The tradition of strong volunteer boards and committees is uniquely American and is key to making Newaygo County one of the most vibrant rural counties in Michigan.

This coming year, the Community Foundation, in partnership with the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, will identify and train a new wave of people willing to serve on our local nonprofit, church, township, service club, and other community boards.

In February and April of 2017, the Johnson Center will provide specialized board training for those inspired to serve and who possess a passion for improving our community. The program will culminate with an event aimed at pairing newly trained community volunteers with the nonprofits and organizations in need of their leadership.

In addition, the Johnson Center will lead a coaching series for current leaders of nonprofit boards. Through three sessions, local board chairpersons will gain insights into addressing their organizations’ toughest challenges and enhance their roles to lead effectively. The first coaching session is planned for January.

To learn more, or to express your interest in participating, call Mark Petz, special projects coordinator, at 231.924.5350 or email