October 2019

What it means to be a Blue Zones Community

Blue Zones are specific areas, across the world, where the residents enjoy the happiest, healthiest, and longest lives. Their immediate environment supports their lifestyle choices and well-being.

At its most basic, the Blue Zones Project is a community well-being improvement initiative designed to change the way people experience the world around them. Because healthier environments naturally nudge people toward healthier choices, the Blue Zones Project focuses on influencing the area close to home in which people spend 90 percent of their lives. That area and that environment dictates how easy it is to make healthy choices, or how difficult. By improving where we live, work, learn, and play, we make it easier to get up and move, eat healthy, make new friends, find a reason for being — and live longer, better.

The Blue Zones Project brings the entire community together; local residents, worksites, human services & non-profit organizations, your Community Foundation, healthcare professionals, schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and local government; to inspire this community movement that has the power to improve the quality of life for everyone. Blue Zones uses scientifically proven lessons of longevity, health, and happiness to boost the well-being of an entire community. Read more

September 2019

Teaching Our Youth to be Charitable

September is back to school month for many homes, and the student led CACF Youth Advisory Committee is excited for another year of grant-making and volunteering in the Community.

Experts believe that no age is too young to introduce giving to your children. Teaching our youth to be charitable can be rewarding. Learning about giving and helping others gives our youth a feeling of empowerment in an uncertain world where unexpected and sometimes frightening events happen too often.

For the past 3 years, I have had the privilege of being an adult advisor to the CACF Youth Advisory Committee. Whether it is reviewing grant applications or working at a Celebrity Servers Nights at Culver’s, I found our Youth members are ready and willing to make an impact in our community.

Our Youth Advisory Committee students range from 8th grade to 12th grade. Their mission is to meet the needs of the youth of the Cadillac Area by enhancing the awareness of opportunities, dedicating themselves to service projects, and providing information and resources through cooperative leadership and financial support for projects that improve the community. Read more

August 2019

Becoming a Healthy Community – Changing Culture!

Recently, I participated in a Strategic Planning Session to reduce substance abuse in the Cadillac Area.  Opioids, methadone, heroin, and student vaping were the topics.  Session participants included personnel from many fields including medical and mental health, law enforcement, judicial, governmental, social services, nonprofit organizations, ministerial, educational, as well as local Jr. High and high school students.  Participants were able to coalesce concerns into one short term goal and multiple long term goals.  In the short term, the goal is to educate our community about proper drug disposal, the dangers of crystal methamphetamine (meth) and heroin, and educating students about the inherent dangers of vaping.  Long term goals are to reduce the availability of illegal drugs, reduce prescription drug abuse, increase access to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) support groups, and add additional work re-entry programs for drug offenders.  Read more

July 2019

Profits Funding Passions ~ Celebrating 30 years of Philanthropy

Thirty one years ago, a small group of community members, who had a vision, met to discuss the possibility of creating a Community Foundation for the greater good of the Cadillac area.

On June 29, 1988, the Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Michigan Department of Commerce, and the first Board of Trustees was formed. On that same date a request for status as a 501 c3 nonprofit was filed with the United States Internal Revenue Service, and the Cadillac Area Community Foundation was officially created!

Almost immediately, the citizens of the community were asked to donate to the Foundation, so that the money could be permanently endowed, and the earnings (PROFITS) from those donations could be reinvested into the community. Read more

June 2019

The “hub” for all things philanthropic.

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation is a charitable organization that connects people, supports local community programs, awards scholarships, and leads for change in the Cadillac community.

As the “hub” of all things, and in order to be aware of the issues and concerns in our community, we attend Health and Human Services meetings, Veterans Meetings, Health Coalitions, Community Forums, and other community-related programs and events

We are diligently working with non-profit organization’s and donors passions to make an impact on our community.  Whether it is assisting local veterans with emergency needs, helping victims of domestic violence find safety, or even expanding opportunities for local students; our vision is to be recognized as a resource for our donors and grantees.  We strive to connect donor gifts with the needs of the community. Read more

May 2019

Story telling – donor impact

Foundations are increasingly asking their donors to tell their story about why they invested funds with their local Foundation. These stories are educating our community members, businesses, organizations, and even our children about giving.

A philanthropic message from a friend, one-to-one, will make more of an impact than a receptionist on the other Read more

April 2019

We earned our SEAL!

The Cadillac Area Community Foundation has earned our Community Foundations National Standards Seal again for another year.  The Community Foundations National Standards Board confirms operational excellence in sex key areas-mission, structure, governance, resource development, stewardship and accountability, grantmaking and community leadership; donor relations; and communications.  The accreditation process is rigorous, and undertaking it demonstrates a community foundation’s commitment to accountability and excellence to its donors, its community, policymakers, and the public.

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March 2019

March is Reading Month

Literacy is one of the most fundamental skills necessary for a successful future. Reading plays a critical role in a child’s cognitive growth and development. Data has shown that learning to read at a young age can increase a student’s ability to remember facts, comprehend information and be successful in both school and a career.

In 2013, our local Imagination Library was founded as a collaborative effort between charitable business owners, philanthropic donors, the Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School Read more

February 2019

Foundation Grants and their Return on Investment.

Return on investment (ROI) is a traditional financial metric used to analyze the efficiency of an investment. ROI = profit from an investment/investment cost and is usually expressed as a percentage. For instance, if you invest $1,000 in creating a website and it increases your sales by $1,500, then the ROI = (500 / 1,000) x 100 = 50%. Read more

January 2019

Putting our Strategic Plan to Work

In the fall of 2017, the Foundation Board of Trustees, myself, and Lyn Jenks, Consultant from the Council of Michigan Foundations began to outline our strategic direction for the Foundation.  Our first task was to look at our mission statement, which we revised to read:

“The Cadillac Area Community Foundation enhances the quality of life for all people in our community through philanthropy – connecting donor gifts with the needs in our community.”

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