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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 making a change to its granting calendar.

Beginning with the upcoming annual grant cycle, requests for proposal (RFPs) will be available online July 1, 2015, and are due on or before Sept. 1, 2015. Grant requests will be reviewed by committee in the fall, and awards will be announced in mid-November. This will be the new timeframe for annual grantmaking moving forward.

“This does not necessarily have anything to do with the play we’re doing right now, but it’s essential to our ability to keep our doors open.”

— Emily Sutton-Smith, Williamston Theatre

“The best thing you can do for families is to get somebody’s parents sober. That’s how kids learn what the difference is between using and not using and what that can do to a family.”

— Pat Wheeler, executive director, NCA Lansing region

The Community Foundation’s 2013 Impact Grant was awarded to the Eaton Conservation District’s Middle Grand River Organization of Watersheds program.

MGROW was established to protect and preserve the history and the natural resources of the Middle Grand River watershed by promoting education, conservation, restoration and recreational activities.

“The $15,000 grant we received from the Capital Region Community Foundation enabled us to enroll 22 new students this past academic year. It was our largest class since we opened. We were also able to purchase some supplies for the classroom, which is huge. So often we’re buying things out of our own pockets.”

— Paula Frantz, GIL program administrator

“When I was 7, I discovered leeches. I had no idea that’s what they were, and I was pretty sure I was the next Darwin. That was an amazing time in my childhood. It’s why I’m so invested in the education work I do at Fenner. I want kids to have those experiences as soon as possible so they can have the benefit of it as long as possible.”

— Liz Roxberry, Fenner program manager

The Michigan Nurses Foundation advances nursing by awarding education scholarships and providing research grants. The foundation also provides grants to support nurses who are recovering from addiction.

“I like to help people help themselves. Helping someone get an education is an opportunity for someone to raise their standard of living and hopefully perpetuate the cycle. I was very fortunate to get a scholarship at Olivet College and certainly never could have gone to college without a scholarship.”
— David Cutler

“The Community Foundation is secure, it’s safe. It has built a track record of that in its 24 years of granting. Generous people will know their money is safe and well-invested for the benefit of our community, forever.”
— Deborah Harrison

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.