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update kalamazoo community foundation | summer 2017

everyone needs to read How Kalamazoo Literacy Council helps adults reach their full potential by learning to read page 4

I first learned about the Kalamazoo Community Foundation because my mother volunteered here. In fact, she served on the Community Foundation’s Finance Committee and helped draft its first investment policy. She actually stepped down from the committee when I told her I was interested in applying for a job here. I still have the letter she wrote to then President/CEO Jack Hopkins. That was 22 years ago. Since then, KZCF has continued a great tradition of working hard to honor donor intent to impact our community, to make life better for all throughout Kalamazoo County. We strive to preserve and enhance the purchasing power of each gift.

Susan Springgate Vice President Finance and Administration

This effort, going back to 1925, has paid off. A recent survey of community foundations by New York City-based Colonial Consulting revealed our investment performance ranks in the top two percent for the 10-year period ending March 31, 2017. In this issue, you can see the comparisons between KZCF performance and our benchmarks on page six. How do we do it? Our investment strategy is one of disciplined asset allocation, regular rebalancing, minimizing fees and expenses, and not reacting to near-term market pressures or new investment fads. To keep you informed about our performance, we provide detailed investment updates in the annual report you recently received, in this newsletter and on our website. On behalf of the Finance and Administration team, thank you for being part of this success and for being part of our vision of a community where every person can reach full potential. It is a vision that has developed throughout our history in the community — a history I’m proud to say my mother was a part of.




Give online

What we fund We fund 501(c)(3) nonprofits for projects that fit within our community investment priorities and will benefit residents of Kalamazoo County. We also provide Kalamazoo area students with scholarships for education beyond high school.




Mail a check Kalamazoo Community Foundation 402 East Michigan Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49007-3888 Arrange a planned gift There are many ways for you to plan now for a gift later. To learn more, get in touch with our Donor Relations team at 269.381.4416 or

What we don’t fund We don’t fund for-profit business development projects, private land purchases or private home purchases. Learn more at



David Braganini | Photo courtesy of the Braganini family

Braganini family will help kids “be nice” Thanks to the Braganini family,

Says Kalamazoo Community

campaign, it may change the

be nice.® is coming to Kalamazoo

Foundation Donor Relations

course of someone’s life.

and Van Buren counties.

Officer Coby Chalmers, “While

be nice. is a school-based mental health awareness, bullying and suicide prevention initiative focused on school-wide change through

working with the Braganinis to establish this fund, I came to a deep appreciation of the breadth of this matter.”

This is the fifth fund created for be nice. at a West Michigan community foundation. The other funds are held at Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Community

simple, daily actions. be nice. uses

Chalmers adds, “It is gratifying

Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland

the “nice” acronym — notice they

to work with donors who are

Area, Community Foundation for

are hurting, invite them to get

creating a positive and proactive

Muskegon County and Oceana

assistance, challenge and empower

effort designed to educate students,

County Community Foundation.

them — to minimize and reduce

staff and families about depression,

devastating effects of bullying like

hopefully drastically reducing

depression and suicide.

incidence of suicide for years

Recently established in memory

to come.”

of the late president of St. Julian

Says John Braganini, David’s brother,

Winery, the David Braganini be nice.

“I found my way to the be nice.

Memorial Fund of the Kalamazoo

program when I made a decision to

Community Foundation will provide

find a way to impact our family and

matching dollars to school districts in

the community in some way that

Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties

would matter in the future.”

that wish to offer this curriculum provided by the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan.

The Braganini family hopes that by sharing their story and spreading this

support the fund Give online at Enter the amount you’d like to give, then choose Another Community Foundation fund from the Designation drop-down menu and follow the onscreen instructions. Mail a check Mail a check to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation with Braganini Memorial Fund written on the memo line.




everyone needs to read Kalamazoo Literacy Council helps Kalamazoo County adults reach their full potential by teaching them to read.

Rob Smith believes in walking the

read, advancing from a fifth-grade

dose of a medication? How would

walk when it comes to being an

to 10th-grade reading level. He’s

you respond when children asked

example for his children.

now a Kalamazoo Literacy Council

you to read to them?

Although he couldn’t read, Smith made it through school by “showing up and bluffing” and with “help” from allies who knew he couldn’t read. He always carried a book with him for appearance sake. When he couldn’t work for a year after being injured in a car accident, he finally learned to



board member and president of its Student Advisory Council. “Everything is like new,” he says. Most adults take the ability to read for granted. Imagine, however, if you couldn’t. How would you fill out a job application or determine the right


According to the National Institutes of Health, the most important factor in children’s academic success is the reading level of their caregivers. Children of parents with low literacy skills have a 72 percent chance of ending up at the lowest literacy levels themselves.

“Everything is like new.” Rob Smith Board Member and Student Advisory Council President Kalamazoo Literacy Council

Michael Evans, executive director

exclusively on individual tutoring,”

Evans believes the Community

of KLC, will tell you this is a serious

says Evans.

Literacy Center Model has made

problem here in Kalamazoo County. Literacy, he says, is the path to addressing the many challenges

So KLC’s approach is to place literacy centers “in the path of the

Kalamazoo a leader in adult literacy efforts.

adult learner” throughout various

When pressed, he smiles and

neighborhoods. Helping KLC in

proudly shares KLC recently

this work is the Adult Literacy

received an Innovation Grant

Collaborative, a group of adult

Award from the National Literacy

education, workforce development,

Directory, a nationwide resource

“The good news,” says Evans, “is that

English as a Second Language

of literacy and education programs

with a fully engaged community, we

and literacy agencies, and other

supporting adults, families

can make a difference. We can build

community organizations.

and youth.

“Our solution is pretty straight-

The goal

forward,” says Evans. “We’re

What’s an acceptable illiteracy

creating a county-wide adult

rate for the greater Kalamazoo

The problem

learning campus that specifically

community? “Zero,” Evans quickly

More than 13 percent of Kalamazoo

addresses this need.”

says. “Let’s make a statistical

— like poverty, health, education and workforce preparation — facing people in our community who have been marginalized.

a solution.” Kalamazoo Community Foundation funding and partnership has helped KLC in its work.

County’s adult population struggles to read. KLC focuses its resources on those who are 25 and older. Unfortunately, the number of people seeking KLC’s assistance has outpaced the number of available volunteer tutors. The wait for a tutor can be up to six months, and by then many adults get discouraged and lose interest in getting the help they need.

KLC and the Collaborative developed an innovative, cost-effective solution

difference first. Then we can work toward 100 percent literacy.

called the Community Literacy

“I don’t know anyone who is

Center Model. The pilot program

embarrassed to say they want

saw students attend lessons on

to learn something new,” he says.

a drop-in basis at 14 sites, with

“That should also apply to those

partners providing free space

who want to learn to read, but

and volunteers. In one year, in

they face a real stigma.

addition to learning to read, more than 132 students improved their employment/job skills, obtained

The solution

a driver’s license or helped their

“The need is too great to rely

children with homework.

“We need to raise awareness that it’s okay for adults to want to learn to read. Everyone needs to read.”




KZCF wins national, regional awards The Kalamazoo Community Foundation recently received two regional awards and two national awards.

& Associates of Kalamazoo also assisted the effort. Finally, the American Business Awards recognized

For the fourth time, the Community Foundation was named

the Community Foundation with two Stevies, which

one of West Michigan’s Best and Brightest Companies

“honor and generate public recognition of the

to Work For. The award recognizes organizations with

achievements and positive contributions of

“innovative and thoughtful” approaches to human

organizations and working professionals worldwide.”

resources. Says Kelley Kellis, director of human resources, “Our team is passionate about our mission; working hard at best practices is a vital part of delivering impact.”

A gold medal was awarded for the video The Power of One, which supported the Community Foundation’s 2016 year-end giving campaign. A silver medal was

The West Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society

awarded for its 2015 Annual Report, also titled

of America recognized the Community Foundation, Battle

The Power of One. Kalamazoo-based Rhino Media

Creek Community Foundation, and United Way of the

produced the video. The annual report was photographed

Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region with a gold PRoof

by Michigan photographer Robert Neumann and

Award for its Help Now! Fund collaboration, a philanthropic

printed by Parchment-based RiverRun Press, with project

response to the Feb. 20, 2016, shootings that affected

management, design and writing by the Community

people in Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties. Rick Chambers

Foundation’s Marketing Communications team.

Kalamazoo Community Foundation Investment Performance FIRST QUARTER 2017 Qtr 1


3 Yrs

5 Yrs

7 Yrs

10 Yrs





























Core Assets Moderate Growth Performance

Income and Growth Performance

Investment performance is net of manager fees and derived from core Kalamazoo Community Foundation assets allocated into its two investment strategies. Historic performance for each is then derived from linkages to prior quarterly returns. Performance reflects prior changes in asset allocations while benchmarks assume current allocations. The Moderate Growth Benchmark is a staged index composite benchmark that has the current composition of the Barclays US Aggregate Bond Index (15 percent); Barclays US Treasury 5-10 Yr TR USD (10 percent); DJ US Select REIT index (2.5 percent); MSCI EAFE Small Cap Index (10 percent); MSCI Emerging Markets Value index (10 percent); Russell 1000 Value index (5 percent); Russell 2000 Value index (10 percent); Russell Micro Cap index (5 percent); S&P 500 index (30 percent); and the NCREIF Fund Index ODCE (2.5 percent). The Income and Growth Benchmark consists of the S&P 500 index (50 percent) and the Barclays US Aggregate Bond index (50 percent).



Hello, my name is... Meet the newest members of our Donor Relations team.

Meredith Bradford

Raven Britt

Julie Loncharte

Adrienne Neubert

Scholarship Coordinator

Development Officer

Donor Relations Officer

Donor Relations Coordinator

I came to Donor Relations

A native of Lansing, I’ve

I have a teaching certificate

After attending WMU

from the Community

returned to my home

in secondary chemistry and

and participating in their

Foundation’s Finance and

state from New York City,

earth science and a master’s

nonprofit leadership

Administration team. Prior

where I worked for the

degree in literacy studies

program I held positions

to working at KZCF, I worked

past 13 years in sales

— both from Western

at small businesses and

at the School of Music at

and marketing. My role

Michigan University.

nonprofits, my last being

WMU; the Bemis Center

as a development officer

I have also spent time as

with the University of

for Contemporary Arts in

involves reaching out to

a business owner, reading

Notre Dame. Kalamazoo

Omaha, Neb.; and was a

new audiences and

tutor, furniture maker and

has felt like home to me

store director for J. Crew

sharing the possibilities

group cycling instructor

since college, so when I

in Kansas City, Mo. As the

of philanthropy with the

at the YMCA. As a donor

got the chance to come

scholarship coordinator,

next generation of donors.

relations officer I get to

back it was a dream come

I coordinate the daily

My colleagues, our legacy

work face-to-face with

true. I coordinate, report

operations and activities

and numerous opportunities

people who want to make

and track information

of KZCF’s scholarship

to help others are just a

a positive impact in our

for our donor database,

program. I love working

few of the reasons I enjoy

community. I love getting to

connecting people with

here because of my

working at KZCF.

know our donors and what

data. I’m passionate about

inspiring colleagues and

their philanthropic interests

working for the Kalamazoo

our focus on education

are so we can all be more

Community Foundation

and equity as a means

connected and supported

because it enables me to do

to address systemic

here in Kalamazoo County.

what I love, in and for the

barriers for people in

community I love.

Kalamazoo County.




Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage paid Kalamazoo, MI Permit Number 66

402 East Michigan Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49007-3888 269.381.4416

DUANE ROBERTS DIED IN 1989 TODAY HE’S FIGHTING FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE IN OUR COMMUNITY AND BEYOND Duane Roberts was a champion for social justice and racial equity in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Public Schools graduate, who served with the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II and was president of the local branch of the NAACP, was instrumental in convincing the KPS Board of Education to desegregate Kalamazoo’s schools in 1971. His legacy is the Duane Roberts Scholarship, created to honor him and his commitment to social justice in Kalamazoo. Each year the scholarship is awarded to two minority KPS graduates who, like Duane, demonstrate a commitment to social justice. We can help you show your love for Kalamazoo and leave a legacy too. Call a member of our Donor Relations team or visit to learn how. Raven Britt 269.585.7273 /

Ann Fergemann 269.585.7238 /

Coby Chalmers 269.585.7249 /

Julie Loncharte 269.585.7270 /

Joanna Donnelly Dales 269.585.7260 /

Update | Summer 2017  
Update | Summer 2017  

The Kalamazoo Community Foundation's quarterly newsletter