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Community Foundation Awards More Than $575K to 86 Local Organizations

[Photo credit: Inland Seas Education Association // Image description: Local students participating in Inland Seas Schoolship program]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation recently awarded a total of $575,266 to 86 organizations across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties. These grant awards come from the Community Foundation’s designated endowments and provide support across each of the Foundation’s funding focus areas, including arts and culture; education; environment; health and human services; and youth.

The Foundation’s designated endowments are established and supported by one or more donor partners and provide grant funding, in perpetuity, to a specific nonprofit organization in the five-county region. Grants from designated endowments are awarded once a year to support a nonprofit partner’s operations and programs.

Nonprofit partners who received designated grants this season include: Arts for All of Northern Michigan, Benzie Senior Resources, Central Lake District Library, Cherryland Humane Society, Elizabeth Lane Oliver Art Center, Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association, Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, Grass River Natural Area, Inland Seas Education Association, Kalkaska Area Interfaith Resources, Leelanau Community Cultural Center, Mancelona Education Foundation, and Traverse Symphony Orchestra, among others. A full list of designated grant partners is available at www.gtrcf.org/grants/grant-awards.  

Nonprofit partners who serve communities across the five-county region share the impact that their designated endowments have had on their organizations:

Photo credit: Cherryland Humane Society

“Having an endowment at the Community Foundation gives our organization a measure of security allowing for perpetual income,” said Heidi Yates, Executive Director of Cherryland Humane Society. “This annual designated grant funding allows Cherryland Humane Society to provide a safe harbor for the animals entrusted to us as we strive to find them responsible, loving, and permanent homes while advancing the well-being of animals.”

Photo credit: Bob Campbell / Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association

"The annual check the Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association receives from its endowment managed by the Community Foundation provides a predictable long-range funding source supporting many programs," said Bob Campbell, President for Elk-Skegemog Lakes Association. "Those programs include invasive species removal, control and prevention, water testing in areas of concern, plankton population study to evaluate ecosystem health, and personalized education programs on greenbelt improvements for our riparians."

Photo credit: Inland Seas Education Association

“Endowments at the Community Foundation are critical to accomplishing the Inland Seas Education Association's strategic priorities,” shared Fred Sitkins, Executive Director for Inland Seas Education Association. “This consistent funding allows for innovation, testing, and evaluation of new ideas, while also ensuring regional schools the opportunity to attend programming at no cost to them.”

Photo credit: Oliver Art Center

“Having endowments at the Community Foundation provides our nonprofit organization with the peace of mind that comes with being able to rely on annual grant awards, which are such a help in establishing budgets,” said Tamara Hoffbauer, Executive Director for Oliver At Center. “Donors feel good about contributing, and we enjoy a regular source of revenue.”