From the view of the Community Foundation and its many donors and endowed funds, philanthropy is alive and doing very well in St. Clair County. The Community Foundation had another busy and record-breaking year in 2023 with 1,036 grants and scholarships awarded totaling almost $5 million.
“This incredible generosity may be what I love the most about the Community Foundation,” said Patti Manley, the Foundation’s board chair. “We get to work closely with donors from throughout the region to help them give back to their favorite causes, and they were certainly busy last year!”
Manley added the Community Foundation has hundreds of grantmaking funds and multiple grantmaking committees that provide a wide range of funding to organizations, programs and projects throughout the region. The Foundation ended 2023 with approximately $100 million in total assets.
“Grantmaking is literally our job every day of the year,” she said. “We had never before processed more than 1,000 grants in a single year, which makes it very difficult to highlight one or two over the others.”
Jackie Hanton, vice president of donor relations at the Community Foundation, believes that the Foundation’s success is tied to its commitment to connecting donors to opportunities to make a difference. “We’re relationship builders,” Hanton said. “Our donors, local businesses, and professional advisors or attorneys know that we can help connect interested donors to a wide array of opportunities to make a difference.” Hanton also cited an increase in gifts through individual IRAs and Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) as another reason grantmaking increased last year.
A complete list of grants made in 2023 can be found via this link.
Grants range from large-scale placemaking projects such as $144,000 in improvements to the Fort Gratiot Light Station and another $141,000 for Klecha Park in St. Clair, to smaller grants like the $500 for the Harsens Island St. Clair Flats Association to keep residents and visitors connected and $4,000 to the Salvation Army to provide meat for Christmas meals.
Additional notable grants included over $80,000 to the Athletic Factory; $34,000 to Mid-City Nutrition; $30,000 to the St. Clair Art Association; $40,000 to Yale Schools for extra-curricular activities and $10,000 to the Algonac Sports Boosters.
Throughout the year the Foundation publishes stories to highlight the impact of their endowment funds, and those stories of powerful grants include:
- Enter Stage Right receiving $10,000 for capital improvements
- Marine City receiving $393,000 for a marina
- Exposing students from around the county to the trades
- A new weight room at Port Huron Northern
- Memphis Community Schools receiving $40,000 for a STEM and Career Lab
If you are interested in learning more about how the Foundation can help advance your charitable goals, click here.
For information about how to ask the Foundation for a grant in 2024 click here.