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Nonprofits

SPONSORED BY GRAND RAPIDS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

GRAND RAPIDS — Dozens of individuals and organizations in Grand Rapids have formed the Coalition for Community Owned Safety to educate residents on the city’s budget and explore new ways to direct city funding to address the root causes of crime. 

HOLLAND — Mike Goorhouse began his work with the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area when he was just 14 years old. In the coming months, Goorhouse will say goodbye to the organization that he has led for the past eight years.

Since Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy was founded 30 years ago, the nonprofit industry has seen seismic shifts in the amount of charitable giving, nonprofits’ assets, and the overall number of nonprofit organizations.


Opera Grand Rapids, formed in 1966 to host musical productions that in prior decades had occurred through multiple local community and civic theater companies, is taking measures to help expose the arts to future and more diverse audiences.

Council of Michigan Foundations President and CEO Kyle Caldwell spoke with MiBiz to discuss his outlook for the philanthropy sector heading into 2023.

HOLLAND TWP. — Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity will break ground this week on its first housing project aimed specifically at individuals with disabilities.



KALAMAZOO — The Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence plans to cut spending on annual “aspirational” projects by more than half in 2023 to protect the endowment from economic headwinds and allow the city’s federal stimulus funding to potentially fill in gaps.

ZEELAND — Tier 1 automotive supplier Gentex Corp. has created a nonprofit charitable foundation for its philanthropic efforts as well as a new scholarship program for women pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Ciarra Adkins formed the first Black-founded and Black-led community foundation in West Michigan with a primary goal to shift the narrative about Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and philanthropy. Specifically, she wants to advance the notion that these residents are not simply “receivers” of funds, but also serve as “distributors.”


HOLLAND — Fifteen lakeshore arts organizations are part of the latest capacity-building initiative facilitated by the prestigious University of Maryland-based DeVos Institute of Arts Management (DVIAM).

GRAND RAPIDS — Well House is working to construct new housing units in addition to its existing 15 homes that are occupied by renters that were formerly homeless. 

FREMONT — The Gerber Foundation has a new top advocate for enhancing the quality of life of infants and young children who shares a deeply personal connection to the organization’s mission.



GRAND RAPIDS TWP. — David Hooker is retiring from his role as CEO and president of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park after leading the organization for 16 years.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids Community Media Center will start a “new chapter” under a new executive director following months of internal dissension involving previous leadership. 

A Q&A with La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation


BATTLE CREEK — The top executive at Kellogg Co.’s largest shareholder sees opportunity for greater growth and earnings under the Battle Creek food manufacturer’s transformation into three separate publicly traded companies.

KALAMAZOO — After exiting from the brewery he founded in 1985, Larry Bell initially planned to create a new downtown space to house his collection of Michigan history books, jazz artifacts and historic brewery industry memorabilia. 

Grand Rapids-based Guiding Light Mission Inc. has tapped a longtime Amway Corp. community relations specialist to lead the nonprofit’s fundraising and communications.


A Grand Rapids nonprofit providing independent living services received a boost last week when Kent County voters extended a senior services millage that will help the organization’s recently launched technology support program.

Armed with new data on economic security, education and health outcomes, nonprofit officials hope an array of policy changes enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic to address children’s and families’ needs are made permanent.

Arts and cultural organizations are helping to define Muskegon’s downtown resurgence as they innovate out of slumps in attendance and events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Prince Shema arrived in Michigan from the Democratic Republic of the Congo via Ethiopia in 2013. With help from a local nonprofit organization, he completed an independent living preparation program while going to high school. 

The Michigan Nonprofit Association is gearing up to help oversee a new $50 million grant program included in the latest state budget to help small nonprofits recover from pandemic-related losses.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Diatribe Inc. is acquiring another Grand Rapids-based nonprofit that shares a similar mission of empowering youth and underrepresented populations through art and creativity.


GRAND RAPIDS — A $110,000 grant will help expand the Literacy Center of West Michigan’s Family Literacy Program, which helps equip non-native English speakers whose children attend local schools with literacy and communication skills.

Philanthropic giving by U.S. corporations surged last year compared to 2020, a positive sign for Michigan nonprofits that tend to rely more on corporate donors than individuals compared to other states.

Applications are now open for the first round of grants from a newly established fund for women-owned businesses in Muskegon County.


GRAND RAPIDS — The Diatribe Inc., a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit that focuses on empowering youth through poetry, has received a $75,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

MUSKEGON — The Muskegon Museum of Art has received an extensive painting collection by women artists and more than $11 million in cash donations to launch an expansion that will more than double the size of the museum.

GRAND RAPIDS — The Women’s Resource Center, a nonprofit that provides workforce assistance for women, plans to relocate and expand its services to the city’s southeast side.


Businesses and individuals around the world have stepped up to fundraise for Ukrainian refugees since Russia’s invasion began in February, but the head of a Southwest Michigan business development service has taken his show of support a step further. 

GRAND RAPIDS — A proposal that would allow a newly created nonprofit to help Grand Rapids cannabis companies meet their social equity pledges is facing pushback from some business owners and city officials who see it as diluting social justice efforts.

GRAND RAPIDS — New City Neighbors is set to unveil its new location at a renovated urban farmhouse that sits on a 1-acre plot in the city’s Creston neighborhood.


BYRON CENTER — A nonprofit that helps rebuild homes following natural disasters has moved into a newly constructed building in Byron Center after previously working from two separate locations. 

Nate Beene’s decision to join the leadership team at Construction Allies in Action was driven by his passion to remove barriers for local women and minority business owners in the construction industry.

ALLEGAN — A disability advocacy nonprofit will open a dog treat bakery storefront to create more employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. 


GRAND RAPIDS — A new nonprofit organization is working to create a membership-based program to provide resources for minority-owned, women-owned and micro-local construction contractors.

Distributing excess product to groups in need can be a cumbersome process for large companies, and a Grand Rapids-area organization aims to solve that problem by acting as an intermediary between corporations and nonprofits in need.

Anew nonprofit organization looks to build a network of startup company founders across Michigan that entrepreneurs can turn to for support and advice while also growing their philanthropy work.


A Q&A with Attah Obande, director of dream fulfillment with SpringGR

Despite widespread federal and state programs aimed at providing COVID-19 pandemic relief funds, many nonprofit organizations fell through the cracks, nonprofit and state government officials reported during a recent event.

Disability Advocates of Kent County received a $975,000 grant to continue its work helping Michigan’s low-income seniors age at home. 


GRAND RAPIDS — The Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives plans to relocate to an 18,000-square-foot, three-story space in Grand Rapids’ Heartside neighborhood, which would be a major expansion for the nonprofit organization.

Chris Sargent compares the merging of three Michigan-based United Way affiliates to a regional business with local outlets.

pilot child care program expansion will help West Michigan parents find affordable child care, tackling one factor that has contributed to labor shortages and employees’ difficulty returning to work.


The first phase of construction work to turn the former South Christian High School into a $20 million Special Olympics Michigan Inc. Unified Sports and Inclusion Center is expected to wrap up in May.

Dr. Teri Behrens, who has served as executive director of Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy since 2018, has announced that she will retire this year.

Broadway Grand Rapids is making a swift rebound from pandemic-related show cancellations with a current two-week, sold-out run of the hit musical, “Hamilton.” The organization, which was formed in 1988 to bring touring Broadway productions to town, is also starting 2022 with a change in leadership. Longtime marketing director Meghan Distel, who helped bring in bigger productions and more season-ticket holders over the past decade, was recently named president and CEO to replace Mike Lloyd, who is retiring after 12 years with the organization he joined after a lengthy career in journalism. Distel recently discussed plans to further grow the organization with more community partnerships and by making live theater more accessible to West Michigan residents.