Strategic Framework

Equity at the Center: CMF's Strategic Framework

Through the leadership of CMF's Board of Trustees and Strategic Planning Task Force, and informed by deep insights from you – our community of philanthropy – CMF has launched a new strategic framework: Equity at the Center.

The framework serves as our compass, providing clarity in our purpose and a bold new direction that carriers forward our 47-year tradition of ensuring we all can advance the power of philanthropy to address today’s challenges for tomorrow’s prosperity. It serves as a long-term guide that will help future generations of Michigan philanthropy, of all types, sizes and forms, engage in meaningful, enduring and systemic change. Its charge calls on us to intentionally and urgently center around equity generally, and racial equity imperatively, through our core priorities of people, policy and practice. 

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Our Vision

A thriving philanthropic sector leading in the relentless pursuit of equitable systems and inclusive diversity.

Our Mission

We lead, strengthen and support Michigan’s community of philanthropy.

Our Values

  • Equity

    We intentionally elevate equity to the center of all of our work to guide our priority setting and decision making. We marshal our resources to advance equitable opportunities and outcomes at a systems level that positively affects the lives of individuals. We acknowledge where people and organizations are in their own equity journey. We are persistent and courageous in this work, challenging ourselves to ask the tough questions and willing to engage in difficult conversations, always with compassion and empathy, and mindful of who has been invited to the table, and who has set the table for those conversations. We are transparent about our own journey, sharing both our successes and our struggles.

  • Diversity

    We intentionally seek different perspectives and value an organizational culture where everyone can be their full, authentic selves. We embrace all the facets and characteristics that make each person unique, including but not limited to their race, nationality, age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, education, region, language and documentation status. We know that difference helps to drive smarter decisions, increased innovation and stronger performance.

  • Inclusion

    We intentionally create environments in which all individuals and groups are welcomed, respected, supported, valued and encouraged to participate fully. We ensure that all voices and perspectives are heard and understood. We share power and leadership. We are mindful of both who is at the table and who is not at the table, thoughtful of how, when and where the table is set.

  • Integrity

    We follow through on commitments and demonstrate our words in action. We communicate openly and operate with transparency. We are committed to continuously building trust. When faced with difficult decisions and hard choices, we center in our values. We understand that living with integrity requires doing what’s right even when it’s difficult or unpopular. We thoughtfully use data to inform our decision making.

  • Collaboration

    We know that our impact is stronger together than alone. We seek opportunities to partner in creating innovative solutions. We maintain an open mind and value the opportunity to learn from and with others. We communicate clearly and openly. We look for mutual benefit.

  • Engagement

    We create meaningful opportunities for the involvement of members and partners, fostering inclusive environments for stakeholders to share their best thinking and bring their authentic selves. We proactively seek out the participation of others while respectfully meeting them where they are, with multiple pathways to partnership, mindful of barriers and inequities that exist. We are aware of how we represent CMF and our community of philanthropy in the ways we participate.

Core Priorities

Equity is a pillar of our work, and equity is embedded across the pillars of policy, practice and people.

  • Equity

    We seek to embolden and equip Michigan philanthropy in the relentless pursuit of equitable systems and the embrace of inclusive diversity.

  • Policy

    We seek to fortify the field through public policy action, and champion the policy leadership of CMF members.

  • People

    We seek to foster the growth and development of current and future philanthropy leaders.

  • Practice

    We seek to advance and amplify exemplary philanthropic practices and field expertise.

How We Lead

CMF is a leadership organization driven by our values and the power of people, equipped with deep sector expertise and the ability to anticipate and adapt, ever committed to continuous improvement.

Strategic Planning Task Force

Our Strategic Planning Task Force informed, guided and supported the strategic planning process. The group included staff and trustees; Neel Hajra, Vice Chair of our Board and CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, is Chair of the Task Force (pictured below). 

Members of the Strategic Planning Task Force. Pictured (left to right): Joe Scantlebury, CMF Board member and vice president for program strategy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Laura Collier, program coordinator, CMF; Jenee Velasquez, CMF Board member and executive director, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation; DJ Jones, CMF Board chair and executive director, Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation; Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO, CMF; Regina Bell, director of public policy and government relations, CMF; Stephen Arellano, coordinator, Office of Foundation Liaison; Steve Wilson, consultant, CMF; Lynne Ferrell, CMF Board member and program director, Frey Foundation; Neel Hajra, CMF Task Force chair and Board member, and CEO, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation; Julie Ridenour, CMF Board member and president, Steelcase Foundation; Dave Lindberg, CFO, CMF; and Bridget McGuiggan, chief strategy officer, CMF. Not pictured: Audrey Harvey, CMF Board member and executive director and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation and Amanda Jarrett, director of communications, CMF.

CMF’s new strategic framework was unveiled during the virtual Annual Members Meeting and Community Celebration on October 26, 2020 by Lynne Ferrell, CMF Board chair and Neel Hajra, CMF vice chair and chair of the Strategic Planning Task Force.

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Questions or comments?

Contact Bridget McGuiggan, Chief Strategy Officer, at (616) 850-2126 or [email protected]