Key Points

In 2011, the Fremont Area Community Foundation launched a community investment strategy, focused on education, poverty, and economic development, that shaped corresponding aspirational goals aimed at improving the quality of life for residents of rural Newaygo County, Mich.

While there had been significant community involvement and input into foundation planning for a number of years, the announcement of these strategic goals and their implementation created some apprehension among the local nonprofits. The new funding paradigms were a big change, and it took several years for many of the grantees, with assistance in the form of backbone services and tools to monitor impact, to make the transition to new ways of thinking about their work.

As the foundation moves ahead with its second five-year strategic plan, it is being guided through a continued process of change by research and learning, community feedback, results from key grantee surveys, and evidence of where the work has contributed to positive outcomes for the population it serves.

Open Access