When the Kalamazoo Community Foundation (KZCF) activated the Community Urgent Relief Fund (CURF) on March 13 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our community and world were facing uncertainty. There was uncertainty around our collective health, the economy and the well-being of those already made vulnerable by systemic racism and inequities.

In the midst of uncertainty, one thing was clear, the residents of Kalamazoo County were ready to help support their community through this crisis. The KZCF Donor Relations team started immediate outreach and was overwhelmed with gifts to the community.

"I was very glad to see that KCZF quickly stepped up with a clear way for us to help during this crisis," a donor told our team during outreach calls.

Another donor noted that "so often you want to help but aren’t sure what is the best way and how to have the most impact." Making a gift to CURF was one tangible way to offer support.

The advisors of the Richard G. Tomlinson Family Fund even got creative and offered to match donations to the CURF up to $15,000, doubling the impact of each gift made to support individuals and families in Kalamazoo County.

"The fact that we met and exceeded the match challenge in less than a week captures the spirit of collective power and compassion in our community," said Joanna Donnelly Dales, vice president of Donor Relations at KZCF.

Learn more about how gifts to the CURF made an impact in Kalamazoo County at

This article was featured in the latest issue of our UPDATE newsletter.
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