The 2019 - 2020 Grand Rapids Community Foundation annual report features nonprofit, community and donor partners working to overcome racial, social and economic justice by building and sustaining an inclusive economy and thriving community.
With its endowment, the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals. In the previous five years, the Community Foundation has invested $66 million into community.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on many in our community – especially communities of color, nonprofit organizations and small businesses,” said Diana Sieger, president. “Our deep relationships with our many partners are critical to our ability to learn, adapt and respond when we confront challenging issues, like racial, social and economic inequities.”
The report elevates partners who — through their time, expertise and financial contributions — are making impact and moving Kent County toward a better tomorrow.
- Community as the Expert: an exploration of centering the expertise of those with first-hand experience of the issues and obstacles holding our community back
- Legacy of Family Philanthropy: donor partners who bring their passions to the causes they invest in, with a focus on equitable education
- Inclusive Economy: business and nonprofit leaders who are navigating the challenging economic landscape and showing us the way forward, to a more equitable landscape with opportunities for all
“This annual report centers the voices of our partners, who are closest to the issues and aspirations of our community,” said Ashley René Lee, vice president of strategic communications. “We share stories of how their experiences and expertise inspire, motivate and guide our work. Because of their passion and generosity, together we are making informed impact.”
Performance and growth
The report also contains the organization’s financial performance and operational growth. In the previous fiscal year:
- Pandemic-related market declines impacted the Community Foundation’s portfolio, and assets decreased slightly to $341,945,625
- With support from partners, the Community Foundation awarded $13,487,488 in grants to nonprofits and scholarships to local students, including the inaugural class of Challenge Scholars, who graduated from Union High School in the spring
- Forty new funds were established to address our community's current and future needs. The Community Foundation manages nearly 800 funds
- In five years, Our LGBTQ Fund raised $1 million
- At the end of the fiscal year, donor partners had contributed over $390,000 to the Kent County COVID-19 Fund. Additionally, 3,440 individuals benefited from La Lucha Fund, a community-led response providing resources to individuals and families in Kent County who are undocumented or have mixed immigration status