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Community Foundation Wraps 2023 with $3.5M in Grants and Scholarship Awards

[Image description: Jenna Baker, Intervention Specialist at Traverse Bay Children's Advocacy Center, one of our 2023 DEI Fund grant partners, sitting at a round table with new diverse books and learning materials for TBCAC youth clients.]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation wrapped up its 31st year in 2023 with $3.5 million grants and scholarships awarded and $1.26 million in gifts from community members across the region.

“We believe in the power of generosity to do great things,” said David Mengebier, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. “From stewarding endowments and scholarships, to embracing collaborative leadership opportunities and innovative investment strategies, everything we do is centered on leaving a lasting impact for the people and places in our local communities.”

Additional highlights from the Community Foundation’s efforts in 2023 include:

  • Receiving 1,000 gifts in a wide range of gift amounts from 700 donor partners, totaling more than $1.26 million, including $325,275 in new gifts and commitment to the Foundation’s Community Funds, a collection of flexible, responsive grant dollars.
  • Awarding $3.5 million in grants and scholarships to support students and nonprofit partners across the region, including $434,030 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 our Youth Advisory Councils.
  • Participating in several advocacy efforts with the Northwest Michigan Community Development Coalition, which the Foundation convenes, including supporting reforms to the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act to prevent discrimination in housing and employment based on a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation and supporting the expansion of the state Earned Income Tax Credit, among other efforts.
  • Hosting the Youth Wellness Initiative through which local student researchers crafted a survey about youth mental health, taken by 530 students from 20 different area high schools, and developed 11 recommendations in response to their research findings.
  • Continuing an impact investing partnership with Venture North Funding & Development that resulted in six loans to local businesses, totaling $512,850.

“We’re grateful to our partners and supporters across the region for continuing to work with us toward our vision of a healthy, resilient, thriving region for all,” said Mengebier. “Together we’re creating a lasting impact right here in Northwest Lower Michigan.”