Local foundation celebrates centennial

Diana Sieger Courtesy Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF) is celebrating its 100-year anniversary of serving Kent County.

The organization has given more than $244 million in grants and $21 million in scholarships to benefit Kent County residents since its founding in 1922.

“We couldn’t have imagined that a global pandemic and racial reckoning would influence our centennial year,” said Diana Sieger, president, GRCF. “But, with our eyes on the future, we continue our work, reflecting on our history and all we’ve learned over the (past) century. The time is now to build upon our strengths and lean further into our role as stewards of change in our community.”

Though originally founded for the betterment of Grand Rapids residents, the organization expanded its scope to include all of Kent County in the 1930s. Over the years, the community foundation partnered with donors, nonprofits and community leaders to champion social justice issues, including HIV/AIDS, child abuse and neglect, affordable housing, and equitable access to education.

“The community foundation’s trustees and staff are grateful to the donors, volunteers, nonprofits, partners and all in our community who have given of their time, financial resources and thought partnership to our mission,” said Kyle Caldwell, board chair, GRCF, and president and CEO, Council of Michigan Foundations. “The work of generations of champions has made the community foundation’s century of community impact and bold change possible.”

In the past fiscal year, the organization reported significant financial and operational growth, including total grant and scholarship totals reaching nearly $19 million, the establishment of 27 new funds to address current and future community needs, and being a founding investor in a women-owned index fund, which opened the door for additional investor participation.

More information about GRCF’s centennial is at grfoundation.org/about/100.

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