This year has been full of accomplishments, events, learning, and impact. And it’s all possible thanks to the thoughtfulness, generosity, and passion of people like you! Here are a few of the things we accomplished together in 2023:
We have awarded $5.3 million in grants so far this year, with more to be awarded by the end of this month.
We welcomed 14 new members to Our Next 75 this year. Our Next 75 includes those who commit to supporting their community now and into the future. With our 75th anniversary coming in 2026, we are already at nearly 85% of our goal!
In August, we held our first Emeritus and Board Dinner for current and past trustees. It was a time for updates and great discussions.
We partnered with Newaygo County to launch the Housing Partnership Fund. County commissioners approved $1 million and our trustees earmarked an additional $500,000 to support local housing creation. The first grants were made from the fund this fall, with a second round open now.
We were excited to host several learning opportunities, including a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop in May and a grantee workshop in September. We also welcomed author, speaker, and educator Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz to Lake County in August. Ilyasah—the daughter of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz—spoke about her memoir Growing Up X and how educational attainment is a key to alleviating poverty.
Students in Mecosta, Newaygo, and Osceola counties were engaged in grantmaking and leadership development as part of our Youth Advisory Committees.
We worked with the Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership in their efforts to attract state grants, leverage resources, and make plans to enhance our community.
We hosted Congressman John Moolenaar, Representative Joseph Fox, and Senator Rick Outman to talk about Newaygo County, surrounding communities, and priorities for citizen well-being. I also participated in Foundations on the Hill to advocate for philanthropic issues on Capitol Hill.
We launched our updated strategic framework. Guided by our refreshed goals and guiding principles, we began to engage in more trust-based philanthropy, streamlined our governance structure, and look for opportunities for positive disruption.
We loved spending time meeting with donors, community leaders, and neighbors to listen to their stories and dreams for the Community Foundation.
Your partnership made all of these things—and much more—possible in 2023. We look forward to continuing to serve our community with you in 2024. Thank you, and happy holidays!