PARTNERS in Community - Winter 2024

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in community

“I imagine a community that doesn't only talk about equitable and inclusive opportunities, but that lives it out.”
-LaSandra Gaddy


LaSandra Gaddy, President and CEO

Ashley René Lee Vice President, Strategic Communications

Kate Luckert Schmid Vice President, Program

Stan Vander Roest Chief Financial Officer

Marilyn W. Zack Vice President, Development


Reneé Williams (Chair)

Caitlin Townsend Lamb (Vice Chair)

Kyle D. Caldwell (Immediate Past Chair)

Ken Fawcett, M.D.

Thomas Kyros

Emily Loeks

Brandy Lovelady Mitchell, Ed. D.

Ana Ramirez-Saenz

Alexandria Smith

Kathleen B. Vogelsang

Daniel Williams, Ed. D.

Tel: 616.454.1751

Fax: 616.580.1040



PARTNERS in community is a publication of Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Contributing writers:

Ashley René Lee, LaSandra Gaddy, Heather Gill Fox, Audra Hartges-Stern, DeShawn Pope

Graphic Design: Michele Keren Design

Photography: Bird + Bird Studios

Copyediting: Joan Huyser-Honig

Grand Rapids Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that connects people, passion and resources. For more than a century, people who care about the future of Kent County have built the Community Foundation through their time, financial resources and thought partnership. Our partners - donors, nonprofits, leaders, doers and more - consistently trust us to help bring key issues to the forefront to build community will, investment and collaboration needed to inspire change.




PARTNERS in community WINTER 2024 | Issue 98

PARTNERS in Wellness

Throughout my career, and now as I take the helm as president and CEO of Grand Rapids Community Foundation, I have known that community work is hard work. It is our hope that all our partners—donors, nonprofits, leaders, doers and more—are pouring into themselves as they pour into this community. The old saying holds true, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

Grand Rapids Community Foundation works hard to foster trust and actively demonstrate our commitment to the well-being of our staff and our partners as we work together to pursue racial, social and economic justice for everyone who calls Kent County home.

As we care for our community, we know we must also care for ourselves. So, we are modeling what we want to see from each of you. By leaning into the people and experiences that bring us joy—that fill us up—we will have the sustenance we need to give of our time, talent, treasure and testimony to make this a West Michigan we can all be proud of.

For me, wellness looks like spending quality time with my husband, kids and grandbabies. Their unconditional love and support fills me up and inspires me to love, lead and serve, even on the hard days. At this stage in my life, wellness also looks like giving myself permission to always show up authentically. The freedom to just be LaSandra from the east side of Detroit (Go Lions!), who finds joy in the simple things and loves her people and her community with everything she’s got, has done so much for my overall wellbeing. It has made me a better leader, strategist and advocate for social justice.

The Community Foundation team and I would love to hear how you are being intentional about prioritizing your own wellbeing. Drop us a note at or on social media at @GRCommFound. We love to explore new ways to practice self-care while we care for community.

In this issue of PARTNERS in community, we explore the Community Foundation’s investments in wellness, learn about the critical work of our partners at Our Mental Health Collective, explore how donor partners are leveraging their Donor Advised funds, and I share a little about the person behind the new president and CEO title.

In the months ahead, I am looking forward to connecting with you to learn more about who you are, what inspires your partnership with the Community Foundation and how you see us moving toward the realization of our North Star—making opportunity, prosperity and belonging accessible to us all.

Thank you for instilling your trust in me. Let’s get to work!

LASANDRA GADDY: Getting to Know Our President and CEO

Describing yourself isn’t always easy. But LaSandra Gaddy is proud to own some labels: a CEO, a Black woman, a woman of faith and, importantly, a wife, mother and grandmother full of joy and love for her family. As she steps into her newest role as president and CEO of Grand Rapids Community Foundation, LaSandra is focused on listening and carefully evaluating what is, so that together we can make strides toward a more equitable community. She brings personal and professional experience to the role, which she sees as an opportunity to shape impact in our community and inspire others.

LaSandra grew through the ranks of the banking industry, before transitioning into nonprofit leadership. She didn’t imagine herself as a CEO, but several women in her life from diverse backgrounds saw her potential and encouraged her to see what they saw. Today, as president and CEO of Michigan’s oldest community foundation, LaSandra hopes to be that encouragement for other women.

“We don't often see Black and brown women in leadership positions at foundation levels,” she said. “Representation is important and it matters. When young people can see, they can dream. I hope me being in this position will cause other young women to say, ‘Oh, so can I. And so will I.’“


LaSandra, who served as CEO of Women’s Resource Center for seven years and in other nonprofit executive leadership roles before that, sees her background as an “insider” helping her identify the impact the Community Foundation can make. One of the things that drew her to this position was a tough conversation with the Community Foundation team about a grant process that was creating barriers.

“This was a couple of years ago,” LaSandra said. “They invited my feedback, and after our conversation, said ‘we agree and we are not going to only change this for you, but it's going to be changed for other organizations.’”

Focused on its North Star, the Community Foundation has explored what an inclusive economy and thriving community looks like, interrogating, testing and learning from mistakes. LaSandra shares this attitude—being unafraid to evaluate, challenge, adapt and change to make positive impact for the future.

“I imagine a community where ALL have the opportunity to prosper,” she said. “I imagine a community that doesn't only talk about equitable and inclusive opportunities, but that lives it out.”

The Community Foundation has a legacy of impact in Kent County, shaped by the investments of many partners—some for decades. LaSandra plans to take learning from and with

partners one day at a time, listening to both positive feedback and opportunities of improvement before establishing priorities or making changes.

“We don't want to drag our feet, but it is incredibly important to listen and seek understanding first,” LaSandra said. “I believe that once the voices of our team, our community, our donors and volunteers are all unpacked, there's going to be so many commonalities. And the synergy is going to bubble. We’ll apply that feedback and learning, and our North Star is going to illuminate.”


LaSandra has a special appreciation for the hidden figures in a community—those who quietly give of what they have. Her earliest examples of “hidden figure philanthropists” were her own parents. Raising six children in Detroit, LaSandra’s dad worked in the auto industry while her mom operated a childcare center in the family’s home. At times, they relied on social or public services to help make ends meet. Their example of generosity included sharing groceries with neighbors and supporting their church, shaping LaSandra’s sense of faith and generosity. She sees this in many communities where giving from your heart is just as impactful, which is the essence of philanthropy—the love of humanity.

“I'm proud of the very, very humble beginnings that I had,” LaSandra said. “I have experience living paycheck to paycheck. I have a lived experience of the transportation barriers and seeking affordable and safe childcare for my own family. I think of those experiences as a setup for my life today and my commitment to the people in our community who we're supporting and serving. Our work needs to not just be in service to them, but it also needs to be informed by them. We know that people closest to the pain are closest to the solutions. That's our commitment to equity in action.”

From her early life, to raising a family, putting down roots and growing an executive career, LaSandra’s experiences have called her to this moment and this role. She believes in the importance of the Community Foundation, has personal experience that drives her and shapes her understanding and doesn’t shy away from the challenges that will come with leading an institution into its second century of service and impact. LaSandra is ready to lead the Community Foundation with and for all of the greater Grand Rapids community.

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Bird + Bird Studios A.H.S.


Highlighting Donor Advised Funds

Generations of partners have built Grand Rapids Community Foundation through gifts of many shapes and sizes. In the “How our partners give” series, we will highlight donor partners who are committed to carrying this legacy into the next one hundred years by making gifts that accomplish their specific philanthropic goals. The variety of donor partners and gifts come together to create change and improve West Michigan. This is community at work and love in action!

For many years, Donor Advised funds have been a popular and efficient way for donor partners to support the causes they care about. A DAF, whether established at the Community Foundation or another institution, allows the founder to leave their mark by making grants to nonprofit organizations while receiving tax advantages.

When deciding to create a DAF, you might consider the level of personal support, access to local expertise or fees associated with the administration of the fund. Setup time for a DAF can be quick, often through an existing financial institution you work with, but grantmaking support and community knowledge varies, especially if the provider does not have roots in West Michigan.

Many Community Foundation donor partners have established DAFs with another institution, but still prioritize support for Community Foundation initiatives. For Tom and Sally Kyros, a DAF connected to their investment account streamlined their giving to nonprofit organizations they support through the year.

Beginning in 2019, gifts from Tom and Sally’s DAF built the Tom and Sally Kyros Fund at the Community Foundation. The unrestricted fund joins many others used to meet our region’s most pressing needs.

If you have an existing DAF, you can use it in several ways to support the Community Foundation’s work. Gifts can be directed to an existing Community Foundation fund or granted to establish a fund of your own, like an unrestricted fund. When establishing your DAF, you might also consider including the Community Foundation as a beneficiary of the account at the passing of the last advisor, so your philanthropic legacy continues locally.

Donor Advised funds offer individuals, couples and families a strategic and efficient way to make a meaningful impact. By partnering with the Community Foundation, that impact can be locally targeted. The Community Foundation is honored to support donor partners in discussing, establishing or adapting their philanthropic investments. To start a conversation, contact the development team at 616.454.1751.


Provided by Tom and Sally Kyros



different Community Foundation funds were supported by these gifts.


of gifts were directed to the Fund for Community Good, our unrestricted fund.


Through the Thomas and Tracy Breihof Charitable Fund longtime donor partner Tracy Breihof supports Our LGBTQ Fund. These gifts, combined with support from other Our LGBTQ Fund Leadership Circle donor partners, ensures the sustainability of the fund into the future. In 2024, Our LGBTQ Fund celebrates 10 years of providing a safe, welcoming and healthy environment for LGBTQ+ communities in West Michigan.

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Pictured: Tom and Sally Kyros

PARTNERS in Progress

Unrestricted resources from our Fund for Community Good and resources from our Field of Interest funds are making an impact throughout community. Since the beginning of our fiscal year in July 2023, Grand Rapids Community Foundation has awarded $3,963,304 in grant awards to 15 organizations serving Kent County from these funds. The grants listed below are generously supported by our donor partners who invest in unrestricted and Field of Interest funds.


A Glimpse of Africa fosters essential community programs that voice, advocate for and address African refugees' and immigrants' needs and disparities. This grant supports their participation in collaborative efforts and community engagement for the African community in West Michigan.


The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan was established in 1959 to defend our civil liberties. This grant supports their ability to provide a unique training opportunity for new civil rights lawyers and develop a talent pipeline for attorneys of color.


Anishinaabe Circle works to provide and promote the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental welfare of Native American communities. This grant supports the development of a community-informed strategic framework for the future of the organization.


AQUME Foundation, established in 2021, provides tools, access and financial investment in organizations led by people of color. This grant supports AQUME Foundation’s work to center economic justice and racial equity in philanthropy.


Baxter Community Center offers a child development center, a holistic health center, a free food and clothing marketplace, dental care and out-of-school time programming for elementary and middle school students. This grant supports Baxter’s transition into a workplace culture focused on helping employees thrive financially and professionally.


The Deborah House is a safe haven for single pregnant mothers and their children. They provide housing for young mothers while they receive encouragement, social support and mentoring. This grant supports health equity, well-being and stability for women and children, particularly women of color, in Greater Grand Rapids.


This grant partnership supports the work of the Michigan Partnership for Equity and Opportunity, a statewide coalition of civil rights, social justice, civic and business leaders working to promote equitable education policy and resource allocation for all Michigan students. This partnership was made possible by the Challenge Scholars Fund.

FITKIDS360, $50,000

This grant continues support for FitKids360’s transition to becoming an independent nonprofit organization. FitKids360 is dedicated to improving children’s health and well-being. This grant was made possible by the Elizabeth J. Steed Johnson Fund

for Healthcare and Community Health and the William H. and Inetta P. Martindill Fund.


Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities strives to provide an environment of care and belonging for children and adults living in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood and beyond. This grant supports their general operations and was made possible through funding provided by Consumers Energy Foundation.


Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives describes its mission as collecting and retelling the rich, colorful stories that compose the historic African American tapestry of living in Grand Rapids. The organization received two grant awards supporting their general operations as they acquire and move into a new building. The $10,000 grant was made possible through funding provided by Consumers Energy Foundation.


Immigrant Assistance Center, one of the only nonprofit organizations providing immigration services led and founded by a woman of color, provides equal access to affordable legal services in Kent County. This grant supports their ability to offer reduced-fee immigration legal assistance.


This grant to the Nonprofit Technical Assistance Fund invests in a collaborative program of local grantmakers to address the needs for consulting services and technical and organizational capacity needs in Kent County.


This grant supports a partnership between our Challenge Scholars program and the T2C Studio to provide high school and college students with ongoing activities to aid postsecondary decision making, reduce summer melt among graduating seniors and support post-secondary persistence. This partnership was made possible by the Challenge Scholars Fund.



Our Mental Health Collective connects individuals and families of color with culturally responsive and affirming mental health providers of color. This grant will help the organization grow, form a staff structure and expand their directory, community advocacy committee and programming for clinicians.

URBAN CORE COLLECTIVE, $360,000, $400,000 AND $555,000

Urban Core Collective is a collective effort of local organizations to facilitate access to education, health and economic prosperity for our neighbors.

• One grant provides general operating support for the Urban Core Collective’s work for community organizing, emerging leaders and social change.

• A second grant benefits organizers, movement leaders and nonprofit organizations that are collectively working to ensure residents are actively engaged and informed throughout the 2024 election cycles.

• The third grant continues the Community Foundation’s support for the Education Justice Team’s organizing and base-building work and is made possible by the Challenge Scholars Fund.

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Investments IN WELLNESS

As winter finally ebbs into spring, conversations about wellness and self-care continue to be top of mind. Grand Rapids Community Foundation has been exploring what it means to invest in wellness with a renewed focus. What does it mean to support wellness in our community on a deeper, more systemic level? How can we operationalize these efforts through internal practices? What does it look like to view wellness through our focus on racial, social and economic justice? How do we create more caring and trusted relationships with our partners?

Our community is clear that wellness, including mental health support and spaces for belonging, is a top need. In their last Needs Assessment Survey, our Youth Grant Committee found their peers identifying mental health issues and body image issues among the top sources of stress and worry for students in Kent County. Mental health, wellness and access to healthcare were among the topics discussed during our 2022 community listening sessions with our Black Legacy, Somos Comunidad and Our LGBTQ funds, as well. And, as COVID-19 pandemic effects and subsequent isolation continue to reveal themselves, well-being remains a critical need.


We are grateful to partner with local nonprofits that are leading the way in realizing efforts to increase our community wellness. Examples from 2023 include Power to the People 616, which received a grant award from our Fund for Community Good. The grant supports a collective of women of color to facilitate healing in our community through curated programming that centers radical rest and joy. Another FFCG grant went to Grand Rapids Community Work Men's Breakfast & Family Engagement to provide safe spaces for Black men in West Michigan to grow strong mentally while increasing support systems through fellowship and being celebrated. The work extends beyond our unrestricted resources. Respite for Wives and the HUNT Chapter are examples of organizations supported through our Black Legacy Fund. They are supporting trauma response and mental health programming for women and teens of color. These represent just a few of the many organizations doing incredible work to support individuals and families in our community.

Wellness is essential for service providers as well as those receiving care. Compassion fatigue and burnout are real concerns facing the nonprofit workforce right now. Constant stress and anxiety stretch the limits of emotional bandwidth. While we have used grant and sponsorship dollars to support projects investing in local nonprofit leaders, we knew that

Compassion fatigue and burnout are real concerns facing the nonprofit workforce right now. Constant stress and anxiety stretch the limits of emotional bandwidth.

we could operationalize a focus on wellness into our own processes.

The Community Foundation has been exploring many ways to reduce stress and anxiety in our relationships with grantseekers, especially for leaders of color. We considered having a separate set of funds for wellness grants, but quickly adapted to holistically embed wellness into our process. This shift represented a change from funding one-time, individual wellness activities into strategies that would impact organizations as a whole. This wider view on wellness aligns with the Community Foundation’s focus on supporting the nonprofit ecosystem. Based on feedback from community leaders, we have changed our grant application processes to be less extractive and more relationally based. These adaptations included shifts to the questions, guidelines and general relationship building with nonprofit partners. To relieve stress on nonprofit leaders, we have increased our support for general operations, organizational wellness practices and leadership development—areas that historically have difficulty receiving funding unless tied to a specific project.


The Community Foundation knows that it also needs to look internally to find ways to address the wellness of our staff and organization. Like most organizations, our team has learned a lot during COVID-19 about evolving workplace expectations. Our office currently operates in a hybrid work model with “No Meeting Fridays” as an acknowledgement of the burnout and emotional strain that comes with individuals working to advance racial, social and economic justice. We tested out a Wellness Break—one week off for all staff last summer— to create space for rest in our year. Our human resources team recently updated our Culture Guide to emphasize the value placed on every person working for the Community Foundation. We still have much to learn, but an introspective look at our own culture and practices will help us keep finding ways to reduce harm and increase wellness throughout our partnerships and community.

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Pictured: Participants at our 2022 Community Listening Session Isabel Media Studios



Our Mental Health Collective, previously known as Mental Health Clinicians of Color in Grand Rapids, strives to provide culturally responsive and affirming mental health care resources for communities and professionals of color. Within five years, Our Mental Health Collective has created a supportive network for mental health clinicians and a directory of providers to increase access for individuals seeking care.

We interviewed Rebecca Spann, OHMC founder and executive director, to learn more about how the collective builds connection and community.

What is OMHC’s model of service?

Rebecca: We aim to assist Black, African, Asian, Latine, Indigenous, and other historically marginalized communities in finding mental health providers who are also BIPOC. We have created a directory of healthcare professionals and providers to achieve this goal. This directory can help people find the right therapist or healthcare provider based on their needs. In addition to this, we organize community events to promote mental health awareness and support. Last year, we organized our first BIPOC mental health fair, which was a huge success.

Another important aspect of our work is to provide support to clinicians and mental health providers who identify as BIPOC. We understand that pursuing a career in this field can be challenging and often comes with various barriers. Therefore, offering support to these providers along their journey is crucial. Furthermore, we have established a safe and inclusive space exclusively for BIPOC clinicians and mental health providers. This space allows them to share resources, network with others, and celebrate each other's educational and professional accomplishments.

“My passion comes from years of serving as a licensed provider and lived experience navigating the landscape of mental health care as a parent.”
– Rebecca Spann

What inspired you to start OMHC?

Rebecca: I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After graduating from Jackson State University and working as a therapist for the Black community in Jackson, Mississippi, I returned to Grand Rapids in 2017. At that time, I was looking for other BIPOC therapists in the area. As a parent of neurodiverse children, I also personally understood the challenges of navigating the mental health space and wanted to find BIPOC providers to help with that. This curiosity led me to connect with several local BIPOC clinicians and eventually pursue the idea of creating a collective. We started as a Facebook group in 2019 and became a 501c3 by 2020. After constantly receiving inquiries from community members about locating therapists, we developed the vision for the directory, and the first version was released in 2021.

Why is a racial match important for mental health services?

Rebecca: Due to many historical events, trust has constantly challenged our communities. The lack of trust is rooted in various factors such as racism, cruel mental and healthcare experiments and abusive psychiatric stays. The communities that have experienced this treatment have learned to internalize and cope with the emotional and mental impact of these experiences. Historically and still today, they often seek refuge and support from our families, communities, and higher belief systems to cope with our mental and emotional needs. However, we also recognize that relying solely on these areas may be not be enough. Therefore, we need to have more conversations about the existing stigma and continue creating safe spaces outside our families and close communities to talk about our experiences. Having a therapist with an in-depth lived or cultural awareness and who one can relate to helps break down that layer of mistrust. If one has a story they need and want to share that will promote healing, they need to feel safe doing so.

What needs to happen for our community to continue focusing on wellness?

Rebecca: We’re in a society that sometimes does more retroactive care instead of implementing proactive measures to foster true wellness for communities. We must constantly check ourselves to ensure both are happening to care for our communities effectively. We must be honest and ask hard questions. We must be willing to get uncomfortable. More than that, we must care, even if it's not impacting us individually.

Learn more about Our Mental Health Collective at

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Photos provided by Our Mental Health Collective H.G.F.
Pictured: Rebecca Spann

FUNDS PROVIDING FLEXIBLE Assets to Support Our Community

Each person or family listed below has entrusted Grand Rapids Community Foundation with their gifts to support our community’s ever-changing needs. The named funds listed were created by donors either through gifts in their lifetime or realized bequests set up through an estate gift. These funds represent and honor donors across time. These flexible funds are a primary way to grow our community’s endowment and create resources for grants to strengthen the lives of people in our community.

Funds lists in bold were created or have grown through additional gifts within the last five years. The Community Foundation honors and thanks the donors who have made this commitment to support our community in perpetuity.


Marian A. Aldrich Fund

American Box Board Community Fund

Gasper J. Amodeo Fund

Employees of Autocam Fund

Janet E. Berg Fund

Thomas and Vita "Vickie" Bergers Community Fund

John W. and Margaret Bertsch Fund

Ken Betz and Pat Brewer Fund

Anna Bissell Charity Trust Fund

James and Margaret Black Estate

Edward H. Blickley Fund

Harvey and Margaret Brower Fund

Orville and Jean Bulman Estate

Allan and Claudia Carlson Family Fund

Olga H. Cassard Fund

William J. Chaille Fund

Eugene D. Conger Fund

Louis A. Cornelius Trust

Dallas and Helen Darling Fund

Cornelia De Fouw Fund

Rafael O. Diaz Fund

Max H. and Lois Doering Fund

George and Louise Egeler Fund

Robert L. and Gloria M. Ellcey Fund

Engineered Protection Systems Fund

Diane S. Farage Fund

Fishell Fund

Henry A. Fox Family Fund

Mr. and Mrs. David G. Frey Fund

Jim McKay and Twink Frey Fund

Mrs. L. C. Gardner Fund

Kenneth and Christina Gilchrist Fund

Carol E. Greene Fund for Community Good

Rená Guttrich Fund

Chester A. Hall Fund

Leon W. Hall Fund

Stanley C. Hall Fund

Bill and Claudia Hardy Fund

Haslinger Family Fund

Minnie E. Haven Fund

Janet A. Haynes Fund

Elizabeth Herkner Fund

Edward M. Herpolsheimer Fund

Karl E. Herpolsheimer Fund

Dirk and Victoria Hoffius Fund

Orianna D. Hooker Fund

Arthur J. and Sue H. Hoover Fund

Robert and Adelaide Hoover Fund

Allen I. and Helen J. Hunting Fund

Walter D. Idema Charitable Trust

Walter D. Idema Fund

Jabin Family Fund

Clare and Grace Jarecki Fund

Elizabeth J. Steed Johnson Trust

Kent Charitable Fund

William E. and Sue Kincaid Fund

Mary Jane Kirchgessner Trust

Jane and Sam Kravitz Fund for Community Good

Robert J. Kulms Trust

Tom and Sally Kyros Fund

James and Mary Jane Lamse Fund

B. Kenneth Larm Fund for Community Good

Perry M. and Hazel A. Lawr Fund

Ben H. Lee, Jr. Fund

Harvey E. Lemmen Fund

Clara T. Limbert Fund

Gertrude Lindberry Fund

Charles W. Loosemore Fund

Dr. Jack and Katy Lukens Fund

Hale J. Mackay Fund

Allen S. & Barbara P. Marcus Fund

Glen C. Mason Fund

Geraldine F. Masters Fund

Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. McCobb Fund

Isabel McLeod Fund

Frank H. and Virginia L. Merlotti Fund

George and Mary Metz Charitable Fund

Bonnie Miller Community Fund

Paul C. and Inez L. Miller Fund

Mary D. Morman Trust

Estate of Melanie L. Muir

Estate of Dr. Clifford T. Nelson

Francis J. O'Connor Fund

Jackman and Helen Palmatier Fund

Mary I. and Robert C. Pew Fund

Chalmers and Esther Quaintance Fund

Charlotte M. Raniville Fund

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Eleanor J. Roberts Fund

Leonard and Dora Rosenzweig Fund

Theodore R. and Caroline Schoonbeck Fund

Grace L. Schouten Memorial Trust Fund

Willard and Barbara Schroeder Fund

Schuil Family Fund

The Sebastian Foundation Unrestricted Fund

Margery Seeger Fund

Diana Sieger Leadership Fund

Erin Slade Memorial Fund

Estate of Isabelle and Herman Slanger

Eileen Slootmaker Fund

Mary A. and Lenore G. Smith Fund

Marvin Stahl Fund

Paul L. Steketee Fund

Graham F. "Deck" and Ruth B. Stewart Fund

Joseph and Helen Tulos Fund

Adrian Van Daalen Fund

Selene Van Vleck Unrestricted Fund for Community


James R. Van Vulpen Fund

Earle Vande Poel Charitable Fund

Don VandenBos Jr. Fund

The Vander Beek Family Fund

Keith C. VanderHyde Fund

Biem H. and Irene G. Vandermass Fund

Herbert and Doris Vander Mey Fund for Community


Englebert J. and Lelah Sexton Vogt Trust

Estate of Ralph A. Voigt

Jeanette Shelly Warner Fund

Jane N. and James C. Welch Foundation Fund

John C. Whitcomb Fund

Marion Stuart White Fund

Mary K. White Fund

Estate of Zoe F. Whitworth Trust

Mrs. Imogene W. Wickett Fund

C. John Gill and Rita Williams Fund

Arthur D. Wolf Foundation Trust

Charles D. and Irene A. Worden Fund

Estate of Curtis M. Wylie

George L. and Esther B. Young Trust


Lynne M. Black Fund

Joy A. Brown-Baker Fund

Rita Champion-Balczak Fund

Laurie and Crawford Craft Family Fund

Tom and Jan Czerney Fund

Norman and Mary De Graaf Fund

Brownie Eberhard Beckering Fund

William and Patricia Edison Fund

James and Bebe Glerum Fund

Eleanore and Robert Howieson Fund

Miner S. and Mary Ann Keeler Fund

The David B. and Susan D. Lipner Fund

Malcolm/Magolan Family Fund

Ernest & Lorraine Malkewitz Fund

Marjorie and Robert Neubig Fund

Judge W. Baldwin Ogden and Judy Ogden Fund

Martha J. Porter Fund

Roth Family Fund for Community Good

Robert and Claire Schaefer Fund

Schaub Family Fund

Elmer and Mable Slemons Fund

Doug and Alix Thompson Fund

Robert F. and Ella M. Topp Family Fund

Bill and Barbara Van't Hof Fund

Theodore J. Vogt Fund

Are you interested in starting a fund to support the needs of today and tomorrow? Our development team would love to talk to you about options to strengthen our ability to activate our North Star through unrestricted giving. Call 616.454.1751 to start the conversation with no obligation.

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Grand Rapids Community Foundation


Grand Rapids, MI 49503

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The Community Foundation welcomed Reneé Williams, senior vice president of community development for Huntington Bank, as chair of the Board of Trustees in January. Kyle D. Caldwell, president & CEO of Council of Michigan Foundations, will continue service on the board as immediate past chair. Learn more about our trustees at


Join us in welcoming Alejandro Esterline, development assistant. He will lead our gift entry and gift acknowledgement processes and provide general operations and administrative support to the Development Department. Most recently, Alejandro worked at Puertas Abiertas and the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan. Welcome, Alejandro!


We are updating our donor and grant portals to serve you better (launching summer 2024). If you have a Donor Advised fund, we will email instructions before the launch on activating your account. We will also add online tutorials on how to navigate the new grant system. Until then, please use the current portals and application links as normal. Please contact our Philanthropic Services and Program teams with any questions.


This winter Holli Schlukebir accepted a position at Michigan State University as research technician. We are grateful for all Holli did as a development assistant to streamline our development operations, support our communityled philanthropy work, actively participate on internal committees and so much more.

After more than 10 years of selling real estate part-time, Tara Takken has decided now is the time to depart from the Community Foundation to pursue her passion full-time. Tara will miss the world of philanthropy and all the wonderful people she has worked with during her time as executive assistant at the Community Foundation.

We wish Holli and Tara the best as they begin these next steps in their career journeys.

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