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Community Foundation Hits Historic Milestone of $104 Million in Assets

[Image description: Community Foundation Staff Members standing around a wooden art frame and looking out at the horizon during a 2021 summertime hike at Michigan Legacy Art Park]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation finished 2021 with a historic milestone, reaching $104 million in total assets. In addition, during 2021, donor partners entrusted the Community Foundation with $5.7 million in contributors and the Foundation awarded more than $3.3 million in grants and scholarships.

“The Community Foundation is now in its 30th year of investing in the people and places of our region for lasting impact. We ended 2021 with a major assets milestone, of which about 96.7% are endowed, meaning that these resources will continue to have impact, forever,” said David Mengebier, President and CEO.

Notable 2021 efforts from the Community Foundation included:

  • Receiving 1,100 gifts from 800 donor partners, ranging from $10 to $2 million, demonstrating that gifts of all sizes make a meaningful difference.
  • Building Community Funds, which are responsive, flexible funds that are not limited to specific organizations or causes, with $1.8 million in commitments aimed at ensuring the region has the resources it needs, when and where it’s needed most.
  • Awarding $3.1 million in grants, including 840 grants to support 350 grant partners across the region.
  • Launching the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) Fund, which awarded $10,000 total to community partners during its first grantmaking cycle last fall.
  • Awarding $80,000 from the Community Foundation’s Youth Endowment for youth-focused causes, with the grantmaking led by the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Councils in each of the five counties.
  • Bringing funding partners together and leveraging $10,000 in Community Foundation funds to support the Sleeping Bear Gateways Council in accessing $90,000 in federal funding to explore workforce housing solutions.
  • Reaching $700,000 in yearly grant potential from our Larson Endowment to benefit nonprofit organizations across the region in perpetuity, thanks to the largest cumulative gift the Foundation has received ($15 million) from the late Wilfred and Joan Larson.
  • Awarding $316,000 in scholarships, which included 212 awards to 184 students, providing meaningful support for young people pursuing post-secondary opportunities.
  • Completing the first update to the Northwest Michigan Community Development Scorecard and uplifting the voices of Coalition Contributors through published op-eds, including from Yarrow Brown of Housing North, Dr. Nick Ceglarek of Northwest Education Services, and Marty Colburn of the City of Traverse City and Christine Crissman of the Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay.
  • Leveraging funding for United Way of Northwest Michigan’s new Early Childhood Innovation and Development Hub through $10,000 in Community Foundation grants, including from Community Funds.

“As we now make our way through 2022, we look forward to continued collaboration with our donor, community, and nonprofit partners,” said Mengebier. “Without these collaborations, none of the impact we had in 2021 would be possible. We can only support a thriving region if we do it together.”

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