Fostering Growth and Prosperity in Detroit: The Contributions of a Philanthropy Officer

Social work and philanthropy are essential components in building strong and thriving communities. The dedication of professionals in these fields can profoundly impact people’s lives and improve the well-being of entire neighborhoods. Chelsea Salame, a Master of Social Work focused on community change and leadership, has committed herself to these noble causes. 

She has demonstrated an unwavering passion for philanthropy and social work. Her humble beginnings in a working-class household of 2nd and 3rd-generation immigrants have instilled in her a deep-rooted sense of community and a drive to give back. As a graduate with a Master of Social Work degree focusing on community change and leadership, Chelsea’s education and experiences have prepared her to take a macro approach when leading community and economic development.

One of the organizations that Chelsea has been working with is the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation (GRDC). This non-profit community-based organization aims to revitalize the Grandmont Rosedale communities of northwest Detroit. In her role as Senior Economic Development Manager, Chelsea’s primary responsibility is to support local businesses and entrepreneurs while fostering economic development in the area.

Chelsea’s extensive contributions to GRDC include various economic development projects such as the Grand River WorkPlace, Multi-use community space, and new housing development on Detroit’s west side. She has conducted policy analysis and refinement within the Vacant Property task force, researched and wrote grant proposals for a $7,000 beautification grant, and organized the Northwest Detroit Farmers Market and its sixteen vendors. Moreover, she has assessed community groups like the block captains, District 1 managers, and the Board of Police Commissioners in regularly scheduled meetings and counseled sixty Homeowner Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP) applicants to prevent home foreclosure.

Before joining GRDC, Chelsea worked as a Philanthropy Officer at The Children’s Center of Wayne County in Detroit. She played an essential role in creating social programming by fostering donor and community partner relationships while researching funding opportunities for enrichment programming. She also managed and organized over one hundred volunteers and profiles and assisted in planning two fundraising events, Tour De Fork Donor and the Donor Appreciation Event (DAE). Chelsea participated in the agency’s culture committee to ensure inclusive services, which established strategic actions.

Chelsea is also the Director of Gold Soul Society, a freelance organization that promotes equity through community empowerment, healing, and networking. She has been involved in this position for four years.

Chelsea Salame’s work at GRDC and her passion for philanthropy and social work demonstrates her invaluable contributions to the Detroit community. Her dedication to economic development and ability to establish interpersonal relationships with small business owners and entrepreneurs have fostered growth and prosperity in the area. As Detroit continues to develop, leaders like Chelsea Salame will be instrumental in ensuring that the community thrives.

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