Published in Nonprofits
A rendering of the Muskegon Museum of Art’s $11 million expansion. A rendering of the Muskegon Museum of Art’s $11 million expansion. COURTESY PHOTO

Pandemic fundraising and new beginnings: The 10 most-read nonprofit stories of 2022

BY Thursday, December 29, 2022 12:47pm

After nearly two years of contending with a pandemic that brought fundraising uncertainty and growing community needs, West Michigan nonprofits spent 2022 finding new ways to serve and capturing much-needed federal relief funding.

MiBiz’s top-read nonprofit stories of 2022 featured new beginnings, as some organizations brought on new leaders, missions and facilities. Other arts-centered nonprofits announced major expansions to showcase the arts as an economic development tool.

Here’s a look at the 10 most-read nonprofit stories among MiBiz readers in 2022.

— Andy Balaskovitz, managing editor 

Longtime Amway employee joins Guiding Light leadership team

Grand Rapids-based Guiding Light Mission Inc. tapped longtime Amway Corp. community relations specialist David Madiol to lead the nonprofit’s fundraising and communications as it expands its recovery program.

Michigan Nonprofit Association to help oversee $50M relief grant program

The Michigan Nonprofit Association spent 2022 preparing to help oversee a new $50 million grant program included in the latest state budget to help nonprofits recover from pandemic-related losses. The association, along with a state agency, will administer the program that will steer funding to nonprofits with budgets of $2 million or less.

Larry J. Bell Foundation ‘two years ahead of schedule’ after purchasing Food Dance building

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. When the 26,000-square-foot former Food Dance building at 401 E. Michigan Ave. became available, Bell decided it was too good of a fit to pass up, so he scrapped plans to design and build a new building.

GR nonprofit relocates to renovated farmhouse after split from church

Nearly two years after splitting from a church over “theological differences,” Grand Rapids nonprofit New City Neighbors unveiled its new location at a renovated urban farmhouse that sits on a 1-acre plot in the city’s Creston neighborhood. New City Neighbors — which focuses on youth empowerment, workforce development and increasing access to locally grown food — sought a new location after splitting from Fourth Reformed Church in July 2020.

Q&A: West Michigan’s first Black-founded, Black-led community foundation takes root

In an interview with MiBiz, AQUME Foundation founder Ciarra Adkins discussed the need for a new community foundation that can directly address the needs of West Michigan’s BIPOC community.

Report: Cryptocurrency donations among top nonprofit trends to watch in 2022

A report from Grand Valley State University’s Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy highlighted the cryptocurrency phenomenon as an emerging fundraising tool for nonprofits that can sustain giving in new ways while also bringing in a younger demographic to philanthropy.

Muskegon Museum of Art to break ground on $11.2M expansion with spotlight on art by women

In June, the Muskegon Museum of Art 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.

GR Community Media Center completes investigation into leadership, withholds findings

A third-party investigation completed in early 2022 into the Grand Rapids Community Media Center found no evidence of “board negligence or of financial improprieties” following claims by former staff and board members. However, the organization declined to publicly release the report in part because of concerns over potential future litigation.

Nonprofits focus on donor relations as COVID surges create distance

Upon entering 2022, nonprofit leaders and researchers said maintaining donor relationships would be among the biggest challenges for organizations as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to surge and create distance between funders.

Arts playing ‘huge role’ in shaping downtown Muskegon through pandemic

Arts and cultural institutions and festivals contributed more than $56.48 million to Muskegon County’s economy before the pandemic in 2019. Although affected by COVID-19, the arts’ contribution remained significant and generated more than $41.75 million in 2021, according to a Visit Muskegon study this year supported by the Muskegon Arts and Culture Coalition.

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