Dear Partners and Friends,
Grand Rapids Community Foundation is energized and excited about our community’s future. We are focused on working with you to build and sustain an inclusive economy and thriving community for all. Simply put, we are on a quest to create a West Michigan where everyone can access good paying jobs, safe and affordable housing, and economic prosperity in a community that truly feels like home.
To do this, we are approaching our work and funding projects more intentionally through the lens of racial, social and economic justice. We are partnering with donors in new and exciting ways and building new relationships with passionate community members doing amazing work. Most importantly, our team is working to be the change we want to see.
Over the last couple of years, we have worked with consultants to help build the internal capacities needed to move our work forward. We are having tough, uncomfortable conversations. We are being more intentional about our business partnerships by redirecting our spending to include more local businesses and those owned and operated by women, people of color and LGBTQ individuals. Equity work is hard, and we don’t always get it right. We are learning and growing along the way and have appreciated the balance of grace and accountability our partners have extended to us throughout this journey.
Moving toward a brighter future for everyone requires the Community Foundation’s financial growth and stability. We are thankful to our donor partners for their investment in our endowment, which allows us to address the ever-changing needs in our community today, and in the future.
Last fiscal year was one of significant volatility. History clearly shows the market runs in cycles, and we expect this will hold true in this cycle as well. We are grateful for our incredible finance team and Investment Review Committee, who remain committed to providing long-term, risk-managed returns for our portfolio. At the end of 2018-2019, our assets remained steady at $348,475,422. The generosity of our donor partners made it possible for us to award $13,888,250 in grants to local nonprofits and scholarships to students. We are also pleased to announce that 23 new funds were established.
In this annual report, you will find stories of partners like you working to shift the narrative around equity in West Michigan. Together, we reframe conversations to explore the intersection of talent and opportunity, housing security and financial prosperity, and true community building. We hope you are inspired by all we have accomplished together over the last year. There is still much work to be done and we look forward to your continued partnership.
With deepest appreciation and gratitude,