About the Keweenaw Community Foundation
We are a non-profit, community corporation created by and for the people of the Keweenaw. We’re here to help our donors do good work ... forever.
Your Keweenaw Community Foundation is a nonprofit, community corporation created by and for the people of Houghton and Keweenaw counties. We are here to help donors make a positive impact on our community. Click here to view the presentation.
Established in 1994, the Keweenaw Community Foundation is one of more than 600 community foundations in the United States today. The mission of the Keweenaw Community Foundation is to promote philanthropy, develop and manage permanent endowments from a broad range of donors, and award charitable grants that enhance quality of life in the Keweenaw.
KCF provides financial support to qualified tax-exempt organizations for projects aimed at solving community problems and enhances life in the Keweenaw. The Community Foundation plays a selected leadership role through service as: a catalyst for change, an innovator to solve problems, a partner with other community organizations, and as a resource for solutions to emerging community needs.
Since 1998, we have developed endowments of over $4,337,000 and granted over $375,000, meeting diverse community needs:
- Community Development
- Arts and Culture
- Health and Human Services
- Natural Resources
- Economic Development
January- The Keweenaw Community Foundation's annual "Pure Gold-People with Passion" awards and recognitions dinner was held in the Isle Royale Ballroom on Michigan Tech's campus. This event spotlighted new endowment funds recently established at the Foundation and gave recognition to those who have exemplified "passion" toward the Foundation and its mission. This annual event is held as a fundraiser to benefit the operations of the Foundation.
January- The Keweenaw Community Foundation's annual "Pure Gold-Heart of the Keweenaw" awards and recognitions dinner was held in the Isle Royale Ballroom on Michigan Tech's campus. This event honored those in the community who have given from their heart for the betterment of the Keweenaw Community Foundation. This annual event is held as a fundraiser to benefit the operations of the Foundation.
January annual "Pure Gold" donor recognition dinner. KCF recognized "Partner" agencies. 14 of the 51 funds held with KCF provided information tables during the Cocktail Hour.
September the Professional Advisory Council of KCF presented Michigan State Representative, Michael Lahti as guest speaker at the Best Western Franklin Square Inn. This event was attended by local professional advisors.
August KCF hosts a breakfast for the KCF Agencies with a round table discussion - "Partnering - helping each other to strengthen our funds." Discussion facilitator was Barbara Rose. Guests of the discussion were Terry Kinzel, Founder of Keweenaw Land Trust, and Kathy Benda, Director of Keweenaw Family Resource Center.
February 25 KCF receives confirmation of compliance with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. This is an achievement indicating our adoption and compliance with the most rigorous standards in philanthropy.
January second annual "Pure Gold" donor recognition dinner. KCF celebrates the successes and donors of 2007.
December KCF receives $250,000 from an anonymous donor who establishes an endowment for the Copper Country Humane Society and also donates to Omega House and Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly endowments.
September KCF and the Keweenaw Land Trust hold a joint Planned Giving meeting at the Marsin Center for local professional advisors.
August KCF hosts a breakfast for the KCF Agencies emphasizing the marketing of their endowments. Guest speakers are Matt Monte of Monte Productions and Jill Burkland of the Isle Royale History Association.
July KCF and the City of Houghton sponsor “Winks” Herman Gundlach Memorial Ice Cream Social and Benefit to raise awareness and support for the Carnegie Museum. The Carnegie Museum endowment is established.
January first annual “Pure Gold” donor recognition dinner. The KCF story and successes are celebrated.
October KCF announces one million dollar donation establishing the Herman Gundlach donor advised fund.
August KCF hosts a breakfast for the KCF Agencies to introduce Barb Rose and encourage fund growth.
August Applebee’s Restaurant selects KCF as their selected charity of choice for their pre-opening community dinner.
July KCF hosts a leadership luncheon to introduce Barb Rose to the community and tell the KCF story.
June 1, KCF hires Barbara Rose as executive director.
May First Bernard F. Gaffney Scholarship is awarded to Danielle Teter
October 2nd Annual Frenzy Fundraiser is held at MTU Memorial Ballroom.
March KCF sponsors a capital campaign workshop for local non-profits.
October Frenzy Fundraiser is held at MTU Memorial Ballroom.
Achieved Strategic Goal #1, to develop field on interest endowments totaling $1.2 million.
March KCF and CFUP co-sponsor a Rural Fund Development Seminar for Professional Advisors.
February receives a Council of Michigan Foundations team-up grant for marketing programs to “high net worth seniors”.
December KCF accepts first trustee responsibilities for a Charitable Remainder Trust.
November KCF announces the availability of $5,000 tobacco settlement funds for regranting.
October YAC and the Level II Skatepark co-sponsor an open house at Dee Stadium Skatepark.
October KCF spearheads “Warm Wishes” project. The Foundation solicits individuals to submit wishes and also asks members of the community to donate coats, hats, mittens, winter clothing and non perishable food. The event is part of Make a Difference Day’s National Day of Doing Good Annual challenge.
May KCF Professional Advisory Council holds orientation meeting.
YAC distributes the 2003 Needs Assessment survey they completed with the aid of middle and high school focus groups in Houghton and Keweenaw counties.
April YAC participates in “Do Something Night” at Finlandia University. Youth attendees are encouraged to sign up for volunteer service in the community.
March 31 KCF serves as one of the sponsors of “Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities” by Ed McMahon, Vice President and Director of Land Use Programs for the Conservation Fund.
March Jamie Nara retires from Board and is elected to the position of Honorary Advisor.
January KCF holds a board retreat to review strategic goals.
November KCF sponsors a grant writing workshop.
July KCF hires Mary Sue Hyslop as executive director.
April KCF holds a UPCFA sponsored luncheon for legal and financial advisors with Mike Kolasa of Marquette as the principal speaker.
August KCF announces round 2 of tobacco settlement grants. $15,000 is available for grants supporting smoking cessation and prevention for youth and seniors.
May KCF co-sponsors the Lake Superior Youth Symposium at MTU.
March KCF announces phase II of a capital campaign.
January KCF agrees to serve as fiscal agent for an Americana Foundation grant to the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St. Anne’s.
October YAC participates in Make a Difference Day to promote volunteer awareness.
January GKCF announces awarding of grants from Portage Health, KCF Youth, and Portage Lake Youth endowment funds.
Spring grants announced.
May 23 GKCF changes the foundation name to Keweenaw Community Foundation. (KCF)
August new executive director C. Ted Fredrickson is named.
August 22 resolution by KCF Board stating that Keweenaw Community Foundation is in full compliance with minimum standards set by the Council of Michigan Foundations.
KCF agrees to serve as fiscal agent for the Common Ground grant from the Americana Foundation, this grant provides planning activities related to sustainable development in the Keweenaw.
YAC raises funds for disaster relief.
November GKCF and collaborative partners sponsor “Safe Water Project” workshops.
November YAC receives $15,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield grant for smoking prevention and cessation among youth. This amount is regranted to Western Upper Peninsula District Health Department for teen based tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
October GKCF offers Estate Planning seminars.
August GKCF names Beth Pasquali as new executive director.
Receives grant for Project Team-up with Baraga Community Foundation. The grant will fund two years of service support.
Summer GKCF develops a mission statement, goals and objectives.
Ron Helman, trustee, conducts a Board training session.
June GKCF awards grants from Portage Health, Portage Lake Youth, and KCF Youth endowments.
May YAC plans “Safe Night” a nationwide event that gives kids the tools to deal with their problems and arguments without violence.
GKCF receives state tobacco money grant of $15,579. The funds are to be used to improve health for youth and seniors. One half to be regranted and the remainder to establish the Healthy Youth and Healthy Seniors endowment fund.
March GKCF designates John Vertin, a founding member of the Keweenaw Community Foundation board, as a Lifetime Trustee Emeritus of the Keweenaw Community Foundation.
January GKCF receives $15,000 Great Lakes Community Foundation Environment Collaborative Phase II grant.
- Goal #2 - $10,000 to establish an environmental collaborative with other community foundations or funds that share the same watershed. The “Safe Water Project” will be a collaboration with MTU GEM center, Baraga Community Foundation and GKCF.
- Goal #5 - $5,000 to assist small community foundations to increase environment field of interest endowment funds.
January 1, 1999 GKCF disaffiliates from UPCFA and becomes an independent, local community foundation.
GKCF receives State of Michigan certification as a community foundation enabling donors to qualify for Michigan State income tax credits.
November Doug Stuart, volunteer executive director, is named Person of the Year by the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce for his service to the community and guidance of GKCF.
October GKCF applies for Phase II of the Great Lakes Environmental Collaborative grant.
September the Board of Trustees nominates Doug Stuart as Person of the Year.
August KCF holds a special reception at the Franklin Square Inn with a presentation by Dorothy Reynolds, consultant to Charles S. Mott Foundation and the Council of Michigan Foundations, who provides technical assistance to emerging community foundations.
August GKCF receives the first “Kellogg Challenge” grant payment of $226,000 to fund GKCF Youth endowment.
In April of 1998 the Board votes to pursue State certification as an independent community foundation.
March the Youth Advisory Committee awards first environmental mini-grants made possible by the Mott Foundation Great Lakes Environmental Collaborative.
$15,000 matching grant from the Mott Foundation is received. The grant helps fund the Environmental Field of Interest Endowment Fund.
GKCF successfully achieves its Kellogg challenge interim goal of $500,000 on April 1, 1998.
January GKCF holds a social event at Laurium Manor Inn.
YAC works on “Teen Activities Coordination” project, serving as a central clearinghouse for youth activities in the Houghton/Keweenaw County area.
GKCF is awarded a $30,000 matching grant funded by the Charles Mott Foundation and the Great Lakes Protection Fund of Chicago. The Great Lakes Environmental Collaborative funds shoreline environmental projects. The grant includes $600.00 for environmental education mini-grants. GKCF collaborates with the MTU GEM Center for Environmental Outreach, Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, WUPPDR, Keweenaw Land Trust, UP Environmental Coalition and the League of Women Voters to offer public workshops for Great Lakes Environmental Collaborative Grant. The workshops are based on rural land use management and planning.
Spring – YAC holds orientation and organizing meetings.
February, 1997 Doug Stuart is appointed to serve as volunteer executive director. The Board adopts a mission statement, and by unanimous vote GKCF accepts the Kellogg Foundation challenge. By the terms of this challenge grant, Kellogg offers a 50% match for every dollar GKCF raises in qualifying endowed funds by December 31, 1998. GKCF and the Youth Advisory Committee make a commitment to raise one million dollars in endowments by January 1999.
A committee is formed to name a board of directors. On September 23, 1996 an organizational meeting is held and a board of directors named. In October, the foundation by-laws and mission are amended to meet the requirements of the fund
A mini-grant of $2,500.00 is received from the Youth Fund of the Council of Michigan Foundations to assist in establishing the Greater Keweenaw Fund. Community Leaders meet to discuss how the fund will work to benefit our area.
The steering committee of GKCF decides to pursue an affiliation with the newly formed Upper Peninsula Community Foundation Alliance. An agreement to affiliate is signed on September 10, 1995 and the Greater Keweenaw becomes a geographic component fund of the Upper Peninsula Community Foundation Alliance.
By-laws and Articles of Incorporation are drafted defining the service area. The group becomes incorporated as the Greater Keweenaw Community Foundation (GKCF) on September 23, 1994.
In the spring of 1993, a group of community-minded individuals convenes to look at the feasibility of forming a community foundation. Dr. Kathryn Agard, Program Director for the Michigan Council of Foundations, is invited to visit to the area and subsequently meet with area leaders. Following the discussion, an area-wide feasibility study is conducted. Area representatives from business, industry, education, social services, and historic preservation meet to begin establishing a community foundation.
On October 27, 1992, federal legislation establishes the Keweenaw National Historical Park. The area affected is principally the copper mining region of northern Houghton County, Michigan. This results in numerous government and community leaders banding together to plan the area’s future.
PUBLIC DOCUMENTS: Our annual audit, IRS Form 990, and our annual application for the State of Michigan License to Solicit Donations are available at our office during business hours.