KZCF is evolving donor relationships from transactional to transformative through conversations grounded in the principles of community-centric philanthropy.

The principles cultivate giving relationships that reduce harm and support justice for all.

There is an overwhelming amount of data showing people and communities of color who work, learn, live and play in Kalamazoo County are experiencing life in a drastically different way. Individuals both inside and outside of these marginalized communities are owning their role in making this a great place for everyone.

Nationally, less than 10% of philanthropic dollars go to communities of color. Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) typically grant even fewer dollars to these communities. This is likely because most DAF donors are white and the organizations they are most connected to are also primarily led by and serve white people. KZCF is working to change that in Kalamazoo County.

Using the principles of community-centric fundraising, the KZCF Donor Relations team is encouraging donors to explore engagement with a wider range of community challenges and opportunities.

Donor Advised Funds hold so much promise. They provide KZCF staff the opportunity to work directly with donors as they shape their philanthropy. We’ve inspired donors to join forces with us in our mission, aligning millions of dollars from DAFs to partner organizations in Kalamazoo County. This requires intentionality, patience, relationship-building, and often careful and nuanced conversations.

- Joanna Donnelly Dales, Vice President of Donor Relations at KZCF

Transforming Funding Relationships

In 2021, the KZCF grantmaking team published its first Guide to Grantmaking that outlines everything partners need to know about how funding decisions are made at KZCF.

“Our Grantmaking Guide is just one way we are responding to our partners’ request for more transparency when it comes to our funding process and priorities,” says Sandy Barry-Loken, Vice President of Grants at KZCF.