A Foundation for Our Future, 2020 - 2021 annual report

In its latest year of operations, Grand Rapids Community Foundation awarded $18,980,109 in grants to nonprofit organizations and scholarships to students—a more than 40% increase from the previous fiscal year. This and other information were recently released in A Foundation for Our Future, the 2020 - 2021 annual report, sharing how the Community Foundation has used the tools of philanthropy to respond to community needs.

With support from hundreds of partners, who give time, expertise and financial contributions, the Community Foundation is pursuing its mission—to build and manage our community’s permanent endowment and lead the community to strengthen the lives of its people. Founded in 1922, the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals. “The pandemic has been the sledgehammer that crumbled the foundation under those already navigating injustices in Kent County,” said Diana Sieger, president. “As we approach our centennial—the Community Foundation is working to deepen our commitment to racial, social and economic justice. Our increased investments this year were made possible by the generosity of our donor partners, strong financial performance, and the commitment of our staff to using all available resources for the benefit of our area nonprofit organizations, students and families.” The report features nonprofit, community and donor partners who are making bold investments today that are foundational to our community’s future.

Features include:

  • a focus on investing in people left out of recovery, ensuring that the communities who have carried the heaviest burdens during the pandemic, and long before, have equitable access to recovery efforts;
  • leaders driving systems-level, positive and equitable change in our community—and the investments in their wholeness and wellbeing;
  • partners ensuring students receive the opportunities to pursue their dreams and create their future.

“The perspectives, expertise and passion of our partners is what guides the work of the Community Foundation,” said Ashley René Lee, vice president, strategic communications. “Our partners are constantly challenging systems and developing innovative solutions to complex problems. Their investment of time, talent and treasure helps us work together toward a renewed, more equitable West Michigan.” The Community Foundation also reports the organization’s financial performance and operational growth. In the previous fiscal year:

  • The Community Foundation’s total assets grew to $428,377,250;
  • Total grants and scholarships awarded since 1922 have exceeded $245 million;
  • Twenty-seven new funds were established to address our community's current and future needs. The Community Foundation manages more than 800 funds;
  • Grand Rapids Community Foundation was a founding investor in a woman-owned index fund, opening the door for other institutional investors to participate.

Experience the annual report at GRFoundation.org/AnnualReport