Community Foundation announces $186,000+ in grants

What happened? Over 150 attendees celebrated endowment building, grantmaking and community leadership at the Comfort Inn Conference Center Nov. 3 during the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation’s Annual Breakfast event. More than 50 annual sponsors—including Isabella Bank, Mercantile Bank of Michigan, The Morey Foundation, and Mt. Pleasant Abstract & Title—made the event possible.

Who attended? The Annual Breakfast was attended by donors, sponsors, grant recipients, and community members to learn the results of Give Local Isabella, receive the first copies of the Foundation’s 2021-2022 “Legacy Magazine,” view video clips from 2022 scholarship recipients, celebrate nonprofit leaders who participated in this year’s Leadership Learning Lab, discover the Community Foundation’s latest accomplishments, and hear the announcement of 23 new grant
awards totaling more than $186,000.

What was the highlight? 23 grants ranging from $1,200 to $53,664.15 were awarded to 19 area organizations, for a total of $186,814.15.

“Some in the audience gasped as grant review chair Nancy Ridley announced a $43,500 grant to replace the roof at Christian Counseling of Mid Michigan, which will enable the organization to continue providing critical mental health services to Isabella County residents,” Amanda Schafer, CEO/COO of the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation. 

“This is a blessing,” remarked a Christian Counseling of Mid Michigan board member. “Thank you for allowing us to stay focused on helping as many kids as we can!”

The largest grant of over $53,000 was awarded to the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department. When the announcement was made, excitement filled the room.

"The room erupted in applause with the good news for the Mt. Pleasant Fire Department," shares Schafer. "The largest grant awarded was for $53,664.15 to purchase three LUCAS devices. These automatic CPR machines will ensure that community members receive high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest." 

What is the Community Foundation? The Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation (MPACF) is a tax-exempt public charity that enables people and businesses the opportunity to establish their own charitable fund or contribute to an existing fund. Contributions to these funds are permanently endowed, which means these gifts will never be spent. The assets of all funds are commingled for investment purposes and managed professionally. Each year the earnings from investments are used to award grants that will benefit charitable programs and organizations that address the needs of Isabella County residents. 

Why was this event important? “It’s gratifying to see the reactions when grant dollars are awarded,” said Schafer. “And to think that those dollars were generated by gifts made to different endowment funds, sometimes years ago … It’s truly incredible! It’s like one generation reaching forward in time to help the next.” 

“That’s the power of endowment!” Schafer added.

By the numbers. During the Annual Breakfast, the Community Foundation also celebrated 1,800 gifts made in 2021 totaling $1,954,121. At year end, Foundation assets exceeded $30 million, and more than $10 million in grants had been awarded over the course of the organization’s 31 years.

In 2022, community members made more than 450 donations totaling over $82,000 for the long-term sustainability of 21 charitable organizations in Isabella County with Give Local Isabella, taking place the first Tuesday of May each year.

Also mentioned was the MPACF’s virtual Scholarship and Endowment Celebration which took place in June. Volunteers reviewed nearly 1,000 applications to feature 102 scholarship awards totaling $139,500. 

The Foundation additionally highlighted continued support for Isabella County nonprofit organizations through Catchafire, a network of more than 100,000 skilled volunteers across the country. Thirty organizations serving Isabella County residents have access to this virtual platform at no cost. To date, Isabella County nonprofit organizations have leveraged a total of $131,495 in pro bono services through Catchafire.

Overall, the Annual Breakfast showcased more than 60 different charitable organizations, schools, and units of government that partner with the Community Foundation in various ways.

What comes next? Impact! View the full list of grantees awarded in the second MPACF 2022 grant cycle at and their plans on how they’ll make a difference in the community with the awarded funds.

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With 15 years of professional media experience, Courtney Jerome has found a passion for storytelling and showcasing our region in a positive light. She's written stories for television broadcasts, numerous magazines, and digital publications. In addition, she owns a boutique creative marketing agency that focuses on social media, photo, and video storytelling for small businesses across Michigan and the country — Contact Courtney, the managing editor of Epicenter, at