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Nonprofit

Nonprofits (209)

Nonprofit networks increase access to college

Written by | Sunday, 05 August 2012 22:01 |

Myriad business groups in Michigan and beyond have started tackling education as a key business imperative. Their argument is that without an educated workforce, companies struggle to compete in a global environment.

Certified or built to LEED standards?

Written by | Thursday, 19 July 2012 20:00 |

Now that LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is a fact of life in the building industry in West Michigan and worldwide, some of the conversation inevitably has shifted from "What's LEED?" to "Why bother?"

The latter regards the time, effort and expense related to achieving LEED certification, which provides a framework for implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Foundations look to next-generation leaders

Written by | Sunday, 22 July 2012 00:28 |

WEST MICHIGAN — Family foundations serve as one of the main branches of West Michigan's philanthropic sector. 

Not only have they given millions to charitable causes, but family foundations have also cultivated a regional culture of philanthropy, inspiring others to put their own time, talent and treasure to good charitable use.

LANSING — A bill making its way through the state legislature would put economic benefits on the same plane as environmental protection when evaluating developments in the state's critical dune areas.

If passed, Senate Bill 1130 would spell changes for how realtors, homebuilders and lakefront property owners could develop their properties in areas the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality designates as critical dunes. But environmental and other groups say the legislation puts one of Michigan's unique features at risk.

MICHIGAN — A new law passed with unanimous bipartisan support returns a popular fundraising tool to nonprofit organizations and corrects an unintended consequence of the state's sweeping tax reform from last year.

Currently awaiting the Governor's signature, Senate Bill 1104 will make it easier for nonprofits to secure charitable gift annuities by reversing the mandate for taxes to be withheld for this type of gift — an unintended result of last year's sweeping tax reforms. 

Saugatuck’s silver screen success

Written by | Tuesday, 26 June 2012 09:22 |

SAUGATUCK — The Waterfront Film Festival has grown into one of the most anticipated happenings on West Michigan's arts calendar.

Since 1999, the non-competitive film event has showcased Midwest premiers of Academy Award winning films, new projects by Hollywood directors, independent documentaries and the chance to spot celebs like Jeff Goldblum and Sex and the City's Jason Lewis.

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.

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