The Kalamazoo Community Foundation recently granted more than $719,000 to nine area nonprofits, linking the collective philanthropy of thousands of donors to the needs of the community.

The grants, ranging from $22,500 to $180,000, represent the fourth round of grants approved by the Community Foundation board of trustees this year. These grants represent resources earned through unrestricted endowed funds, bringing the total for 2012 to more than $2.5 million.

"The vision of our donors throughout 87 years, funding needs they could not have imagined, is realized in each round of grants," says President/CEO Carrie Pickett-Erway. "The money available for these grants comes from the interest earned on every unrestricted gift we’ve received dating back to W.E. Upjohn’s first initial gift of $1,000 that established the Community Foundation."

According to Suprotik Stotz-Ghosh, vice president for Community Investment, "I’m inspired by these projects, knowing the impact these grants will have on improving the lives of thousands in our community. And I am proud of our staff and volunteers for their work in the community that is vital in the grant-making process."

The larger grants announced today total $595,000 supporting: neighborhood revitalization in Edison, Vine and Northside neighborhoods by Local Initiatives Support Corporation; successful re-entry of youthful offenders back into the community by Kalamazoo County; after-school drop-in programming by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kalamazoo; the capital campaign for improving facilities for substance abuse recovery for Community Healing Centers, Inc.; and support for mentoring and counseling by the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center.

Other grants totaling more than $124,000 support a two-year after-school enrichment program at YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo; individual and family advocacy and training programs at Community Advocates for Persons with Disabilities; youth development programs at the Black Arts and Cultural Center; and a year-round training program at the Urban Alliance for Media Arts Academy.