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Community Foundation Celebrates 30th Anniversary Year Successes

[Image description: Our staff with Tom Shomin of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians on an Anishinaabe history walking tour of downtown Traverse City last July.]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation wrapped up 2022, its 30th anniversary year, with a number of successes, including the launch of new initiatives to support the five-county region, more than $3 million in grant and scholarship awards, $86 million in assets, and over $1 million in gifts from community members across the region.

“Since the Community Foundation was founded in 1992, we’ve been committed to investing in the people and places of Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties and stewarding community assets for lasting impact,” said David Mengebier, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Our impact in 2022 shows that this mission remains at the forefront of our work and what’s possible when we can build upon a strong founding story and the resulting growth over time.”

Notable efforts from the Community Foundation in 2022 included:

  • Receiving 1,200 gifts in a wide range of gift amounts from 800 donor partners, totaling more than $1.6 million.
  • Awarding $3.4 million in grants and scholarships to support students and nonprofit partners across the region, including $447,000 that specifically supported student scholarships.
  • Supporting youth programs and services in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties through $91,000 in grants directed by the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Councils.
  • Launching the Grand Traverse Regional Project Dashboard in collaboration with Traverse Connect, Rotary Charities of Traverse City, and Networks Northwest to increase awareness about community needs as local leaders pursue local, state, and federal funding opportunities.
  • Receiving a $100,000 Michigan Health Fund Endowment grant to launch the Youth Wellness Initiative, a youth-led research project focused on improving the mental health and well-being of young people across the region.
  • Convening the Northwest Michigan Community Development Coalition, which has grown to include 38 organizations from the business, nonprofit, and governmental sectors and has added its collective voice to support major housing, childcare, mental health, and infrastructure legislation.
  • Committing $1 million from the Foundation’s endowed portfolio to partner with two community development financial institutions—Venture North and Northern Initiatives; both institutions will re-invest the Foundation’s funds regionally through loans to local businesses.

“With 2023 now underway, we’re looking forward to deepening collaborations with our donor, grant, and community partners,” said Mengebier. “Collaboration is key to effectively supporting our region now and for generations to come.”