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In the mid-1980s, community foundations were becoming more numerous in Michigan, fueled by a matching fundraising program launched by the Kellogg Foundation. The long-range planning committee of the Capital Area United Way felt the time was right to establish a community foundation in the capital region. If the United Way was the community’s charitable checking account, it seemed natural to establish a charitable savings account.

In October 1987, the Capital Region Community Foundation was formally incorporated. The original board was made up of Capital Area United Way committee members and community leaders.

When was the last time you changed someone’s life?

You might already make a difference by volunteering your time, which is crucial to help programs and people around mid-Michigan.

What about helping in a different way — a way that would help forever?

At the Capital Region Community Foundation, we’ve been helping donors change the lives of thousands of people in our community for 25 years. Mid-Michigan residents, nonprofits and businesses have entrusted the Community Foundation to make their charitable giving as effective and meaningful as possible. We listen to people’s passions and recommend the best way to support causes they care about.

As we near the end of 2012 and you think about your final charitable gifts of the year, we hope you will consider supporting your community through a gift to the Capital Region Community Foundation.

Twenty mid-Michigan nonprofits are hoping to start the year off with a “bang” by winning the University Club of MSU’s second annual Big Bang-quet Community Charity Challenge.  Beginning Feb. 1, the 20 organizations will be asking the public for their votes to help them win a $10,000, $5,000 or $2,500 credit toward a fundraising event held at the University Club of MSU. The program is being conducted by the University Club and is sponsored by the MSU Federal Credit Union and the Capital Region Community Foundation.

The Capital Region Community Foundation is seeking an experienced professional to serve as its Chief Operating Officer (COO). Reporting to the Foundation’s President and CEO, the COO is a key member of the Foundation’s management team, with overall responsibility for managing the Foundation’s business operations. He or she will interact extensively with staff to provide leadership and direction for administrative aspects of the Foundation’s programs and activities, including finances, human resources, grantmaking, information technology, donor services, corporate and governance matters, and board and committee activities. The COO will work closely with the President and CEO to plan, organize and manage the activities of the Foundation in accordance with policies established by the Board of Trustees and regulating bodies. He or she will provide internal leadership and management oversight that creates a collaborative team environment with strong communication and workflow efficiencies.

Twenty-four mid-Michigan charities were awarded a total of $81,565 in the University Club of MSU’s 2014 Big Bang-quet Challenge, co-sponsored by the MSU Federal Credit Union and the Capital Region Community Foundation.

The public “voted” for their favorite charities online with $5 tax-deductible donations to the Capital Region Community Foundation from Feb. 1 through March 24. The charities competed for three top prizes.

At the Final Voting & Reveal Reception on March 25, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra was awarded the grand prize – a $10,000 credit toward a fundraising event at the University Club, plus $8,534 earned from their votes.

Twenty-four mid-Michigan nonprofits are hoping to start 2014 off with a “bang” by winning the University Club of MSU’s third annual Big Bang-quet Community Charity Challenge.

The organizations are asking the public for their votes to help them win a $10,000 or $5,000 credit toward a fundraising event held at the University Club of MSU. The program is being conducted by the University Club and is sponsored by the MSU Federal Credit Union and the Capital Region Community Foundation.

A “vote” is a $5 tax-deductible donation to the Capital Region Community Foundation. Votes can be cast online through March 24.

The Capital Region Community Foundation selected Big Brothers Big Sisters Michigan Capital Region as the recipient of its $75,000 impact grant for 2012. In the year since BBBSMCR received the grant, dozens of new matches have been made between tri-county youth and local mentors.

The organization is using the grant for its Tri-County Quality Mentoring Demonstration Project. It is leading a collaboration with the YES Center in Eaton County, the Turning Point of Lansing and MSU Extension 4-H in Clinton County to match 75 new children with one-to-one mentors who will change their lives for the better, forever.

“The Community Foundation doesn’t sell a particular charity. It caters to donors. What’s your dream? They can make that happen. It’s more stable and secure than any one nonprofit.” — Pattie Reynolds

A donor-advised fund offers the opportunity to create a low-cost, flexible vehicle for charitable giving as an alternative to direct giving or creating a private foundation. Donors enjoy administrative convenience, cost savings and tax advantages by conducting their grantmaking through the fund.

Paul Marisch and Warren Smith had a happy predicament.

Now retired from careers with the State of Michigan, they have spent their 33 years together saving and building assets. “Now we get to spend the next 40 years trying to get rid of it,” Marisch joked.

They established the Smith-Marisch Music Education Scholarship Fund at the Capital Region Community Foundation to provide college scholarships for male students graduating from local high schools pursuing a career in vocal music education or professional vocal music performance.

Tucked into an unassuming building on South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in south Lansing, the R.J. Scheffel Memorial Toy Project looks like the ultimate retirees’ hangout.

The workshop is packed with piles of wood, machines to shape it and people who are done punching a time clock. Around the edges of the room are boxes and tables piled with finished products — cars, crayon holders, trains, dinosaurs, doll cribs — awaiting delivery to happy hands.

When was the last time you changed someone’s life?

You might already make a difference by volunteering your time, which is crucial to help programs and people around mid-Michigan.

What about helping in a different way — a way that would help forever?

At the Capital Region Community Foundation, we’ve been helping donors change the lives of thousands of people in our community for 25 years. Mid-Michigan residents, nonprofits and businesses have entrusted the Community Foundation to make their charitable giving as effective and meaningful as possible. We listen to people’s passions and recommend the best way to support causes they care about.

In 1993, East Lansing native and tennis pro Todd Martin returned home for a winter visit. He was just a couple of years into his professional tennis career — not yet at the No. 4 spot in the world singles rankings — but he was already thinking about how he could repay his community.

“He talked with his coach Rick Ferman and his dad, Dale, about what it meant to give back to a community that had given to him so richly,” said Nancy Danhof. “So they formed the Todd Martin Development Fund.”

The Capital Region Community Foundation has chosen Big Brothers Big Sisters Michigan Capital Region as the recipient of its $75,000 impact grant for 2012.

BBBSMCR will use the grant for its newly created Tri-County Quality Mentoring Demonstration Project. It will lead a collaboration with the Yes Center in Eaton County, The Turning Point of Lansing and MSU Extension 4-H in Clinton County to match at least 70 new children with one-on-one mentors who will change their lives for the better, forever. BBBSMCR targets youth who are most at risk and prioritizes those from low-income, single-parent households.

Those words, spoken by Richard “Dick” Letts, became the title of a documentary about the man affectionately known as “Mr. Lansing.” They were the words he lived his life by. And they are his legacy and his call to action.

The Lansing man, community activist and city employee built his life around that statement. Before his death in 1997 at 75, he served more than 60 city organizations, spent 27 years as Lansing’s human relations director and opened doors for countless people who needed someone to believe in them.

John and Diane Dodge spent much of their personal and professional lives feeding and caring for people.

The State of Michigan Community Foundation Tax Credit was abolished by Gov. Rick Snyder at the end of December 2011.  Originally signed into law Dec. 29, 1988, the Michigan Community Foundation Tax Credit was designed to encourage individuals and businesses to build the permanent endowments of community foundations across the state. This tax credit was intended to bring additional dollars to communities by generating new donors and encouraging more permanent endowment support rather than tempting donors to shift their dollars from other organizations.

The Consumers Energy Foundation announced it is awarding $1.25 million in grants to 10 community projects as part of the utility’s 125th anniversary celebration.

The Michigan Nonprofit Association was awarded a $125,000 grant on behalf of the Nonprofit Center at the Armory.

After many months of planning and renovating, several Lansing-based nonprofits will be calling the former Marshall Street Armory home this fall.

The historic building at 330 Marshall St. in Lansing is set to open in November 2011. The Nonprofit Center at the Armory will house the offices of the Michigan Nonprofit Association, Capital Region Community Foundation, Capital Area United Way, Michigan Association of United Ways, the Food Bank Council of Michigan and other nonprofits.

The organizations based in the Armory represent a diverse collection of Mid-Michigan’s nonprofit leaders and funders, and the shared space encourages collaboration in every sense of the word.

A grant from the Capital Region Community Foundation helped the Stoneleigh Hospice Residence add a convenience suggested by the adult son of a Hospice patient: Free Wi-Fi. The woman’s son was dedicated to staying by his mother’s side in the residence; however, the demands of his job required him to work remotely. Without Wi-Fi at Stoneleigh, he had to leave every time he needed Internet access.

So in 2009, the Community Foundation granted $1,533 to the Stoneleigh Hospice Residence to enable the installation of a free wireless network for everyone to use. Lars Egede-Nissen, Hospice of Lansing’s executive director, said it was a welcome addition for the families and patients.

A visit to the Southside Community Kitchen delivers a combination of expected and unexpected finds.

Expected: Friendly volunteers working to prepare lunch for an indeterminate number of guests at the Christ United Methodist Church on Jolly Road in Lansing. Rows of pie slices lining the kitchen counter, waiting to become dessert.

Unexpected: Round tables of eight set with paper place mats, plastic ware wrapped in paper napkins and secured with a dark green wrapper. A grand piano in the back corner of the room, being played as lovely background music. Volunteers acting as servers for the guests.

In its third year awarding Impact Grants, the Capital Region Community Foundation has chosen the Allen Neighborhood Center, REACH Studio Art Center and the Greater Lansing Food Bank to receive grants totaling $189,280.