Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s co-investment program is customized for donor advisors who are interested in digging deeper into their philanthropy journey, while at the same time helping the KZCF stretch its grantmaking dollars.

Donor advisors commit to investing a specific dollar amount with KZCF during the calendar year. KZCF Donor Relations team then presents funding opportunities to donor advisors participating in the program during one or both of KZCF's grantmaking cycles. The funding opportunities offered align with KZCF’s priorities and the donor advisors’ philanthropic interests. If interested in funding opportunities presented, donors can suggest grants from their fund.

"This experience gives our donors an opportunity to learn more about the innovative and impactful work of local nonprofits addressing an area of need that is important to them," said Joanna Donnelly Dales, vice-president of Donor Relations.
The VanAllens are donors who were approached last Spring about an opportunity to support local nonprofits through co-investing.

"Joanna Dales presented a matching fund opportunity and asked us to consider reading through a few grants that lined up with our areas of interest," said Michele VanAllen. After she and her husband reviewed the grants, they found one they liked.

"We met with members of the Donor Relations and Community Investment teams and learned about the organizations in more detail. We selected one with high financial need, doing great work in an area important to us," VanAllen said.

That co-investment grant from the VanAllens benefited Healthy House, a rehabilitation center for women experiencing issues with substance misuse.

Impact of Co-investing

"I remember walking into the Gateway Treatment Center on March 26, 1996, after 20 years of active addiction. I was court-ordered to go to treatment and my daughter had become a ward of the state. On March 26, 2019, I had 23 years of being clean from all drugs."

This is the story of a staff member of Healthy House for Women, established in 2015. The Healthy House staff understands what it takes to turn a life around.

"I can totally relate to the cultural, racial, economic and gender barriers that the women we serve have to address and overcome in order to become responsible productive members of our community," the staff member reflected.

The Healthy House team shares their experiences of addiction, healing and growth with women who are at risk of homelessness due to unaddressed issues, such as substance use disorder, mental health diagnosis, unemployment, and lack of educational and community supports.

Healthy House began by drawing on community-based values, traditions, customs, and working with knowledgeable community members to plan, implement, and evaluate prevention activities. Their program promotes academic, occupational, emotional and spiritual competence, resulting in individual progress toward personal fulfillment and positive contribution to the community. Their mission is to provide a safe, sober, structured residential environment for women in recovery from co-occurring illness.

Healthy House accommodates eight women at a time, ages 18 to 60, in its fully-furnished house, including bedding, sheets and towels. Some of the residents have temporarily lost custody of their minor children, so Healthy House collaborates with appropriate agencies to arrange supervised visitations.

This is just one of many local organizations that received a boost in support through KZCF's Co-investment option.

"Expertise from our grantmaking team allows our donors to gain a deeper understanding of our community and local organizations," Dales says. "We enjoy providing our donors with experiences and opportunities to learn more about what’s happening in the community."

Interested in learning more about co-investing and its community impact? Connect with our Donor Relations team by calling 269.384.3381.

This article was featured in our latest Annual Report.
Read the full report as a digital magazine.