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Jayson Bussa

Jayson Bussa

Staff writer/Web editor

jbussa@mibiz.com

When it comes to communicating with donors, Marcie Hillary stresses the importance of simply staying silent.

When it comes to statewide budgeting, arts and cultural organizations often are considered a luxury and not a necessity.

Lifting what essentially proved to be a chokehold on charitable giving remains one of the primary policy issues that statewide nonprofit executives will focus on in 2016.

Last month, the fund announced that it had awarded $8.5 million, disbursed via 29 community foundations across Michigan. Of that money, just shy of $2 million landed in West Michigan, earmarked for initiatives that were outlined in each respective foundation’s grant proposal.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation is fortifying an effort that allows nonprofit and for-profit organizations to tap into the institutional knowledge of retirement-age individuals.

Our LGBT Fund hit a milestone to close out 2015 when it announced its first grant of $20,000 to a collaborative program involving Arbor Circle and the Lesbian Gay Community Network of West Michigan (The Network).

Now in its second season, the Grand Rapids Drive of the NBA Development League continues to add additional offerings to the roster of semi-professional sports in West Michigan. By team President Steve Jbara’s account, the inaugural season was a success for the Drive in terms of ticket and merchandise sales and corporate sponsorships.

Identifying sources of best practices and talent — and then cultivating that talent — are two key steps in creating an innovative, entrepreneurial nonprofit organization. That’s according to a panel of West Michigan nonprofit executives who gathered on Thursday at the Studio D2D Event Center in Grand Rapids for the 2015 MiBiz Best-Managed Nonprofits Awards, presented in cooperation with Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy.

Longevity tends to be a double-edged sword. Just ask Cathy Holbrook, executive director of the 132-year-old St. Cecilia Music Center, located in downtown Grand Rapids. “While that history is amazingly wonderful and beneficial and we’re certainly proud of it, at the same time, you have to stay relevant,” Holbrook said.

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