April 23, 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

2018 Kids Count in MI

The Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) has released the 2018 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book, funded in part by eight CMF members, which shines a light on disparities facing Michigan children when it comes to race and socioeconomic status.

“While poverty has dropped slightly, it’s still affecting nearly half of all African-American kids, and nearly a third of all Michigan kids don’t have any family member working steadily,” Gilda Jacobs, president and CEO of MLPP said. “As lawmakers work on the budget over the next few months, they must place a greater emphasis on supporting struggling families and their kids.”

Highlights of the report’s key findings:

Economic Security

  • More than one in five Michigan children, which is more than 444,000 kids, lived in poverty in 2016. About 55 percent of African-American and 29 percent of Latinx (the gender-neutral term used instead of Latino or Latina) children live in high-poverty neighborhoods.

  • Meanwhile, two in five children live in households at 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), (an earned incomed of $48,678 for a family of four) and are still struggling.

  • For married parents living in poverty who have two children in child care, those child care costs consumed 92 percent of their poverty level income. Learn more in MLPP's child care brief.

Health and Safety

  • African-American babies are nearly three times more likely to die before their first birthday compared to white babies.

  • More than 30 percent of births are to mothers who didn’t receive adequate prenatal care. That number is even higher for women of color, up to 44 percent for African-American women, 40 percent for Latinas and 36 percent for American Indian and Middle Eastern women.

Family and Community

  • Michigan is one of five states in the U.S. that automatically considers 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system. For those who enter the adult criminal justice system at age 17, they are treated as adults and don’t receive the education that the juvenile system provides and other youth-related considerations. Once those individuals are released from the adult system, they are 34 percent more likely to reoffend and move toward more violent crimes than those in the juvenile justice system.


  • Nearly 53 percent of 3 and 4-year-olds are not in preschool.

  • According to M-STEP data, MLPP said nearly 56 percent of all third-graders are not proficient in language arts. This aligns with the recent report from The Education Trust Midwest,  which showed only 44 percent of all Michigan third-graders are proficient in reading.  

  • The data shows 65 percent of students are not career and college ready. There are disparities among income levels, as 84 percent of economically disadvantaged students don’t meet benchmarks.

The report provides a snapshot of statewide recommendations that could improve the lives of Michigan’s children and better support families.


  • Strengthen policies that support working families such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

  • Expand income eligibility for child care subsidies and improve the reimbursement rate for providers. The state did raise reimbursement rates and the threshold of eligibility for child care subsidies to 130 percent of the FPL last year. CMF, authorized by our Board of Trustees at the request of the P-20 Education Affinity Group and Public Policy Committee, had advocated for increasing the threshold of eligibility to 150 percent of the FPL and for increased child care provider reimbursement rates. CMF will continue to advocate for Michigan’s eligibility threshold to grow from 130 to 150 percent of the FPL, which would allow Michigan to expand access for Michigan families and join 33 other states that set eligibility at 150 percent or higher.

  • Build on home visitation and other programs that are focused on educating and removing barriers to prenatal care for women.

  • Raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction in Michigan’s criminal justice system from 17 to 18 years old. MLPP said this is a top policy change needed in Michigan, noting that there’s a bipartisan package of bills that’s been introduced in Michigan that would ensure 17-year-olds are treated in the juvenile system.

  • Expand the current preschool program to include all 3-year-olds.

  • Adequately fund public schools, targeting high need areas, and fully fund the At-Risk program which serves students who are chronically absent and/or at risk of falling behind in school.

The report examined Michigan’s 83 counties and found that Livingston, Clinton and Ottawa counties earned the best rankings for overall child well-being. You can see where your county ranks on page 8 of the report.

Want more?

Read the full report.

Check out MLPP’s resources for advocates.

Join CMF and the Office of Foundation Liaison (OFL) at the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Site Visit on May 10 to explore pathways to career readiness for Michigan students.

Want to dig deeper into topics connected to issues mentioned in this report? Connect with CMF’s P-20 Education Affinity Group and/or CMF’s Health Funders Affinity Group.







Food Insecurity on College Campuses

A new survey is giving us an inside look at how prevalent food insecurity is on college campuses.

The HOPE Lab recently released Still Hungry and Homeless in College, the largest national survey of basic needs of two-year and four-year university, college students and community college students.

The survey included 66 colleges and universities around the country, including two in Michigan.

The Kresge Foundation provided funding for a 2016 survey of basic needs insecurity which helped to guide and inform the latest report.

Highlights of the data:

  • Nationwide, 36 percent of college students reported they had experienced food insecurity within the last month.

  • About 42 percent of community college students reported experiencing food insecurity.

  • About 54 percent of African-American students attending a two-year college said they were experiencing food insecurity compared to 37 percent of white students in a two-year program.

  • For those who had been in foster care at some point, about 63 percent said they were food insecure.

  • Students over the age of 21 had the highest rates of food insecurity compared to those who were 18 to 20 years old.

Why are college students still facing hunger? The Washington Post reports there’s more low-income students heading to college now through scholarships and other opportunities, yet there’s a lack of corresponding programs and polices to support them once they’re on campus.

The report says food insecurity on college campuses is systemic.

Higher education has been working to address food insecurity. Michigan State University (MSU) established the MSU Food Bank in 1993, the first campus-based food assistance program in the U.S. for students and their families.

MSU also co-founded The College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA), which now consists of 613 colleges and universities across the U.S. who have food pantries on site and/or are working to address food insecurity among students. About 21 Michigan colleges and universities are members of CUFBA and several have pantry programs such as Wayne State University’s (WSU) The W Food Pantry.

WSU’s pantry, supported in part by the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, just celebrated its one-year anniversary this month. Since it opened the pantry has served nearly 900 students more than 12,708 pounds of food.

Along with these promising programs, the report provides several recommendations that could address the systemic issues leading to food insecurity among college students.


  • Design programs to proactively support students that are accessible and widely marketed to students.

  • Partner with community agencies and programs to serve students.

  • Expand access to public benefits for students including child care and adding SNAP exemptions which would allow enrollment in a technical degree program to meet the exemption for work requirements.

  • Fund students’ living expenses and other expenses beyond tuition.

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County’s Complete Your Degree Program (CYD), in partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, is an innovative scholarship model which focuses on supporting students beyond tuition. CYD will provide life needs support for books, supplies and short-term expenses that may include transportation, food, medical care, child care and housing.

“Our community foundation feels a sense of urgency to join the growing chorus of other foundations around the country who are realizing we have to adjust our scholarship model to focus on total life success,” Randy Maiers, president, Community Foundation of St. Clair County said. “Our CYD program, launched quietly in late 2017, is the beginning of a completely new business model for our scholarship assets. This new model will include addressing all life needs and obstacles which prevent young adults from achieving the dream of a college education.”

Want more?

Read HOPE Lab’s full report: Still Hungry and Homeless in College.

Check out the list of Michigan colleges and universities who have food pantries and assistance programs.

Learn more about the Complete Your Degree program.







Exploring Trauma-Informed Philanthropy

Understanding the effects of trauma on children and adults and providing long-term support can address social inequities and lead to systemic change, that’s according to a new report: Trauma-Informed Philanthropy 2.

The guide, produced by Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, the Scattergood Foundation and United Way Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, explores how trauma affects all socioeconomic groups, can be felt from one generation to the next and how it leads to health and social inequities. The report provides insights as to how funders can use a trauma-informed lens to provide support to grantees and inform and leverage their grantmaking.

“A trauma lens is instructive for grants to any type of social program and does not require a separate, new funding priority. Ideally, philanthropy would support programs in all sectors that promote healing and resilience,” the report states.

How is trauma-informed grantmaking put into practice? As the report shares, there’s no prescriptive road map as this approach will look different for every organization.

Here are a few highlights of how different organizations (that could be similar to grantees you’re working with) are leveraging the approach:

  • A health services center incorporated community engagement in every level of service planning and delivery, allowing the center to deliver services that directly respond to the community’s identified needs. Through partnerships and collaboration, the center identified issues within the community such as depression and hypertension they wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

  • An alternative education center’s trauma-informed approach led them to implement designated sensory areas and tools in their schools to provide students who may be struggling, places to decompress and relax before returning to class. The center also provides drug and alcohol counseling services.

  • Community organizations, supported by foundations, are using a trauma-informed lens to collaborate and co-design community development and community engagement strategies to “build social cohesion” for underserved neighborhoods.

The report points to cross-sector collaboration and partnerships as key anchors for success in many of the stories highlighted.

The role of funders:

  • For funders, the report notes funding for infrastructure “to convene and coordinate cross-sector work is a key area where foundations can leverage impact.”

  • Grantmakers can serve as conveners, encourage grantees to use trauma-informed practices and educate policy makers and others.

  • Funders can help build the capacity of the field by providing resources for evaluation and expertise for grantees around measuring outcomes.

When it comes to grantmaking, the report outlines recommendations that can serve as key principles:

  • Careful consideration of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in internal practices such as hiring for your foundation and selecting grantees and partners.

  • Connect with community voices and gather on-the-ground perspectives.

  • Explore emerging practices that may be modeled or scaled to address inequities.

  • Be flexible and responsive. Grant cycles can be limiting for funders to respond to crises or react quickly. Consider discretionary grants as they can help communities be responsive to specific needs.

In Michigan, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has been working deeply in the areas of education and health to mitigate the effects of lead poisoning on Flint’s children. For instance, the YouthQuest after school program, funded by Mott, connects families with information and services and provides staff who are helping to identify possible health, development and behavioral issues related to lead exposure and more.

The Ethel and James Flinn Foundation’s Opening Minds Ending Stigma campaign, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), provides videos, articles and resources to raise awareness about mental illness and the effects it can have on people of all ages.

Want more?

Read the full report: Trauma-Informed Philanthropy 2. If you’re a CMF member and would like a hard copy of the report, you can contact Theresa Jackson, director of learning and knowledge management at the Greater Philanthropy Network Philadelphia and receive a copy free of charge.








Community Foundation for Muskegon County and Grand Haven Area Community Foundation provide funding to expand opportunities for women entrepreneurs along the lakeshore

Content excerpted and adapted from a MiBiz article. Read the full article here.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW), a nonprofit focused on empowering women entrepreneurs to launch, advance and sustain their business, is now expanding to the lakeshore thanks to two CMF members.

The Community Foundation of Muskegon County (CFMC) and the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation (GHACF) have both provided funding to add a full-time GROW staff member to work in Muskegon County and the Grand Haven area.

Bonnie Nawara, CEO of GROW, said the funding from the community foundations will help the organization “improve resources for the area’s budding entrepreneurs and small business owners.”

“The community foundation exists to help people reach their full potential, and that shows up in many different ways,” Holly Johnson, president, GHACF said. “It’s really about helping to empower those who may not have all of the tools in their tool kit to be able to launch into their dreams.”

“GROW helps the foundation further its goal of creating an inclusive community where everyone with an idea or product and desire has a shot at receiving the training, information and financing to grow their business,” Chris McGuigan, president and CEO, CFMC said.

GROW’s latest Annual Report shows that in 2016 the organization helped create 68 new businesses and 251 new jobs, offering 806 hours of free business counseling and nearly 1,400 hours of entrepreneurial training.

GROW anticipates adding a staff member to the lakeshore this year.

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