will seek to expand our staff by adding the following personnel:
• Director of Economic Development and Inclusion
• Business Development Coordinator
• Creative Placemaking Coordinator
• Paid internship for Placemaking support

REBUILDING WILMINGTON’S ECONOMY
Wilmington is Working Workforce Ecosystem Analysis is a comprehensive environmental scan and workforce report with goals and recommended actions. The multi-partner Wilmington is Working Equitable Technology Fund seeks to close the digital divide by providing nonprofits with devices for online training participants.
Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Wilmington (E3), a partnership with Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation, supports entrepreneurs of color. Mayor Purzycki supports this initiative and has joined National League of Cities’ City Innovation Ecosystem Program. Wilmington Strong Fund partnership provides grants to help small Black- and Brown-owned businesses recover from Covid-19 and stabilize communities. Wilmington Made incentivizes shopping locally.

SOCIAL INTERVENTION FOR VIOLENCE PREVENTION
We work with the Community Intervention Team, which utilizes both prevention – the Mentoring, Education, Employment and Trust (M.E.E.T.) program (youth under 18) and intensive case management (young adults 13-25) – to address systemic conditions creating inequity and contributing to violence.

NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION
Interlocking projects support both community needs and our pillars of work. Projects include transforming vacant parcels to green spaces like 7th & West Streets Park/Community Garden (a reclaimed brownfield) and The Rock Lot. At the Art O Mat (7th & Washington Streets), a former nuisance property will become a multi-use space with pop-up retail. The Kitchen Incubator (with Grace U.M. Church) will provide commercial kitchen space for culinary entrepreneurs.

Wilmington Alliance was created in 2019 by merging Wilmington Renaissance Corporation and Wilmington Leaders Alliance. All Alliance initiatives involve equitable wealth creation in the traditionally marginalized Wilmington communities of Black and Brown residents. This is done through 3 major pillars of work:

REBUILDING WILMINGTON’S ECONOMY
Wilmington is Working Workforce Ecosystem Analysis is an environmental scan of our workforce development landscape. This comprehensive report will identify stakeholders (unemployed/underemployed); support providers/employers; service arrays; gaps; and areas of opportunity. It will generate goals and recommendations for a robust pipeline of recruitment, training, placement, support, and follow-up, with benchmarks, timelines, and outputs. The multi-partner effort includes work to close the digital divide through the Wilmington is Working Equitable Technology Fund, where nonprofits with online job training programs can receive devices for participants.

Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Wilmington (E3): A partnership with Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation, The Equitable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3 Wilmington) supports entrepreneurs of color. It connects strategic partners to support entrepreneurs with Entrepreneurship Coaching/Business Planning; Marketing/Promotion; IT/Infrastructure; and Space Planning/Access to Funding. Mayor Purzycki offered full support for this much-needed initiative, including joining National League of Cities’ City Innovation Ecosystem Program as a cohort city.

Wilmington Strong Fund: This fund (a partnership with Cornerstone West CDC, City of Wilmington, True Access, Cinnaire, and DE Division of Small Business) provides grants to help small businesses (Black- and Brown-owned) recover from Covid-19 and stabilize communities. Wilmington Made, a shop-local initiative, expands on our 2019 Market Made and West Side Made campaigns. Designed in partnership with other economic development organizations, it will market, celebrate, and incentivize shopping locally.

SOCIAL INTERVENTION FOR VIOLENCE PREVENTION
The Alliance works with the Community Intervention Team, which utilizes preventive Mentoring, Education, Employment and Trust (M.E.E.T.) program, for youth under age 18, and intensive case management, for young adults 13-25, to address structural and systemic conditions that create inequity and contribute to violence.

NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION
We create vibrant communities where individuals have the opportunity to live, work, thrive, and succeed. Projects include reclaiming vacant, often-polluted parcels for community designed green spaces like 7th and West Sts Park and Community Garden and The Rock Lot. Both now are locations for free quality community arts programming, Farmers Markets, and Farm Share pick-up.

The Art O Mat (7th and Washington Streets) turns a former nuisance property into a multi-use space with pop-up retail for arts programming and entrepreneurship support.

WRC PLACEMAKING
7th & West Streets Park. We purchased and remediated a 9-parcel brownfield to create a community park/garden (opened November 2019). Investment by multiple funders (including mortgage held by the Alliance and the State) totaled $1.3 million.

The Rock Lot. Popular arts programming: Drumming Circle, jazz nights, spoken word events, Capoeira workshops, bi-weekly Farm share pick up, Farmers Market. Programming suspended in March 2020 due to Covid-19.

Art O Mat. This project is advancing. After recent unanimous City Council property transfer approval, we are negotiating settlement with the City. Breckstone Architects and the Challenge Program are design/construction partners. The interior is demolished; remediation work is completed. The Land Bank approved us to take ownership of the adjacent vacant lot.

WLA WORK
Workforce Development
• In March 2020, WLA had to pause its programs Universal Banker and Construction Helper (with Generation, whose Wilmington staff was furloughed).
• Prior to March 2020 Wilmington is Working engaged the City’s largest employers to launch soft skills/targeted job training for construction/financial services industries.
• Partnering with Generation, we developed/implemented a workforce training curriculum. In 10 months, it graduated 90 students (18/Construction, 72/ Universal Banker).
• Programs collectively reported 92% placement into employment.

Violence Prevention
Social Contract completed the “Discovery Phase:” ecosystem landscape analysis; national best practices research; talent recruitment; and a plan to address violence among youth/young adults. This led to the “Implementation Phase.” Changes (approved by Longwood February 2020) called for $250,000 investment in the Community Intervention Team (CIT) Street Outreach program. Outcomes called for at least 30 youth under age 18 to complete the program with a culminating project and at least 20 high-risk youth and young adults (13-25) to participate in intensive case management. The following has been accomplished:
• Wilmington Alliance released $250,000 of funding.
• 813 N. Tattnall Street location was secured but (due to COVID-19) programming and case management is now virtual.
• M.E.E.T Program: Cohort #1 – 14 youth recruited, 10 completed; Cohort #2 – 6 recruited.
• Intensive case management: 2 case managers continue with 15-client load; 6 individuals starting employment and training program.

Financials

WILMINGTON RENAISSANCE CORPORATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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WILMINGTON RENAISSANCE CORPORATION

Board of directors
as of 8/31/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Thère du Pont

Longwood Foundation

Term: 2018 - 2020


Board co-chair

Mr. Glenn Moore

Delmarva Power

Term: 2019 -

Thère du Pont

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Glenn Moore

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Nicholas Lambrow

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Rodger Levenson

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Lolita Lopez

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Paul McConnell

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Kenyetta McCurdy-Byrd

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Nicholas Moriello

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Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/23/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/22/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.