The Cadillac Area Community Foundation enhances the quality of life for all members of our community through philanthropy – connecting donor gifts with the needs of our community.
Executive Director's Blog
Volunteers are the Cornerstone of our Community Foundation.
A community foundation is a nonprofit organization that operates in a fiscally responsible manner so that resources can be most fully utilized to support their mission. For the Cadillac Area Community Foundation, this means utilizing the talents of volunteers to help power the organization.
Our Volunteer Board of Trustees take on tremendous responsibility. They are a voting Board with full authority and responsibility to develop policies, procedures and regulations for the operation of the organization; to monitor the organization’s financial health, programs and overall performance; and to provide the Executive Director with the resources to meet the needs of those the organization serves.
The Volunteer Investment Committee is responsible for the execution and oversight of the Foundation investments and investment managers, and makes quarterly reports to the full Board of Trustees on investment matters including the acquisition, disposition, administration, and management of the investments of the Foundation and the performance of the investment managers. The investment committee ensures compliance with the Investment Policy.
The Volunteer Scholarship Committees have the duty of reviewing the numerous scholarship applications submitted to the foundation every year, and making recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding the scholarship awards. Each scholarship committee is given selection criteria, specific to each scholarship program, to use while reviewing the applications. The process requires a great deal of time, diligence, and commitment on the part of the volunteer.
The mission of our Volunteer Youth Advisors is to empower young people, involve them in the community and teach them about philanthropy while serving as stewards through granting. Advisors are supportive, flexible, and consistent advocates for valuing youth’s perspectives.
For over 30 years, volunteers have served in every aspect of your Community Foundation. Our best fund development team are our volunteers; they plant the idea of investment in the community by supporting the community foundation through their donations of time and resources. Our volunteers are our contacts in the community in a variety of ways. Volunteers make the organization, and they are not celebrated enough. They make the difference.
We want all of our volunteers, past and present, to know we greatly appreciate their commitment, wisdom, and dedication to the Foundation.
The Cadillac Area Community Foundation received over 65 Scholarship applications this past spring, and awarded over $37,000 in scholarships with the help of our Scholarship Committees.
Those applications were from students interested in studying in all areas; and they applied for Scholarship Programs which specialized in General Education, Graduate Studies, Elementary Education, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Performing Arts. Scholarship requirements varied and covered everything from educational achievements, income levels, civic involvement, extra-curricular participation, community volunteerism, overcoming adversity, and even good citizenship.
Individual Scholarship Committees met to discuss each eligible student for the particular Scholarship Program. They read applications and, most importantly, the required essay that accompanied the application. The essays are a chance for the Committee Members to meet the students through their words and develop an idea of each students’ unique character beyond their GPA. Personal growth, leadership, extra-curricular and/or academic are all factors to be considered in the Scholarship award decisions. This is not an easy task for the Committee.
Scholarship Committees are vital to the process, and they have to make difficult choices. They do not know whose application they are reviewing, it is an anonymous process. They only have the information presented to them in the application and essay to base their decisions. A grade point average is important to help determine the potential for success in college, but an essay can tell a very personal story of the applicant. It is up to the Committee to consider the nuances of that story, in combination with the written application and transcript of grades, and determine the students that best fit the criteria of each Scholarship Program.
The Cadillac Area Community Foundation would like to thank all of the Scholarship Committee members who generously donated so much of their time to participate in this process to determine which of those students will help to define the future of our community!
Mixing Passion with Purpose
Two years ago, a 10 year old boy, Riley Bigger, made a request of the Cadillac City Council. He asked what it would take for the City to install a wheelchair accessible swing at the playground on the Keith McKellop Walkway.
Riley came up with the idea when he was attending a church conference and saw parents lift children from their wheelchairs into swings. When he returned to Cadillac he was determined to see a type of swing added to the city park that is wheelchair accessible next to the ADA compliant playground. The City of Cadillac thought it was a good idea too, and so Riley began to fundraise for his project.
As it turned out, the project was much more expensive than initially realized, and significant help was needed. Riley found that help in his local Community Foundation.
The Cadillac Area Community Foundation, and the Cadillac & Kellogg for Youth Advisory Committee, thought it was a great project, and looked at how they could help. A $15,000 grant award, $10,000 from the Foundation Cornerstone Fund and $5000 from the Youth Fund, completed the fundraising for the wheelchair accessible swing near the ADA Playground on the Lakefront. This dream that Riley had to help others is now becoming a reality.
According to the Wexford-Missaukee ISD, we have more than 25 students aged 26 and younger who are wheelchair bound and have never had the opportunity to enjoy most playground activities.
Your Community Foundation looks for opportunities to make our community more vibrant, and improve quality of life for all residents. This project will bring smiles and impact lives; it was a project of passion with a purpose.
Your gifts to the Community Foundation will impact lives in our area now and when assistance is needed in the future. We help make a long-term investment in causes that matter most to you.
Please feel free to contact us for more information on how to open a fund about what matters to you.
Young Volunteers: The Benefits of Community Service
Our youth are increasingly looking for opportunities to improve our community and school programs. Youth volunteerism builds discipline, respect for others, develops leadership skills, and interactions with students that they might not otherwise encounter. These youth volunteers are driven to give back to their community and school. Often, they enjoy engaging with adults.
The personal benefits of community service are very rewarding. Youth that are involved in community or school service groups are likely to have a strong work ethic, learn to manage their time, and less likely to get into trouble.
The Cadillac Area Community Foundation’s Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) was established in 1990. Over the 28 years more than 700 students have been a part of the group. The Cadillac and Kellogg for Youth Committee is part of the Michigan Community Foundations' statewide Youth Project (MCFYP) funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. This program was initiated to build community foundation capacity, to establish youth as philanthropists, and to build permanent and growing funds within each community to meet local youth needs.
As part of the commitment, every three years the Youth Advisory Committee completes a Youth Needs Assessment Survey of students in 5th through 12th grade. The Needs Assessment results are then used when evaluating the necessity of the projects and programs they receive grant applications for. The YAC students take this responsibility very serious, and they discuss in detail the needs of each grant submitted before making a final decision.
The Youth Advisory Committee has awarded more than $538,000 to programs and projects that address local youth needs and improve the lives of the youth in our community. The Youth Advisory Committee members have volunteered over 20,000 hours.
These young volunteers are committed youth leaders through a structured program of volunteerism, philanthropy, and personal development.
March is Reading Month--- When a Community is dedicated to young readers!
In June 2013, a group of business professionals decided to bring a very special program to our community called the Dolly Pardon’s Imagination Library. The donation of $20,000 from a local manufacturer launched the program.
Today, Dolly Pardon’s program spans four countries and mails over 1 million books each month to children around the world. In participating communities, parents can sign up for the program at no cost, to receive a monthly delivery of a book for their child until they are of age to enter kindergarten.
Participating communities demonstrate their dedication to young readers by making donations to fund the program. Local businesses, nonprofit organizations, foundations, and citizens all donate to the program so that the books are sent at no cost to families. 100 percent of the donations go toward the purchase of books.
The program is more than a book give-away for kids. Although that would be a worthy goal on its own, the Imagination Library is designed as a parent involvement program. Each book contains a message to parents suggesting what to do before reading the book, while reading the book, and how to follow up afterwards to extend learning. Research says that parent involvement in their children’s learning is a major factor in school success.
As of February the Wexford Missaukee Imagination Library program has delivered a total of 94,979 books since the program began. Program organizers believe they have almost 60% of the eligible population signed up in the Wexford Missaukee ISD School District.
Currently 2,142 books are being delivered on a monthly basis. That means that the program cost is over $4,000 a month. For this program to be permanently self-sufficient, the endowed portion of the fund would need to be $1,350,000. Until then, they will continue to write grants and ask the community for support.
The Cadillac Area Community Foundation houses a Fund for the Wexford Missaukee ISD-Imagination Library. The Foundation administers this fund through the collection of donations and provide fiduciary services. When you make a donation to this Fund, the Foundation can provide a receipt acknowledging your tax-deductible donation to this Fund.
If you would like additional information, or would like to donate to this fund, please feel free to contact me at the Foundation. 231-775-9911.
Applying for a Grant ? – You Have Some Research to Do!
Grant maker’s like to award grants as “seed money”; funds that are used for new and innovative ways to address community needs or to substantially change or enhance a currently existing program. Generally, community foundations do not provide ongoing, general support or continued support for past projects and/or programs. Most Foundations limit the number of times they will fund an existing program or project.
Foundations frequently will state their areas of focus for their grant making. The Cadillac Area Community Foundation has six focus areas: Economic Development, Arts & Culture, Education & Scholarships, Youth, Recreation & Environment, and Health & Human Services.
It is important to make certain that your application is complete, all questions answered. There is not a single area of the application that is not required, from the cover sheet to the budget and everything in between. It is always important to provide your Federal Tax ID Number or a copy of your IRS determination letter. Incomplete applications rarely get a second look.
As clearly and concisely as possible, the application gives you an opportunity to tell the story of what your vision is, why it is important, who it will serve, and how many people will be impacted. This is your chance to let your project shine! Make your narrative brief but compelling and informative. Be clear, explain why the methods you’ve selected are the best to achieve your objectives. It is important to include a timeline that specifies what is going to happen and when.
If you have financial support from other sources, or funders will to match what you have raised, be certain to put that in your application. This demonstrates that they believe in your vision too!
Nothing will kill your application faster than a budget whose numbers do not add up! Make certain to list all necessary supplies, equipment, and other resources you will use for your project, Make sure all figures are 100% accurate, and they balance with each other. If you are asking for $2,000, show why you need that amount. Specify direct costs—the expenses for which the requested grant funding will be used. Specify all sources of income and contributions, including volunteer services calculated at “market value.”
Have a plan that shows how you will continue funding for the project/program after the Foundation funds are exhausted, and be certain to include that information in your application. Before submitting your application, have a co-worker proofread your application. Make sure your program or project is clear to the reader. Double-check to make sure you have included all of the required paperwork listed on the grant application.
Our Foundation has awarded over $5.1 Million in grants and scholarships in the Cadillac area over the past 30 years. We have a variety of Grant making and Scholarship Programs that are listed on this website. If you are interested in applying for a grant, we invite you to review the Grant making Guidelines and our Grant Application forms, also found on this site. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
Thinking Ahead - Impacting Your Community Forever
A legacy is the need or the desire to be remembered for what you have contributed to the world. What kind of legacy will you leave behind? Will it be a life well lived and a charitable gift for future generations?
If you leave a gift for the future generations, will it be a building, money, or property? Will your focus be on health, education, environment or community arts? When considering a legacy gift to your local Community Foundation, knowing your core values is crucial. Ask yourself:
*What do I believe in?
*What really matters to me?
*What values help manage how I live my life?
*What values do I want to pass on?
Once these core values are determined; there are several avenues available when considering your charitable gift. Talking to your attorney, accountant, or financial advisor is always a good start.
Once you have determined the type of gift you would like to leave, your Foundation can discuss existing funds that meet your values; or even consider opening a new fund. When opening a new fund you may choose to open a Unrestricted Family Fund that will award grants in the name of your family that best meet community needs; a Scholarship Fund to benefit local students; a Field of Interest Fund that will address an area close to your heart; or initiate an Agency Endowment Fund that will continue to support an Agency you care about. All of these Funds have written agreements that honor donor wishes. Discussing the different types of funds, in detail, with your community foundation representative will help you determine which fund type best meets your needs.
We make it our mission to provide excellent stewardship of your legacy gift. We are mindful of our donor’s wishes, and want our donor’s to feel confident that their donation will continue their legacy into the future
If you are interested in planned giving, and would like additional information, please feel free to contact me. I would love to help you plan a permanent legacy that fulfills your philanthropic dreams.
Happy New Year,
Happy Holidays! Lets talk Charitable Gifts.
Gifts to a Community Foundation help sustain the Foundation’s continued philanthropy.
Inspired men, who strongly believed that a community foundation would be a tremendous asset to our community, constructed the Cadillac Area Community Foundation. It was designed to build permanent charitable capital through endowments, and award philanthropic grants and scholarships that contribute to the health, vitality, and opportunity available in our community.
Our Foundation Trustees are entrusted to be good stewards of over Ten Million dollars that have been gifted by our generous donors over the past 30 years. One of the responsibilities of the Foundation is to assist thoughtful donors who would like to give back to the community in a permanent manner by establishing a charitable fund. Donors may consider an unrestricted endowment fund, a memorial fund, a field of interest fund, a donor advised fund, or a scholarship fund. All of these types of funds are vital to the well-being of our Community.
Our commitment to our donors, and the community, is continued stewardship and growth. Through continued growth we can support our six general areas of interest through grants. Our six areas of interest are: culture and the arts, economic development, education, environment and recreation, health, and human services.
In closing, we are thankful to the individuals, families, businesses and organizations for their continued support to make our community stronger today and in the future. Remember, when you give to the Cadillac Area Community Foundation you are giving a gift to your Community that will do good work now and into the future.
Passionate Women at Work | Women's Giving Circle’s
All we need is passionate women and a financial commitment, to make an impact!
In 1999, in Traverse City Michigan, the Three Generations Circle of Women Givers was formed. This was the first women’s giving circle in the United States. The Giving Circle was originally founded to benefit the Women’s Resource Center, in Traverse City. Over time, they decided to split their giving by allocating 50% to the Women’s Resource Center, and the other 50% to member approved grants to community organizations that addressed the needs of women and girls.
The concept of Giving Circle’s quickly caught on and gave birth to thousands of Women’s Giving Circles around the world. A wonderful collaborative process developed, and helped the women to grow as philanthropists.
Their common goal was to women together who share common philanthropic goals to benefit women's needs. The involvement was up to you, there is no pressure. Some women just want to come to the annual meeting and vote for which organization they felt the most passionate about. Others wanted to get together and visit at casual monthly meeting.
Women have always contributed their time and talent to their communities; they want to make the world a better place. The idea of the giving circle is that one person may not make an impact with a single donation; but a giving circle might make a significant difference together.
The Cadillac Area Women’s Giving Circle entered into an agreement with the Cadillac Area Community Foundation in December 2008 to form a Giving Circle in our community. The first meetings took place, and grants began to be awarded in August 2009. Their mission was to build a community of philanthropists and create a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls of the Greater Cadillac Area. Since 2009 the Cadillac Area Women’s Giving Circle has awarded $109,103 grants and has permanently endowed $33,580.
We have the ability to award large, high-impacted grants to deserving organizations because of working together. Programs for girls to attend Science and Math Camp, providing medication, medical supplies, funding for books to children age 5 and under, Girls on the Run programs, or a Resource Center for women, are just a few of the grants awarded over the years. Because of our like-minded group of women, we can make a difference in the lives of women and girls in our community.
The Cadillac Area Women’s Giving Circle mission is building a community of philanthropists and creating a permanent legacy to address the needs of women and girls of the Greater Cadillac Area in the future. We are Passionate Women at Work”! If you would like to additional information about becoming a member, or applying for a grant, please visit the website at: www.cadillacareawomensgivingcircle.org
Thinking Forward - Impacting Your Community Forever
What kind of Legacy will you leave? Will it be buildings, money, land; or will it focus on health, education, environment, or community arts?
When someone decides to leave a charitable gift to their local Community Foundation, their gift can be used to support innovative solutions, and enhance the quality of life, for their community. Our Donors are content in knowing they were a good steward of their gift.
As a Donor, knowing your core values is important when making charitable gift decisions:
*What do I believe in?
*What really matters to me?
*What values help manage how I live my life?
*What values do I want to pass on?
Once these core values are identified, the type of Legacy you wish to leave becomes much clearer. This is the time to review existing funds at your local Community Foundation, and see which Fund/s resonate with your core values.
The easiest way to create your Legacy gift is through a charitable bequest in your Will. You can specify a dollar amount or percentage of your residual estate This may include specifically naming your Community Foundation as a full or partial beneficiary of a life insurance policy, bank account, or retirement account. A bequest of a permanently endowed gift allows you to continue to support the organizations and causes that you value the most through the earnings from your gift, which becomes a permanent source of community capital and continues to work for the community betterment in perpetuity. When you include your charitable gift in your Will as a bequest, our staff can work with you or your attorney with recommended language.
If our currently existing funds do not meet your philanthropic needs, perhaps it is time to consider opening a new fund that will address your core values. Our professional staff can work with you, or your attorney, to design a fund that meets your core values.
If you are interested in creating a Legacy of Giving, please feel free to contact me.
Over the last two weeks, portions of the United States have been ravaged by natural disasters. And our citizens have been responding with an outpouring of compassion and assistance. Even here, in Northern Michigan, our office has fielded inquiries from local citizens who want to support those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Hurricane Harvey has killed at least 69 people, and that number is still rising as search and rescue crews are able to travel into the most heavily damaged areas. Over 48,000 homes were affected, and displaced tens of thousands. Winds topped 130 mph and downpours reached up to four inches per hour. A rain gauge near Cedar Bayou, Texas, measured 51.88 inches of rainfall. Damage extended through Texas, Louisiana, and Alabama.
Today, September 11th, Hurricane Irma is still lashing Florida with torrential rains, flooding, and top wind gusts in excess of 140 mph. This hurricane is so large that it covered the entire state of Florida. Storm surges continue to fill the streets, and the destruction continues with the loss of property, homes, and life. Because this is an ongoing storm, it is still too soon to tell what the total devastation will be.
Citizens, celebrities, politicians, and sports figures from all over the United States have pledged donations to support Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas, and Hurricane Irma victims in Florida. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) launched the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund, and the CDP Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund, in response to focus on long-term needs of those affected.
Our colleague in philanthropy the Greater Houston Community Foundation, is managing Mayor Turner's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. This Fund will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims affected by the recent floods. The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.
In addition to many national disaster aid charities that are currently on the ground in Florida; the Community Foundation of Collier County, the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Marlin Counties, the Community Foundation of Sarasota, and the Miami Foundation all house funds to support relief and recovery efforts from the destruction of Hurricane Irma.
These catastrophic hurricanes illustrate the capacity for compassion and assistance that the American people possess; and this compassion with action is an example of true philanthropy.
I would like to talk about the importance of engaging Wellness and Quality of Life for all ages. As the Executive Director of the Foundation, I am a member of many local committees. The Cadillac Area Health Coalition is one of the organizations that I served prior to coming to the Foundation, and I remain committed to this organization and their mission.
The Health Coalition focuses on the existing community resources of health education, promotion and disease prevention. The meetings are designed to build awareness of health care programs and services; to encourage healthier lifestyle choices.
One of the priorities was encouraging employers to have worksite wellness programs. The cost of employee wellness programs is an investment that pays off when employees create new, healthy, lifestyle habits. Planning a worksite wellness program can be rewarding for company leaders and employees. The Health Coalition has been able to assist local businesses in developing their own comprehensive worksite health promotion programs.
Education is an important aspect of the Health Coalition. This year, on Tuesday September 26th, the Health Coalition is hosting a full day of wellness & quality of life programming and presentations for the Cadillac area.
The Community Wellness Day will kick off with a morning Community Leaders Conference to be held at the Resurrection Life Church. The conference will include breakfast and speaker Robby Wagner, a world-class health & wellness humorist.
To engage the youth in the community, CAPS students in grades 11 & 12 through a presentation from Robby Wagner, specializing in Wellness, grades 7 through 10, Johnnie Tuitel, Personal Roles & Responsibilities and grades 5 & 6, David Scherer, Quality of Life.
CAPS 4th grader students will be participating in the “Healthy Choices, Healthy Me!” presented by a Dietician from Munson Healthcare Cadillac. Students K – 3rd will participate in art and writing contests themed “What does it mean to be healthy”.
The Foundation is proud to be one of the sponsors of this wonderful event. You can watch our Facebook page, or the local media, for more information. Tickets for the Community Leaders Conference kick-off may be purchased by contacting the Cadillac Area YMCA at 775-3369. We look forward to seeing everyone at this community day of wellness!!
The National Standards Seal by our name indicates official confirmation from the Council on Foundations that we have met the most rigorous standards in philanthropy. It affirms our commitment to financial security, transparency and accountability. It says our grantmaking includes an open, competitive process designed to address the changing needs of our community. The National Standards Seal also confirms our history of honoring donors' wishes.