Metallaphotocatalysis typically requires a photocatalyst to harness the energy of visible-light and transfer it to a transition metal catalyst to trigger chemical reactions. The most prominent example is the merger of photo- and nickel catalysis that unlocked various cross-couplings. However, the high reactivity of excited photocatalyst can lead to unwanted side reactions thus limiting this approach. Here we show that a bipyridine ligand that is subtly decorated with two carbazole groups forms a nickel complex that absorbs visible-light and promotes several carbon–heteroatom cross-couplings in the absence of an exogenous photocatalysts. The ligand can be polymerized in a simple one-step procedure to afford a porous organic polymer that can be used for heterogeneous nickel catalysis in the same reactions. The material can be easily recovered and reused multiple times maintaining high catalytic activity and selectivity.