April 1, 2019

Monday, April 1, 2019

Census 2020: What’s Underway in MI

Census 2020 begins on April 1, one year from today. As CMF has shared, efforts to ensure a fair and complete count in Michigan are well underway.

We’re getting updates from a few of the CMF members who are serving as census hubs around the state as part of the Michigan Nonprofits Count Campaign (NPCC) on what this work looks like in their region.

CMF worked with the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) and funders to help create the Michigan NPCC that launched in 2017 with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The campaign is supported by more than 40 CMF members, growing the campaign’s assets to $5.4 million.

CMF worked with MNA to create the framework for the campaign which has been highlighted in a national census scan.

The campaign framework leverages the community leadership and grantmaking expertise of community foundations, United Ways and other community-based organizations as regional hubs connecting the state level activities with the grassroots organizations that are closest to the people who are hardest to count.   

There are 13 regional hubs in total, covering every region of our state; they will receive mini-grants to grant to grassroots organizations doing on-the-ground outreach efforts.

Eleven CMF member community foundations are serving or partnering as regional hubs through the NPCC in their area. This includes: Battle Creek Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Berrien County, Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Community Foundation of Marquette County, Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula, Fremont Area Community Foundation, Midland Area Community Foundation in collaboration with Bay Area Community Foundation, Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation and Saginaw Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan (CFSEM) is currently accepting grant applications for organizations that serve historically undercounted communities in their region.

“The actual census count begins in a year, but this is already a busy time,” Melissa Smiley, Ph.D., special assistant and strategy officer at CFSEM said. “Our goal is to ensure a complete and accurate census count in southeast Michigan, and we are proud be a regional hub for Michigan’s Nonprofits Count Campaign. In March, we launched our Southeast Michigan Counts campaign, which includes a grantmaking opportunity for nonprofits in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. Funded projects will support awareness and participation in the census in historically undercounted communities, such as people of color, low-income households, immigrants and young children.”

Smiley said as a hub, they are also collaborating with local municipal and county officials who are organizing their own census campaigns.

In Southwest Michigan, the Battle Creek Community Foundation (BCCF) is serving as a census hub.

“At the local level, we have contracted with the Urban League to fulfill the ‘on the ground’ outreach that is needed to help increase awareness and gain the trust of our citizens in participating in the 2020 Census,” Brenda Hunt, president and CEO of BCCF said. “The Urban League has the ability to outreach and motivate neighborhood councils, blocks of neighbors who will develop creative approaches for engagement and education. Later this year we hope to have a mini-grant program available to provide support at the neighborhood level, block by block, to assist with this effort.”

Up North, the Community Foundation for Marquette County (CFMC) and Community Foundation for the Upper Peninsula (CFUP) are partnering and serving as a census hub.

The UP hub is planning to launch its RFP for grant applications in mid-April. The hub has been sharing many training opportunities with their networks to get organizations thinking about what they can do to encourage hard to count populations they serve to take part in the census. 

“This work is very important to the Upper Peninsula,” Gail Anthony, CEO of CFMC said. “With the aging population and lack of internet access in rural areas, there may be new challenges that haven’t been seen in previous years. Although we have a small population, we want to ensure they are all counted so our communities can best be represented at local, state and national levels.”

In the coming months CFMC and CFUP will be working directly with the mini-grant recipients to learn what’s working in different communities. They will also provide community trainings and serve as a resource for all nonprofits interested in learning more about the census and its impact on the Upper Peninsula. 

Want more?

Connect with the Michigan Nonprofits Count Campaign.

Learn more about CMF’s Census 2020 work.





Basic Needs Out of Reach for More MI Residents

The number of Michigan residents who can’t afford basic needs such as housing, food, child care and more, is growing.

The Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) has released its 2019 ALICE Report, funded by the Consumers Energy Foundation, which shows that in 2017, 43 percent of Michigan households couldn’t afford basic needs. That’s up from 40 percent from the last data set that was released two years ago.

In Michigan, 14 percent of households live in poverty, while 29 percent are working, live above the federal poverty line (therefore are not eligible for benefits) and aren’t able to afford basic needs.

They’re considered asset limited, income constrained, employed (ALICE).

The report shares, “Despite overall improvement in employment and gains in median income, the economic recovery in Michigan has been uneven. Many ALICE households continue to face challenges from low wages, reduced work hours, depleted savings and increasing costs.”

Highlights from the data:

  • While the number of Michigan households increased by 3 percent from 2010-2017, the number of ALICE households increased by 13 percent during that same time period.

  • ALICE households are all over the state – in urban, suburban and rural areas. The report provides a visual snapshot of ALICE households statewide; counties vary from 30 to 61 percent of households living below the ALICE threshold.

  • For a family of two adults, a preschooler and an infant, the average Michigan survival budget is more than $61,000 a year. This includes only basic needs such as housing, child care, taxes, technology, health care, food and transportation.

  • The average cost of a Michigan family budget increased 27 percent from 2010 to 2017.

  • 61 percent of all jobs in Michigan pay less than $20/hour.

  • We’re seeing a growth in the gig economy, which includes freelance work, short-term work, etc. However, such jobs don’t always provide substantial, regular schedules and income that can cover the cost of living.

The report cites three trends which will impact ALICE households over the next decade: the changing American household, increasing market instability and health inequities.

  • From millennials to our aging population, the report shares that there will be increased demands on our state’s infrastructure, particularly for affordable rental units.

  • Of the jobs that are projected to be the fastest growing in the next 10 years, 65 percent pay less than $15/hour.

  • The report details health inequities facing those with fewer resources who may live in areas with more pollution and reduced access to health care. The report shares that many ALICE households may be unable to afford copays when it comes to dental care.

The ALICE report does provide some next steps for consideration when it comes to finding policies and programs that can better support these Michiganders.

  • Widening the Skills Gap: The report suggests increased access to high-quality early childhood and K-12 education can be achieved by leveraging strategies such as investment in teacher training and an intentional focus on low-income and English language learner students.

  • Fewer Barriers to Employment: Child care costs, housing and transportation can all be barriers for those who are considered ALICE. The report recommends evidence-based solutions such as work programs that provide direct connections to employment that offer financial support with flexible scheduling for education and child care.

  • Addressing Systemic Bias: The report shares, “Discriminatory practices have been embedded in our social structures and legal system, especially in terms of housing policies, immigration practices, voting rights, school funding and health care programs.”

This report calls for interconnected strategies that better support Michigan’s working households, which are still struggling.

Want more?

Read the full report.





Report Examines Gender and Giving Across Communities of Color

We’re getting new insights from a first of its kind study which examines the intersection of race, gender and giving.

The Women’s Philanthropy Institute (WPI), part of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, has released Women Give 2019: Gender and Giving Across Communities of Color.

The report further builds upon existing research that examines how women and men give and what motivates them.

Key takeaways:

  • Households of all racial groups give, particularly those of high net worth.

  • Households across all racial groups give to similar causes, including religious and secular causes.

  • Among the general population, all racial groups give to the same top four causes: religion, basic needs, a combination of these and health.

  • A donor’s race does not influence their giving when income and other factors are considered. Instead, income and wealth have a stronger effect on giving.

  • Single women across racial groups are more likely to give than single men.

  • Married couples across racial groups give more than single individuals.

  • When it comes to formal volunteering, in the general population across racial groups one in four people volunteer their time.

  • Volunteering is higher among high net worth households across racial groups. The highest rates of volunteerism is among Hispanic high net worth households, with more than 60 percent volunteering their time.

  • In the general population, single women across racial groups are more likely to volunteer than men, with African-American women and Asian-American women volunteering at some of the highest rates at 28 percent and nearly 32 percent respectively.

Researchers also interviewed several women to gain a deeper understanding of what philanthropy means to them and their motivations.

The report shared, “One of these leaders recognized that her philanthropic work was shaped by her ‘hyper awareness’ to the needs of underserved communities based on the experiences of growing up in her community.”

The report provides a call to action for nonprofits to be thoughtful in engaging with diverse donors and engaging diverse volunteers and ensuring an inclusive culture, as the research shows there are more opportunities to engage communities of color.

“Leaders who develop and implement a specific strategy around diversity and inclusion across the nonprofit sector will build expansive networks that include a wide range of diverse people with different perspectives, and create a menu of opportunities for engagement,” the report shared.

Want more?

Read the full report.






M&M Area Community Foundation launches Future Fund for kindergartners

Content excerpted and adapted from a community foundation press release.

The M&M Area Community Foundation (MMACF) has announced the upcoming launch of the Future Fund, a long-term children’s savings account (CSA) designed to build savings, assist with career training and post-secondary education expenses, and increase financial literacy among area youth. 

All kindergarten students enrolled throughout Marinette and Menominee Counties, as well as home-school and virtual school students, will have a $50 deposit-only savings account established by the MMACF at a financial institution in their community. 

“Our Future Fund is modeled after children’s savings accounts which have been established in sixty-five communities across the United States. The program will be the first in the country to cover all kindergarten students in two counties in different states,” Paula Gruszynski, executive director of MMACF said. “I am very proud of the MMACF Board of Directors for putting our communities on the leading edge of an initiative that is going nationwide.”

The fund officially launches this fall for the 2019-2020 school year. 

“The research is in …children with a savings account between $1 and $500 are three times more likely to graduate from high school, and four times more likely to pursue and achieve a higher educational level than children without any savings,” Steve Schahczenski, branch manager of Nicolet National Bank said. “Our bank was an early donor to the Future Fund, and we can’t think of a better way to support the youth of our communities than to provide a path to good financial literacy and education.”

The funds may be used for tuition, books and other necessary costs of attending school. If a student has special needs, withdrawals may be used to pay for accommodations for the student to attend school, life skills or career training.

Want more?

Watch WLUC-TV’s story on MMACF’s Future Fund.

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