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Community Foundation Awarded $3.8 Million in 2020 to Support the Region

In 2020, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation had one of its largest growth years in its 30-year history, receiving $15.6 million in contributions, awarding $3.8 million in grants and scholarships, and closing the year with $90 million in assets. 

“Last year, we received 1,400 gifts from 1,000 donors, ranging from $10 to $12 million, showing that gifts of all sizes can make a meaningful difference. It is these gifts, along with our endowed funds and community partners, that have allowed us to meet with great success in 2020,” said Dave Mengebier, president and CEO. “Our impact would not have been possible without the generous support of our neighbors and community members across our five-county region.”

Notable 2020 efforts from the Community Foundation included:

  • Supporting individuals and families throughout COVID-19 through the Urgent Needs Fund by providing $704,413  in grants for housing and food support, access to technology, mental health care, and more.

  • Awarding $291,000 in scholarships, which included 229 awards to 193 students, providing meaningful support for young people pursuing post-secondary opportunities.

  • Partnering with Traverse City Area Public Schools, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, and other funders to ensure the continuation of the Great Start Readiness Program for the 2020-2021 school year, impacting 112 area students and their families, and the employment of 5 local teachers.

  • Awarding $76,800 collectively through Youth Advisory Councils in each five-county region to support youth programs and services.

  • Working toward equity, which included trainings for both staff and board about anti-racism and Anishinaabek people as well as funding an implicit bias and diversity, equity, and inclusion training for the Traverse City Police Department.

  • Launching the shared objectives of the Community Development Strategy publicly, which is an ambitious, collaborative strategy aimed at driving transformational change for the region over the next 10 years.

  • Elevating the work and impact of early childhood efforts in Central Lake, supported by the Cleo M. Purdy Endowment, by hiring a CLEO Coordinator and formalizing CLEO – Central Lake Early Opportunities.

“While we’re closing the books on 2020, we’re looking forward to what lies ahead in 2021 so that we can continue enhancing the quality of life in our communities now and forever,” said Mengebier. “Our Urgent Needs Fund will be continuing as well as our push for transformational change in our community through our Community Development Strategy, among our other initiatives, grantmaking, and scholarships.”

For more information about the Community Foundation and how to get involved, visit: www.gtrcf.org.

Photo credit: Dennis Buchner / Unsplash