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National Community Foundation Week under way

ALPENA — Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan and its affiliate foundations will join in a nationwide celebration, which began Thursday and goes through Wednesday.

The celebration will recognize the increasingly important role these philanthropic organizations play in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.

For more than a century, community foundations have served as a trusted partner and resource whose effect can be seen in the lives of millions and in the vibrant neighborhoods that continue to thrive through their mission-driven work. During this time, community foundations come together to share and reflect on the stories of impact over the past year.

“The work of community foundations spans beyond the practice of giving. There is a tangible impact that can be seen in the lives of the people these selfless organizations serve,” said Patrick Heraghty, CFNEM executive director. “We are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to address pressing needs in our communities. We’ve done that this year with our work on the U.S. Census outreach, as well as our Urgent Needs Fund; and we will continue to do that.”

Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to support local nonprofits, and represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy.

Right here in northeast Michigan, CFNEM moved swiftly this spring to establish the new Urgent Needs Fund to support our communities during the pandemic, awarding $125,000 to date for local nonprofits as they seek to help those most affected by COVID-19’s economic impact. CFNEM is also working alongside other community foundations bordering Lake Huron through the Lake Huron Forever initiative to improve and ensure the health of our lake, which affects so much of our daily lives.

CFNEM also worked for the last two years as a hub for nonprofits for the 2020 U.S. Census to increase our region’s chances of a fair and accurate count, helping Michigan to finish eighth in the nation for response rates.

Community Foundation Week was created in 1989 by former president George H.W. Bush to recognize the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.

The Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan is a charitable organization committed to providing people who care about the future of our area with unique and effective ways of supporting their community now, and for generations to come. Led by a volunteer board of local citizens, the foundation oversees a group of permanently endowed funds from a wide range of donors. Gifts of all sizes from individuals, families, businesses and agencies are invested in a balanced, well-managed portfolio to build endowments, enabling support for students and local community nonprofits now and forever.

Those interested can learn more about the Community Foundation for Northeast Michigan by visiting their website at cfnem.org.

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