Nonprofits

SPONSORED BY GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

A promise first made in 2010 to students attending high school in Holland and Zeeland is about to grow through a new partnership.

GRAND RAPIDS — Noble Johnson serves as an example of the success of Heartside Ministry’s GED program.

KALAMAZOO — Diversity and inclusion on college campuses throughout Michigan and the United States remain at the forefront of efforts to ensure a welcoming environment for all students.

KALAMAZOO — Rather than rely on grants, donations or fundraisers to make money, Midwest Enterprises for the Blind Inc. takes a different approach compared to most nonprofits. 

GRAND RAPIDS — If people of color continue to be underrepresented in Michigan’s philanthropic and nonprofit sector, industry leaders fear the funding, programs and services they provide might fail to reach people who most need it.

On the surface, reports that charitable giving in America hit a record high of more than $400 billion in 2017 are encouraging. 

BATTLE CREEK — A $10 million commitment to help support Battle Creek entrepreneurs serves as one recent example of a project focused on ensuring racial equity in the business community.

A more business-minded approach is helping Goodwill affiliates in West Michigan achieve and maintain healthy profits while remaining true to their nonprofit missions.

The Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts turns 50 next year and for the first time in its history has a full-time paid executive director. David Abbott hopes to continue the Festival’s tradition as a celebration of art, music and international cuisine, but also make the event more of a driver for economic development and talent attraction. Abbott comes to the organization after working at ArtPrize and a variety of other endeavors. He spoke with MiBiz about how he hopes to engage the community regarding what it wants out of Festival, which runs the first weekend of June.

GRAND RAPIDS — Collaborations between different sectors in Kent County to improve every child’s school readiness have caught the attention of national foundations that are pumping money into the countywide effort. 

An annual report on Michigan’s nonprofit sector reinforces the industry’s role and place in growing the state economy.

The fundraising climate in Michigan remains stable, but many nonprofit fund developers say they’re concerned about federal tax law changes.

GRAND RAPIDS — Calls for action and change typically follow each mass shooting, but the voices advocating for increased mental health services are becoming almost as loud and persistent as those seeking gun reform.

The philanthropic efforts of nonprofits and foundations throughout Michigan are increasingly addressing bigger issues such as affordable housing, community revitalization and employment.

KALAMAZOO — The federally-mandated deinstitutionalization of developmentally disabled individuals in the 1970s led to the creation of group homes throughout the United States and launched nonprofits such as Residential Opportunities Inc. to manage them.

GRAND RAPIDS — Philanthropic and nonprofit organizations will focus much more of their efforts on the issue of equity in 2018 and beyond.

GRAND RAPIDS — Filling a seat and collecting a paycheck aren’t enough for the new generation of nonprofit employees.

In its two years in existence, The Job Post — a hiring and recruiting social enterprise of Guiding Light, a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit — has helped place more than 1,000 people into full-time jobs throughout the region, ensuring them more stability and a steady income. Vice President Elliott Groh spoke with MiBiz about growth plans ahead for The Job Post and how the program benefits the greater Grand Rapids area.

Small groups of women in communities across the U.S. have collectively given more than $1.3 billion to charitable organizations since the early 2000s.

LANSING — Major players in Michigan’s philanthropic sector have joined forces to raise $4 million to finance a three-year campaign to ensure each state resident is counted in the 2020 Census.

GRAND RAPIDS — People at or near retirement age are increasingly looking to create a next chapter in their lives that will give them opportunities to work and make meaningful contributions.

GRAND RAPIDS — Alan Breslau’s Grand Rapids-area home served as the initial world headquarters for The Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors Inc. when he founded it in 1977 to provide resources and support services to people like him.

LANSING — Funding for arts and culture in Michigan received a $1 million bump for 2018. 

GRAND RAPIDS — In the wake of a whistleblower lawsuit filed last month by its now-fired chief operating officer, the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) has to confront allegations that members of its executive leadership misused donor-restricted funds to cover gaps in its operational budget.

GRAND HAVEN — Foundations in Michigan are preparing to make financial investments designed to solve social issues while also increasing their asset funding pool.

HASTINGS — Kindergarteners in Barry County are getting a head start on saving for college or career training.

GRAND RAPIDS — Adding clarity to the definition of the word “charitable” as it applies to Michigan nonprofits could enable more organizations to claim tax-exempt status.

Philanthropic giving in a presidential election year typically remains stagnant.

Even as giving to educational causes slows nationally, two West Michigan universities remain hopeful that their capital campaigns will be successful.

GRAND RAPIDS — Based on the success of prior technology workshops, a local nonprofit plans to leverage its partnership with a Detroit-based training firm to support a bootcamp specifically for women.

GRAND RAPIDS — Advocates of the AmeriCorps program are concerned about its fate in the current national political environment.

Philanthropic leaders throughout Michigan are throwing their support behind state legislation to restore tax credits for taxpayers who make charitable donations to nonprofits.

LANSING — Farmers in Michigan are becoming increasingly dependent on guest workers to fill a void left by migrant laborers who are opting out of coming to the state to harvest crops.

GRAND RAPIDS — The growth of a fund established three years ago by a same-sex couple from Grand Rapids proves there’s interest in addressing issues the LGBT community faces in West Michigan.

GRAND RAPIDS — The proposal by a small contingent of Evangelical Christian churches to allow tax-exempt organizations to campaign on behalf of political candidates has sent shock waves through the nonprofit industry.

To date, nonprofit leaders have looked skeptically at the concept of compensating board members for their “volunteer” service.

The impact of possible budget cuts under the Trump administration is weighing on the minds of most nonprofit leaders in West Michigan, but it’s especially concerning for executives at arts and cultural organizations.

Business as usual has never really been business as usual for nonprofits. Each new presidential administration and the efforts to cultivate that next generation of donors leave very little room for complacency, especially in the financial arena. Keith Hopkins has made a successful career out of assisting nonprofits of all sizes with fundraising campaigns. MiBiz spoke with Hopkins about how nonprofits are dealing with the current environment and what that could mean for their fundraising activities.

Cultural arts groups in West Michigan are thankful for the current support they find in donors and audiences, but they have serious concerns for the future.

KALAMAZOO — As he focuses on preparations for the 2018 Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, director Dan Gustin has a lot on his mind.

When corporations give to nonprofits, it can show up in many ways, whether on food pantry shelves or in employee-driven projects that improve lives in their communities. But the decisions that go into determining the nonprofits and causes these businesses support often involves a high-level thought process that is increasingly seeking out long-term solutions where companies can drive successful outcomes.

Online giving continues to be the fastest-growing type of fundraising for nonprofits, but the dollars it brings in remain very low compared to more traditional methods.

Rumblings that the Trump administration plans to end the National Endowment for the Arts is cause for concern among many leaders at West Michigan cultural arts nonprofits. 

While for-profit businesses get the bulk of the credit for West Michigan’s economic success, the role that local nonprofits play in the community’s health, wealth and wellbeing often goes under-reported and unrecognized. 

Jobseekers in Michigan may want to consider careers in the nonprofit sector.

As a business owner and housing advocate in the Heartside neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Tami VandenBerg was devastated to see so many people there still living on the streets. 

In five years, The First Tee of West Michigan has grown from a $35,000 seed grant to a successful nonprofit with a budget just under $1 million. 

By the end of Blandford Nature Center’s $10.3 million capital campaign, the nonprofit will have tripled its capacity over the last three years.