Update | Winter 2018

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update kalamazoo community foundation | winter 2018


Building trust through integrity When I first came to the Community Foundation, it was clear integrity wasn’t simply a core value, it was a badge of honor worn on our sleeve. You could feel the intensity with which every staff person committed to upholding the reputation of KZCF. Each person saw the responsibility to maintain the unquestionable integrity as part of their job description. I’m not sharing this from a place of moral superiority, but from an understanding that KZCF’s vision of an equitable community is not possible without honoring integrity. Donors demonstrate trust when they put gifts in our care and we show

Carrie Pickett-Erway President/CEO

integrity by honoring this donor intent. Our process ensures that the donor’s wish is followed with every gift we maintain, even beyond the donor’s lifetime. That is a key component of the power of endowment — of permanent funds impacting our community forever. It also takes trust for the community and grantees to work with us to address some of the most sensitive and critical issues facing Kalamazoo County. We’ve come to understand that integrity also means holding the community at the center of our work. What is best for the most vulnerable residents must prevail in some of the toughest decisions we make. Integrity is achieved when we consistently and authentically honor community voice in how we approach our work. This is where unrestricted giving comes into play, giving KZCF the flexibility to allocate those dollars while we honor other funds that may be restricted for specific work. Today’s news headlines can easily make us question whether or not integrity is a relic of the past. We live in a complex world that makes finding solutions more complicated than ever. Finding the right path can sometimes feel like threading a needle. But when all is said and done, doing the right thing for the community — so every person can reach full potential — is what drives us. You can be sure our staff and board’s commitment to integrity remains steady, while our work continues to evolve to meet challenges today and into the future. We want to keep growing gifts, increasing impact, and earning the trust of the community. So, if you have made a gift, we sincerely thank you for your trust. And if you’d like to take the first step toward giving a gift to KZCF, contact any member of our Donor Relations team, use the envelope enclosed in this issue or give online today at kalfound.org/give-now.



• Give online at kalfound.org/give-now

• Kalamazoo County 501(C)(3) nonprofits

• Mail a check directly to KZCF

• Scholarships for college



connect KALFOUND

Engaged giving through Advised Funds Donor Advised Funds (DAF) are a convenient, flexible

$3.87 million

tool for individuals, families, businesses or groups who want to make a gift and remain actively involved in suggesting how it is used. KZCF has more than 200 DAFs and Donor Relations staff


work with donor advisors in a variety of ways based on the advisor’s interest in engagement. “Donor Advised Funds at KZCF provide donors with the opportunity to learn more about community needs, support the nonprofits and causes they care about,

34% Education

20% Arts, Culture

and actively co-invest with KZCF if they so choose,” says Joanna Donnelly Dales, vice president of Donor Relations. “Some of our donor advisors are self-sufficient; they have very clear interest areas and organizations they wish to support. Other donor advisors, however,


& Humanities

Human Services

WHERE KZCF DONOR ADVISORS GAVE 14% In State of Michigan 78% Kalamazoo County 8% Out of State

want to learn more about community needs and enjoy reading about featured organizations in Partners in Philanthropy, KZCF’s e-newsletter designed specifically for donor advisors.”

Co-investing with KZCF Dales says, “We have an increasing number of donor advisors who want to grow in their understanding of our community’s needs and their own philanthropy. These co-investors leverage KZCF’s expertise before making grant suggestions from their fund.”

* From 2017 KZCF Donor Advised Funds

Asked what benefits they see in having a DAF at KZCF, the Mains said, “We are busy people and have many other activities and distractions. KZCF is working full time on behalf of the community. They have a better understanding than we do of the broad range of local needs and the many programs that are in place trying

Kathy and Bill Main have found that having a DAF has

to address them. By utilizing KZCF we can make more

increased their engagement in local philanthropy.

informed choices. They make the process educational,

“In our conversations with our donor relations officer,

easy and enjoyable.”

Julie Loncharte, we identified several areas of special

Tax law changes

interest to our family,” says the couple. “Julie then

Because the individual standard deduction doubled

reviewed the many grant requests that KZCF had received and found those requests that matched our interests. We selected some of those to support financially. This process made it possible for us to help specific programs in our community that both needed support and that we felt strongly about. This has been quite interesting and educational. We have learned ways in which our personal interests and our Donor Advised Fund could be matched up with the needs of the community.”

with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, “Donor Advised Funds may be an even more valuable tool for donors,” says Dales. “By bundling your charitable giving into a Donor Advised Fund, you can realize the tax benefits from itemized deductions while also maintaining the freedom to make grant suggestions over time as you see fit.” For more information call 269.381.4416 to speak with Donor Relations or visit kalfound.org/HowtoGive.




RECENT GRANTS KZCF recently checked in with several nonprofits who received grants from the Love Where You Live (LWYL) funds early in

2018. LWYL funds are fueled by unrestricted gifts and offer a variety of donor options. These funds support grants that align with KZCF’s focus on equity and education, for a community where every person can reach full potential.




Community Promise Federal Credit Union (CPFCU) received a grant to meet the growing needs and demand for services of low-income residents who have limited access to financial counsel and support.

Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan received a grant for its Pathways to Equity program, supporting low-income families as they strive to disrupt the intergenerational cycle of poverty and reach greater selfsufficiency and prosperity.

City of Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department’s “Super Rec” Program offers a drop-in type summer program for youth age 6 to 12 who might not otherwise have safe, supervised and structured summer activities. Capacity to underserved neighborhoods and individuals has been increased, along with improved programming quality.

“Thanks to community support, our idea of founding a credit union that would serve Kalamazoo residents that lack financial services has been a success,” says board chair Jim Houston. “We’ve been able to assist many low-income residents in achieving financial independence instead of turning to payday lenders, rent-to-own businesses and other predators. It is through our common mission that we look forward to future community collaborations.”

“Our unique 20-year program provides intensive life coaching based on a strong relational foundation to low-income families as they strive to exit poverty,” says John Dillworth, president and CEO. “The Pathways to Equity II Project funds have allowed us to expand The Life Guides program and offer customized, culturally relevant services to Hispanic/Latino families in Kalamazoo County.”




“Our Super Rec program provides free child care in an outdoor environment — weather permitting — that allows parents the opportunity for self-improvement, seeking employment or working more hours while not paying child care,” says Parks and Recreation Director Sean Fletcher. “Last year, a parent indicated that she was able to pay a past-due electric bill because of our program, which she took great pride in.”

EDUCATION & LEARNING FUND Kalamazoo Literacy Council (KLC) received a multiyear grant for its Everyone Needs to Read Adult Literacy Initiative, supporting general operations for this volunteer-led, staff-supported organization. The grant will increase the literacy rate for adults in Kalamazoo County through the establishment of 14 Community Literacy Centers and 30 service delivery locations that deploy 200-plus volunteer tutors throughout the community. “This grant will strengthen the growing campus of Community Literacy Centers that provide instruction in areas such as parent literacy, health literacy, workforce literacy and English as a Second Language,” says Michael Evans, executive director. “It’s also providing support for more than 200 volunteers who are serving more than 700 adults who want to improve their literacy and language skills.”

S IMPACT EQUITY Giving to one of these Love Where You Live funds is a great way to impact your whole community by fueling the capacity of

area nonprofits to address both immediate and long-term needs. Use the envelope enclosed in this issue or give online today at kalfound.org/give-now.

ECONOMIC & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUND Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services (KNHS) received a grant that is empowering low- and moderate-income households — who are under-served by real estate and lending professionals — to achieve and sustain home ownership. KNHS programming targets vulnerable core neighborhoods including Eastside, Edison, Fairmont/Douglass, Northside, Stuart and Vine. “Low-income households, especially those moving out of generational poverty, face many challenges in becoming homeowners,” says Matt Lager, executive director, “Be it cleaning up credit mistakes, learning new money habits, preparing for the complexities and new expenses of ownership, or navigating unfamiliar financial transactions. Home ownership results not only in greater financial stability and a path to building assets and resilience, but new opportunities for community participation. Strong homeowners are essential for strong neighborhoods.”




Community Homeworks received its grant to help with three core programs: critical home repair, weatherization and homeowner education. Their program operates on a family co-pay (based on income) and is reserved for those whose income falls below 80 percent of the area median income. The grant supports vulnerable families (averaging $24,000 annual income) to address home issues that would otherwise not be addressed due to the household’s survival priorities.

Oshtemo Township received a grant for prairie restoration and interpretive signs at Drake Farmstead Park for environmental protection, economic development and education. The park is easily accessible to a high population of low-income residents and will include interpretive information on the Potawatomi people who spent summers here.

Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) received a grant to create a more inclusive healthcare environment, specifically addressing health disparities in the transgender patient community. An innovative curriculum will help undergrads, graduate residents in primary care training and practicing medical providers address these healthcare needs. Meanwhile, WMed will conduct anti-bias training for each department as a part of its strategic plan for 2018-2019.

“This grant has helped many of our families cut their utility cost in half through energy efficiencies,” says Rebekah Fennell, executive director. “For many, that’s like a 6 to 12 percent raise. As our mission implies, Community Homeworks empowers our neighbors to maintain safe, healthy and sustainable homes. We envision a community transformed by thriving families in sustainable homes, and every day we work to do just that.”

“This grant has made a huge impact in our community,” says Township Supervisor Elizabeth Heiny-Cogswell. “We’re reconstructing five acres of prairie that will be a highlight of our new community park. Filled with native wildflowers and grasses that attract birds, bees and other pollinators, it will be a wonderful asset for people and nature.”

“Grant support helped WMed develop an innovative, integrated longitudinal curriculum that will focus on LGBTQ population health, with primary focus on reducing health disparities seen in the transgender sub-population,” says Cheryl Dickson, MD, MPH, associate dean of Health Equity and Community Affairs.




Tackling housing inequity in Kalamazoo County Fair and affordable housing is a critical issue that impacts the most vulnerable in Kalamazoo County. Housing plays an important role in individual and family life, providing shelter, stability and comfort. However, discrimination toward people of color and other marginalized identities through systemic barriers prevents fair access to housing. KZCF collaborated with local organizations, including the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, City of Kalamazoo, Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan, and Interfaith Strategies for Action and Advocacy in the Community (ISAAC), to identify key reasons for this inequity: • Discriminatory practices, lack of understanding of fair housing laws and other barriers. • Vague definitions of “affordable” housing that greatly impact low-income residents and neighborhoods. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) states that housing expenses (rent and utilities) should not exceed 30 percent of household income. However, the rules are not always determined by a family’s actual income, but with HUD using the middle income in the area — sometimes called the median income.

Defining affordability In Kalamazoo, HUD’s calculation is based on a geography called the Kalamazoo-Portage Metropolitan Statistical Area (which includes Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties). The average income in this area is $70,300 according to the 2015 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimate. When different income ranges from the Kalamazoo area are used to determine cost of housing, an inconsistent sliding scale creates inequity of housing affordability among neighborhoods.

Kalamazoo County has a unique opportunity, with an increase in public and philanthropic resources, to create new solutions and options that center on what is affordable for residents and neighbors. Along with some of the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) partners, KZCF has assisted in the collection of information about housing experiences through surveys, focus groups and interviews.

Voicing concerns According to one survey respondent from the Edison neighborhood: “I drive through my neighborhood every day, worried about the people in it. Those whose houses, rented or owned, are falling apart. Those who struggle to keep things like energy, water, etc. I worry about the condemned houses that sit vacant, that I am sure people are squatting in, and they are not safe in them. I worry about all the people who are homeless, that have nowhere to go... especially the kids who are growing up with a huge lack of stability. I know how hard our family struggles to have money for fixing up our old house, with what is considered a decent income. I can’t imagine how much others around us are struggling to keep up.” The surveys will inform the recommendations developed for both local government and housing agencies in the new year. The collaborative is committed to see, hear and understand that the community need around housing continues as they partner with the community to identify the best solutions. NOTE: This article was summarized from a two-blog series written by the collaborative on fair and affordable housing. More at kalfound.org/blog.



Youth reflection: Community Meeting By Destiné Price My experience at this year’s Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s Community Meeting is one that I will never forget. The words of Nikole Hannah-Jones will live with me forever and with my work. As an aspiring advocate for reformative education, meeting and listening to Nikole Hannah-Jones was like reading a book in history that was strategically never exposed to me. I really appreciate the truth she spoke about Detroit’s educational landscape and the history of Brown v. Board, explaining its current issues. I was like, finally, somebody said it! I think it is so important to listen to somebody when they are telling you something about yourself, because they are truly asking you to engage in what you may ignore in yourself every day and what you ignore in society every day. It’s important for us to truly engage because we all play a role in this work. One of the most important pieces I took from her talk was, “Don’t ignore the one Destiné Price Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Youth Leader

reform we know best. We’re already sacrificing kids in this system.” This meeting gave me an action item for myself and I hope that it did the same for others.

Donors create new funds at KZCF KZCF donors established 14 new funds since the summer issue of Update. These include Unrestricted Funds, Advised Funds, Designated Funds and Field-of-Interest Funds, some of which were planned estate gifts. UNRESTRICTED Unrestricted resources address current community needs and invest in the work of local nonprofits that are collaborating with others to make long-term, community-transforming change: • Barbara S. Beal Fund • Robert C. & Janet C. Claflin Fund • William & Patricia Parker Community Fund • Dan & Judy Smith Fund ADVISED Advised Funds are convenient, flexible tools for donors who want to make a gift to KZCF and be actively involved in suggesting how it’s used within Kalamazoo County or beyond: • Dr. Mark & Dr. Jeanette Meyer Fund • Mirthwood Fund • Eli Verne Memorial Fund

DESIGNATED Designated Funds benefit a specific nonprofit, educational institution or faith-based organization. Individual donors or the organizations themselves may establish these funds: • Dominic & Barbara Court Family Animal Welfare Fund • John Hilliard Endowment Fund for Lending Hands of Michigan, Inc. • Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation Brennan Hamilton Memorial Scholarship Fund (under development) • Jennie Timmerman Veldt Scholarship Fund FIELD-OF-INTEREST Field-of-Interest Funds enable donors to focus their giving on the community issues or causes they care about most: • Marian C. Clark Animal Welfare Fund • Friends for All Seasons Fund • Community Urgent Relief Fund

For a complete list of KZCF funds visit kalfound.org/give-now. To learn more on how to open a fund, contact a Donor Relations Officer at 269.381.4416. WINTER 2018



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

402 East Michigan Avenue Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.381.4416 kalfound.org

S.T.R.E.E.T wins Voting For A Cause This year, Kalamazoo Community Foundation held its firstever Voting For A Cause activity to highlight the work grantees are doing to address housing and education inequities in Kalamazoo County. In the weeks leading up to the Community Meeting, KZCF asked the community to vote for the organization they wanted to see receive a $1,000 grant to address local housing and education disparities. More than 1,000 votes were submitted online and in person for 10 deserving nonprofits. In the end, S.T.R.E.E.T. Afterschool Program, sponsored by Community Healing Centers, was chosen by the community to receive the award for the work they do to provide youth with a supportive emotional and academic space outside of school and home. Read more about S.T.R.E.E.T.’s impact at Community Healing Centers’ website at communityhealingcenter.org or check out their KZCF Live interview on KZCF’s Facebook page at LEFT TO RIGHT: Carrie Pickett-Erway, KZCF’s President/CEO and Charlene Taylor, S.T.R.E.E.T Afterschool Program Director