Spring 2022 Message from the President
It is hard to believe that the first quarter of 2022 is nearly over and spring is upon us. Looking back for a moment, 2021 was more challenging than 2020 in many ways yet the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan had an outstanding year.
We continued to get funding in the hands of area organizations to help serve communities across the seven counties of southeast Michigan. Grants totaled a high of approximately $101 million. We also set a record for new gifts with $230 million donated, bringing our total assets to over $1.3 billion. For this, and to everyone who has supported the Community Foundation over the years, we are so grateful.
There were many generous donors last year. In this issue of The Report, you will read about the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s very significant investment in local arts and culture organizations, and how the Community Foundation will play a key role to help support the sector. In addition to providing endowments for 11 organizations, the investment includes building capacity to support the region’s arts and culture sector to advance inclusion and access. The Wilson Foundation commitment will be transformative to southeast Michigan’s arts and culture organizations.
The pandemic taught us many lessons including the importance of public spaces. Whether it was a safe place to gather or a park or trail to stretch our legs and move our bodies, the importance of public spaces has been elevated. The Community Foundation has worked in the public space area for decades and, in this issue, you will read about exciting opportunities for residents to take advantage of all the region has to offer now and in the future.
In the coming weeks, as I retire, I will have the pleasure of handing over the leadership of the Community Foundation to Ric Devore. Most recently, Ric was the executive vice president and regional president of PNC Bank in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. In addition to being an inspirational leader, he brings extensive financial, philanthropic, and nonprofit volunteer experience to this role.
Ric was born and raised in Dearborn. Over the course of four decades, he has demonstrated a consistent commitment to community involvement, with much of his focus on improving public education, advancing racial equity, and increasing entrepreneurial and employment opportunities for all in southeast Michigan. We are excited for his input into this next chapter in the Community Foundation’s growth.
I truly loved the opportunity to lead the Community Foundation on our remarkable journey. Thanks to all the trustees, donors, and staff members who served with me. I am confident that the future of this important institution will be even more successful — always striving to do the right things the right way.
Mariam C. Noland