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Jane C. Simons

Jane C. Simons

Contributor

jsimons@mibiz.com

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.

Conversations with donors about estate gifts can be long and drawn out affairs, but executives at the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area found a way to make those discussions easier and netted $30 million in the process.

Building a strong foundation for the community involves bricks and mortar, in addition to providing funds focused on health and human service issues.

Leaders of Extended Grace are working to put their hands out for more than money to fund their organization.

Despite their strong ties to smartphones and virtual communication, Gen Xers and Millennials still crave face-to-face interaction, and the philanthropic sector is taking note.

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.

The Burma Center is in the business of empowering people through advocacy, community engagement and education. One of its lines of service is Burmese-English language interpretation to serve the 2,500 Burmese residents who have immigrated to the area over the past 15 years. Burma Center advocates for equitable access to resources and services, but Executive Director Martha Thawnghmung says she thinks the pervasiveness of institutional racism and how immigrant groups are often pitted against one another are complicating efforts to unite various groups.

John Dillworth spent much of his career at Kellogg Co. in various positions, including sales, strategic planning, I.T., budget management, customer service, and others. Since 2000, he’s served as president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Southwest Michigan. He talked about the state of the nonprofit sector looking ahead to 2018.

Daniel Jones is entering into his sixth month at the helm of Haven of Rest Ministries in Battle Creek. His tenure followed a restructuring, the closure of one ministry, and staff reductions that decreased employment costs by 20 percent. Jones said these changes resulted in greater efficiencies and service delivery at a lower overall cost to the orgranization.

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