I have been at the Community Foundation for 19 years — arriving here with experience at two CPA firms. It has been a wonder to witness the amazing growth of philanthropy in our community thanks to so many generous donors, who have given gifts both large and small.

We are very proud of how we have been able to grow the donations that have come from the community since 1925. In fact, in 2013, a survey by the Council on Foundations ranked us second in the nation for investment performance among community foundations. Of course, that means more money is available to make life better in Kalamazoo County, which is our mission.

In Issue 3 of Update for 2013, you may have read the piece featuring Bob Salisbury and Wes Freeland about our investment model and our performance history. Bob and Wes explained how our model has consistently placed the Community Foundation within the upper or top quartile of the community foundation field.

Our board of trustees and Financial Investment Committee are committed to an investment policy and strategy of disciplined asset allocation, regular balancing, minimizing fees and expenses, and not reacting to near-term market pressures or new investment fads.

I know I speak for our Finance and Administration team here — and the Community Foundation’s ENTIRE team — when I say how proud we are to be doing this work, leveraging the ever-lasting power of endowed funds to grow donor gifts that fuel area nonprofits addressing immediate and future needs.