The Kalamazoo Community Foundation awarded $4.1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the first quarter of 2013.

"An important portion of that total, about $1 million, was in the form of responsive grants from the Community Foundation’s unrestricted resources," says Suprotik Stotz-Ghosh, the Community Foundation’s vice president for Community Investment. "Unrestricted resources are vital to the Community Foundation’s work because they give us the flexibility to address Kalamazoo County’s increasing and always-evolving needs."

While this support of nonprofit organizations is comparable to other grantmaking cycles, nearly $300,000 in funding requests by nonprofits was not met during the first quarter.

"Each round of our grantmaking produces mixed feelings," says Stotz-Ghosh. "It is very gratifying to be able to help local nonprofits address community needs and make an impact on so many lives in Kalamazoo County, but there is always more need than we can cover."

Highlights of the responsive grants include:

  • Kalamazoo County Ready 4s: $300,000 to help develop a collaborative system to provide fully accessible, high-quality pre-kindergarten for every four year old in Kalamazoo County.
  • Communities In Schools Kalamazoo: $272,653 to increase the number of graduation coaches at six secondary schools, increase volunteer support in tutoring and academic assistance.
  • Kalamazoo Loaves and Fishes: $105,000 for the Grocery Pantry Program — the cornerstone of the organization’s food delivery effort — which builds community understanding of and encourages a commitment to a food-secure Kalamazoo County.
  • Lakeside for Children: $100,000 to fund construction of a multi-purpose indoor recreation/health and wellness center on Lakeside’s campus.
  • Girls on the Run: $40,000 to provide scholarships to girls whose families cannot afford the registration fees.
  • Goodwill Industries of Southwestern Michigan: $32,500 for The Life Guides, a 20-year County-wide project that will decrease generational poverty through a holistic approach to improving a family’s overall income and educational success.

Other local nonprofits and initiatives that received grants include Education ReConnection, Community AIDS Resources and Education Services, Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan, Fire Historical Cultural Arts Collaborative, Urban Alliance and Volunteer Kalamazoo.

The remaining $3.1 million distributed in the first quarter among 295 grants was from the Community Foundation’s collection of more than 800 permanent, donor-created funds.