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Nonprofits (203)

UICA not alone in facing restructuring

Written by | Sunday, 10 June 2012 21:36 |

GRAND RAPIDS — That arts organizations struggled during the recent economic downturn should surprise no one, but when a cultural institution that appeared to be going in the right direction faltered, the West Michigan community took notice. 

Such is the case with the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, which announced that it was in financial trouble just 10 months after its widely publicized community move from the location at 41 Sheldon Avenue to 2 East Fulton Street in downtown Grand Rapids.

Business is looking up for the office furniture industry. While initial forecasts from the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) International had 2012 looking like a down year for production, the industry group is planning to announce — at the NeoCon World Trade Fair in Chicago — some newly revised numbers for this year and next. Executive Director Tom Reardon said the newest forecast predicts 2012 shipments of $9.69 billion, a 3.4-percent increase from 2011, and 2013 shipments of $10.34 billion, a 6.7-percent increase from 2012

Landmark GR market serves up biz lessons

Written by | Sunday, 03 June 2012 11:01 |

GRAND RAPIDS — If you live in the Grand Rapids area, you have probably been to the Fulton Street Farmers Market.

Located in Midtown near the corner of Fulton and Fuller Avenue, every May, the 90-year-old market becomes the go-to place for locally sourced fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products, and other organic and eco-friendly items.

YANKEE SPRINGS TOWNSHIP — On May 8, the mineral rights for 23,419 acres of land in Barry County were leased to two private oil and gas companies by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The deal was part of a larger, statewide auction that offered up drilling rights to more than 100,000 acres in 23 different counties throughout Michigan.

Neighborhood associations are truly the unsung heroes of the so-called "voluntary sector."

Michigan's more than 110 nonprofit neighborhood associations take on everything from crime prevention to sidewalk beautification — feats accomplished by skeleton crews of paid staff (if they even have paid staff), volunteer power and teeny-tiny budgets.

Let’s face facts: A lot of people shop at Goodwill, but they don’t all want to admit it — or at least not until recently when Goodwill suddenly got cool.

In some ways, the fact that churches and other faith-based nonprofits are able to raise sufficient funds to keep their doors open is nothing short of miraculous.

Most people never associated “cancer” with “funny” — at least not until LaughFest came to town. In just two years, the ten-day festival, a fundraiser for Gilda’s Club, has become one of West Michigan’s most anticipated and well-attended events.

It’s been a tough decade for Michigan’s nonprofit fundraisers. A perfect storm of economic forces increased the demand for nonprofit services while also forcing the donors who support them to tighten their belts. Now the repeal of the Michigan Charitable Tax Credit promises a whole new set of challenges for fundraisers trying to solicit donations in what remains a tough economy.

Father John Geaney, CSP, director of the Catholic Information Center, today announced staff changes for the Grand Rapids Center. Irene Strom has been promoted to Associate Director of Programming.

Any organization features people with various levels of natural talent, but the key to how well the organization performs lies in how that diversity of people works together.

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