June 22, 2012

Saginaw Community Foundation launches new initiative with a focus on making a broad community impact

The Saginaw Community Foundation has announced a new community improvement initiative, which will grant $25,000 to a selected project in the community each year. An additional $5,000 can be added if the initial grant is matched.


With this initiative, Foundation President and CEO Reneé Johnston seeks to create a funding vehicle that will enable the foundation to be more proactive in addressing community improvement needs and encourage the community to create and implement community improvement initiatives on their own.


In order to effectively implement this project, Johnston worked with the foundation’s board of directors to define “community improvement.”


“We have defined a community improvement initiative as a project that will create indelible, measurable impacts in the immediate and broader community,” she said. “These projects need to be supported and planned by a broad range of users ranging from businesses to governmental entities to neighborhoods and individuals.”


This initiative extends beyond existing charitable organizations, churches, schools and county/city officials. Individuals, community groups, neighborhoods, businesses and youth groups can apply if they utilize the foundation as a fiscal agent. New and existing community projects are eligible.


The first recipient of this grant is the Deindorfer Woods Park restoration project.


“The community really came together to support the restoration of Deindorfer Woods Park,” Johnston said. “Initially, the residents of the Northmoor neighborhood took it upon themselves to improve the park. Then, last December, the Consumers Energy Foundation awarded a $125,000 grant – contingent upon matching grants.”


Matching grants were awarded by the Saginaw Community Foundation, The Dow Chemical Company, Harvey Randall Wickes Foundation, Citizens Bank, Morley Foundation, Frank N. Andersen Foundation, Allen E. & Marie A. Nickless Memorial Foundation, Wickson-Link Memorial Foundation and Alice E. Turner Memorial Trust.


The application process for the 2013 Community Improvement Initiative will open on Jan. 1, 2013. The deadline will be Feb. 1, 2013.