Well-heeled or assuring the best for our community? You be the judge!
May 18th, 2008
I've written about our plans for our building both here on my blog and in our newsletter - Current. There is a new blog on our website accompanied by pictures of the progress being made that is being maintained by our award winning Communications and Marketing team. I will write more on the "award winning" part in a future post! One of the concerns I'm picking up around our community is the thought that the GRCF is pretty well set and is "well-heeled". In fact, this notion was amplified during a session this past week with an opinion expressed by a community representative that we didn't deserve to receive a grant from a particular source because we are a "well-heeled organization" not "poor" like other nonprofits and don't have the same level of risk at being successful as a for-profit business. Here's a little known fact - a nonprofit corporation is not all that different than a for-profit corporation. Trying to address the "too rich" concern is not all that tough. The Community Foundation is this community's endowment - which means we raise resources that will be invested and will grow so we can spend the income for many projects and programs in and around the greater Grand Rapids community. So the more that the GRCF grows through the generosity of our donors, the more we are able to support the multiplicity of programs and organizations into our community! Pretty simple! We serve all of Kent County and a small corner of southeast Ottawa County and support our affiliate in Ionia County (that is always going gangbusters by the way!). The GRCF, while primarily an philanthropic endowment not tied to any particular entity but is for the entire community, is a nonprofit corporation that seeks its support from many sources and we need community support for this building as well. Does this community deserve a "well-heeled" and supported community foundation? YES! We all deserve a resource that can fulfill the dream of our founder Lee Hutchins who stated proudly in 1922 that he wanted the community to be a millionaire 50 years hence! What he meant was he wanted a resource for the entire community and for it to grow so it could address many of our area's issues, programs and great ideas! For me a grant from a non-philanthropic source - which this grant is - also helps us in our quest to NOT be in competition with other nonprofits that are raising money for capital efforts or other efforts. And any amount of money that can be tapped for our "new to us 104 year old" building is so appreciated and needed. In the next few weeks, we will be announcing our campaign plans and our goal. We have great plans for this building. But this building is not just a community foundation asset as it is also our deeply rooted commitment to this city, to our entire county and to place a more visible stamp on our belief that the greater Grand Rapids area is indeed a wonderful place to be! A resourceful, dynamic community foundation is just what this community deserves! We promote philanthropy and are proud of what the generations of people have supported through us in the past and are inspired by what the future promises!