What is a Community Foundation?

Community foundations build endowment, award grants, and connect the community by providing leadership services which can convene agencies and coordinate resources to create positive change.

A community foundation is a 501c3 tax-exempt charitable organization that provides support, primarily for the needs of the geographic community or region where it is based. This support comes from a permanent collection endowed funds that it maintains, managers, and administers for the long-term benefit of a defined geographic area.

Community foundations seek support from the general public, and they also provide grants.

Community Foundations can:

Provide tools and resources which help individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofit agencies achieve their charitable and financial goals.

  • Help donors create charitable funds to support the issues and groups they care about most.
  •  Accept a variety of assets and facilitate complicated giving strategies.

A community foundation is committed to the principles of equality and diversity, inclusiveness, and public accountability.

For additional information please visit the Michigan Community Foundations website.

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation

You may be familiar with the Cadillac Area Community Foundation, but you may not know all that it does.

No one person has the resources to provide solutions to all the challenges faced by a community this diverse. However, by combining the financial and human resources of many individuals, we can make a significant difference. Working together by pooling resources is the basic idea of a community foundation.

Founded in 1988, the Cadillac Area Community Foundation is a permanent philanthropic endowment for the Cadillac Area. A nonprofit, tax-exempt, independent, publicly supported philanthropic organization that is organized and operated as a permanent collection of endowed funds for the long term benefit of the community.

The Foundation receives gifts from individuals, families, businesses, other foundations, and other organizations eager to make a difference in the future of our community. These funds comprise the Community Foundation’s assets, most of which are part of the Community Foundation’s permanent endowment (pools of funds invested for the future of the community) and are used to support charitable activities in the community  through grants and technical assistance.

Annual audits are performed and investment managers undergo an annual review process to ensure a reasonable rate of return on all funds entrusted to the Foundation.  It is a percentage on the interest income from these invested assets that is used to support the Foundations grant making programs.

The Foundation has an independent governing body representing the broad interests of our community, with members serving limited terms and without compensation.  The Foundation is not controlled or influenced by other organizations, governing units or charities, and adheres to a sense of “community” that overrides interests  of any particular individuals or groups.  The Foundation is committed to the principles of equality and diversity, inclusiveness, and public accountability.

The philanthropic impact of the Community Foundation is evident throughout our area neighborhoods, health and social service agencies, cultural organizations, educational institutions, youth organization, economic development projects, and other community groups. Working through local nonprofit organizations, the Cadillac Area Community Foundation has been working to make our community a better place to live for over 25 years.

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation’s purpose is to promote philanthropy and provide stewardship and leadership to enhance the use of community resources to meet the needs of our citizens. The Foundation provides stewardship and leadership by:

  • Encouraging philanthropy and charitable giving.
  • Developing permanent endowments and resources for today’s and tomorrows’ generations to meet the challenges of the times.
  • Providing grant making expertise and philanthropic services to donors with diverse interests at all levels of giving.
  • Protecting and managing the assets of philanthropic funds established by donors.
  • Supporting local nonprofit organizations through grants and technical assistance.
  • Serving as a resource and catalyst for philanthropic activities and bring together different forces in the community to develop new ways to use the community’s capacities and assets.

Quick Facts about The Foundation

  • Established in 1988, the Cadillac Area Community Foundation is one of more than 800 community foundations in the United States today.
    The Trustees of the Cadillac Area Community Foundation serve limited terms and without compensation.
  • The Cadillac Area Community Foundation serves the citizens of our community, offering people a variety of ways to touch the community and improve lives through philanthropic giving.
  • The Cadillac Area Community Foundation houses numerous separate funds to meet the needs of our community. (Please see the “Fund” page for specifics.)
  • Annual audits and reviews of investment managers are performed. A copy of the annual audit for the Foundation is available on this website.
  • The Cadillac & Kellogg for Youth Committee, an advisory committee to the Foundation Board of Trustees, is a committee comprised of area youth which participates in community service projects, fundraising, and grant making. (See the Youth Committee tab in the menu to access specific information.)
  • The Cadillac Area Community Foundation houses the Missaukee Area Community Foundation, a geographic component fund.

Our Mission Statement

The primary mission of the Cadillac Area Community Foundation is to develop a community-wide vehicle for permanent endowments to enhance the quality of life in the area and to establish and manage worthwhile endowed funds for the benefit of our community.

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.