Traverse City News and Events

Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation Announces Final Round Of Urgent Needs Fund Grants

By Craig Manning | Dec. 7, 2021

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation (GTRCF) has announced its final Urgent Needs Fund grants, marking the end of a significant chapter for the organization. The new grants – which total $35,883 and which will be distributed to five nonprofits in “Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties respectively” – bring the lifetime grant impact of the Urgent Needs Fund to nearly $1 million.

GTRCF first launched the Urgent Needs Fund in March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic was just starting to impact northern Michigan. Per GTRCF, the goal of the fund was “to support organizations working with individuals and families who were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020 and into 2021.”

In the 21 months since, the fund has granted relief dollars to 75 organizations across the five-county region, including orgs focused on health and human services, arts and culture, and the environment – as well as governmental and Tribal entities. According to Steve Wade, vice president of community impact for GTRCF, the grants have “provided support for a variety of community needs, such as helping small businesses adapt to COVID-19 as well as supporting personal protective equipment for food pantry workers, funding outdoor art exhibit equipment, and providing emergency financial support for college students.”

The final round of funding will distribute five grants of $7,176 “to a human services organization in each of the region’s five counties.” Grant recipients include Good Samaritan Family Services (Antrim), Benzie Area Christian Neighbors, Love Thy Neighbor (Grand Traverse), Kalkaska Area Interfaith Resources, and Leelanau Christian Neighbors. Those five grants bring the total lifetime dollar amount of Urgent Needs Fund grantmaking to $977,256.

Over the course of the campaign’s life, dollars for the Urgent Needs Fund came from a variety of philanthropic partners and individual donors. Key partners in the grantmaking effort included the Oleson Foundation, Rotary Charities of Traverse City, United Way of Northwest Michigan, DTE Energy Foundation, Herrington-Fitch Family Foundation, and the Huckle Family Foundation.

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be prepared to respond quickly to our community and be flexible in how we do so,” said Dave Mengebier, president and CEO of GTRCF. “While our Urgent Needs Fund has closed, we continue to build and steward resources to meet areas of greatest need so that we can support our community when it’s needed most, now and in the years to come.”

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