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Nonprofits

SPONSORED BY GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

KALAMAZOO — City officials announced today that the Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence has received an anonymous $400 million donation to support the nonprofit’s mission to continue providing key city services without increasing local taxes.

Alison Freas saw the opportunity to lead a Grand Rapids nonprofit focused on career development as a broader platform for her longtime work in the private sector. Freas, who begins her new role as executive director of Grand Rapids-based The SOURCE on July 26, has a decade’s worth of experience in various human resources roles at Herman Miller Inc., most recently as manager of career development. Formed in 2003, The SOURCE now partners with roughly 20 area companies to promote employee retention and advancement through specific job training, personal growth classes and other support services to help employees overcome workforce barriers. Freas spoke with MiBiz about her goal to expand The SOURCE’s partnerships in the region and lessons learned from the pandemic.

New research from Grand Valley State University is shining an unusual spotlight on the spending activity of donor advised funds, an emerging philanthropic tool that’s gaining speed with relatively little regulatory oversight.

BYRON TWP. — Special Olympics Michigan Inc. has launched the public phase of a capital campaign to raise $20 million to transform the former South Christian High School into what would be the largest Special Olympics facility in the world.

new legislation session in Lansing this year has brought another attempt to reinstate tax credits for charitable contributions to homeless shelters, food kitchens, food banks or community foundations.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused major shifts in philanthropic giving last year as human services organizations benefited and small-level donors increased, according to a recent report from global nonprofit Giving Tuesday.

MUSKEGON — Leadership at the Frauenthal Center stepped back in 2019 to administer a full architectural assessment of the historic performing and events center, which has endured nine decades of consistent wear and tear.

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts recently received a $65,000 grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art as part of a nationwide initiative.

For nearly 13 years, Jeremy DeRoo has played an integral role in seeking equity within disadvantaged Grand Rapids neighborhoods, particularly when it comes to housing and development opportunities.

GRAND RAPIDS —The Dwelling Place board of directors has selected Jeremy DeRoo as the nonprofit housing developer’s next CEO.

GRAND RAPIDS — A trio of nonprofits are partnering to develop a roughly $5 million facility this fall to help meet ongoing needs for early childhood education in a historically disadvantaged part of the city.

GRAND RAPIDS — Faith-based homeless shelter Mel Trotter Ministries has raised $9.8 million so far as part of a nearly $15 million capital campaign to upgrade and expand housing resources and bolster its workforce development program.

Jazz McKinney started as executive director of the Grand Rapids Pride Center on March 15 after previously serving as the organization’s interim director and chair of its Transgender and Gender-Non-Conforming Committee. Originally from Detroit, McKinney — who uses they/them/their pronouns — is a Grand Valley State University graduate and longtime Grand Rapids resident.

Soon after the COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing stay-at-home order hit Michigan last spring, Ann Arbor tech entrepreneur Joe Malcoun formed a philanthropic venture to help restaurants and frontline workers.

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition has taken ownership of the 168-year-old First Baptist Church downtown and seeks to raise millions of dollars for renovations and expanded programming.

GRAND RAPIDS — The city of Grand Rapids is partnering with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation on what has been a years-long process of creating a fund to increase the amount of affordable housing.

Grand Rapids officials say part of the city’s post-pandemic rebound for events and entertainment should include a focus on reviving a local arts council to coordinate funding and programs.

MUSKEGON — In mid-March the Muskegon Museum of Art announced a $9.9 million expansion plan to add additional gallery space to the facility, which — according to museum officials — has already been mostly funded. 

Earlier this month, Kent and Ottawa counties separately released results from their Community Health Needs Assessment reports, which compile data from surveys of county residents, health care professionals, and community leaders. 

The Lansing-based Association of Accredited Child & Family Agencies launched a new effort in mid March calling for equitable funding for child welfare agencies that provide vital services to Michigan families.

GRAND RAPIDS — New City Neighbors is in the process of relocating its operations from Fourth Reformed Church following a dispute last year over the church’s position on sexual orientation and gender identity.

GRAND RAPIDS — Bethany Christian Services’ announcement this month that it would begin to help LGBTQ parents nationwide adopt children was a major policy reversal for the global adoption agency and, for civil rights advocates, appeared to be a step toward progress.

MUSKEGON — Two Muskegon nonprofits are partnering on a new affordable housing pilot program calling for six new homes in the city just east of downtown. 

Grand Haven-based nonprofit Do More Good has merged with a Nebraska organization that provides educational resources to nonprofits across the U.S., a move that officials say will expand their reach and mission.

GEORGETOWN TWP. — Hudsonville-based nonprofit Hand2Hand recently purchased a former Aldi grocery store to consolidate its office and warehouse space into one location.

Mel Trotter Ministries’ acquisitions of two other Grand Rapids nonprofits in 2020 marked the start of a significant, long-term shift for the nonprofit that executives say will fundamentally change the organization.

The full effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the national economy was still largely unknown when the first round of federal Paycheck Protection Program loans was announced in late March 2020.

GRAND RAPIDS — After acquiring two other Grand Rapids nonprofits over the last year, Mel Trotter Ministries is considering plans for a housing development after purchasing an abandoned property on the city’s south side.

Through the pandemic-related turmoil of 2020, many nonprofit organizations shifted focus or practices while others shined a light on longstanding disparities around health outcomes, racial equality and economic opportunity for people of color, researchers say.

The corporate foundations of the state’s two major energy utilities have distributed nearly $26.5 million in direct relief funds to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and personal protective equipment since the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

An online simulation tool rolled out by Heart of West Michigan United Way in September is designed to build empathy and help people understand what it’s like to live as an ALICE (Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, Employed) household.

The coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on children and families who are struggling to meet basic needs while stretching nonprofits that provide essential services around food, shelter and mental health, according to a new report.

Some nonprofits survived the first nine months of the pandemic relatively unscathed while others are hanging on in hopes that a widely distributed vaccine lifts capacity restrictions and renews confidence in gathering indoors.

Michael Layton looks forward to the day when he can walk around downtown Grand Rapids or join colleagues for a coffee or beer in person. Originally from Philadelphia, Layton is Grand Valley State University’s new W.K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair, the nation’s first endowed chair focused on community philanthropy. He joined GVSU’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy in early September, but his relocation is on hold because of the pandemic. Layton founded and directed the Philanthropy and Civil Society Project at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) in Mexico City, where he developed a groundbreaking research and advocacy program to understand and strengthen philanthropy and civil society.

Highly intuitive horses are experts at nonverbal communication and can sense chaos, conflict and other human emotions. They often mirror behaviors and, as herd animals, reveal the benefits of working in collaboration. 

When the coronavirus pandemic hit eight months ago, many Latinx and Black business owners missed out on federal loans and other relief because they didn’t have relationships with local bankers or didn’t have financial statements in order.

national organization and a Michigan-based nonprofit are partnering to raise $30,000 in support of people currently or formerly incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes, hoping to bring an element of justice for those jailed for offenses that would now be legal in Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — A nonprofit housing advocacy organization has launched a new program aimed at reducing the number of individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness, targeting a high-traffic area in downtown Grand Rapids. 

GRAND RAPIDS — United Methodist Community House will receive $1 million in state funding for an early childhood education and senior activity center planned on the city’s disadvantaged southeast side.

Michigan nonprofits operating in the workforce development and housing sectors see a need to raise awareness among clients following new statewide criminal justice reforms.

GRAND RAPIDS — Catherine’s Health Center, a nonprofit health care provider for underserved patients in Kent County, plans to open two or three new clinics this fall after securing designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center.

State lawmakers advanced a pair of bills last month that nonprofit organizations across Michigan say would help restore charitable contributions to community foundations, homeless shelters and food banks.

GRAND RAPIDS — Nonprofit In the Image is in the process of moving locations after the city of Grand Rapids bought its aging building along South Division Avenue to relocate a fire station. 

KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Community Foundation has added a stronger racial equity analysis to its longtime Impact Investment Loan program.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand River has historically divided the city of Grand Rapids in multiple ways, but as redevelopments have ramped up in recent years, leaders of a restoration plan are stressing the importance of making the river accessible to all residents. 

Housing nonprofit leaders say the temporary halting of residential evictions issued recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a positive short-term move, but could cause a large wave of evictions at the end of the year.

Kent County and the Heart of West Michigan United Way have issued more than $2.3 million in pandemic relief grants to area nonprofits while more is on the way.

The Steelcase Foundation is launching a search for a new president after president Julie Ridenour announced plans to retire at the end of the year.