Nonprofits

In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty, not a war on those in poverty, said Michelle Williamson, the CEO of Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan (CAASCM). 

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SPRING LAKE — Roger Spoelman plans to step away from a full-time role at Trinity Health at the end of 2018 to bring together and run two nonprofit organizations he’s been involved with for years.

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GRAND RAPIDS — The increasing diversity within giving circles is broadening the scope of causes they support and better reflecting the nation’s changing demographics.

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People give because they believe in the mission of an organization, not because of the tax deductions they can take. 

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Foundations face a changing landscape both in how they raise money and award grants to nonprofit organizations. MiBiz recently brought together leaders from four West Michigan foundations to talk about the trends they see today. 

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Nonprofits have to compete for attention with the plethora of communications that possible donors get on a daily basis, whether in their mailboxes or on their smartphone screens. That’s causing the industry to adapt and shift in new ways to remain top of mind with their intended audiences. 

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When Jennifer Goulet departed as president and CEO of Creative Many Michigan Inc. in September after 11 years, board members decided to hire a well-known philanthropic leader to lead the arts advocacy organization as it figured out the type of leadership it needed for the future. 

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Trustees at the Community Foundation for Muskegon County named Todd Jacobs as the organization’s next president and CEO.

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Cookies made by volunteers and residents of Degage Ministries are providing people with tasty treats and helping the organization access much-needed funding.

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

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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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. 

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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Philanthropic giving in a presidential election year typically remains stagnant.

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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