2023 Annual Report


A Message from the Board Chair & the CEO

“A lot of bridging happens because someone feels like they’ve been heard. It means a lot to be seen, heard and understood... it’s very close to being loved.”

john a. powell


UC Berkeley’s Othering & Belonging Institute

2023 CMF Annual Conference Keynote Speaker

As john powell shared with us at our Annual Conference in 2023, at the heart of bridging across divides is trust building, creating space for healing and engaging in authentic relationships – truly seeing and honoring the humanity in one another. That’s where we grow empathy, embrace differences and foster belonging so that all in our communities can thrive.

When we as leaders in philanthropy lean into the role of collaborator and convener, we bring people together, helping them to find common ground and to co-design more equitable, community-centered solutions.

This is the opportunity and the calling for us all as we seek to live into philanthropy’s definition of “acts of love for humankind.” This is not just nice—it is transformational work that only patient capital and a commitment to understanding disparities can address. There is a need for the courage to name disparities—and racial disparities imperatively—to truly understand and address them. Above all, this calls on all of us to acknowledge our history of systemic racial inequities and how they exist today, before we can truly begin to heal and build a more equitable future. This is an opportunity for our community of philanthropy to continue to lead and lead courageously.

We’ve seen CMF members’ courageous leadership advancing these efforts all across our state. We see foundations embracing trust-based philanthropic practices with their nonprofit partners, creating spaces for deep listening and community engagement and helping to ensure those who have been under-resourced and underrepresented are not only heard but included among the decision-makers shaping the future of their communities. We see this as the work of our future and CMF is standing side by side with our membership in supporting this work. We are proud to be your champion on this journey.

In this edition of CMF’s Annual Report, you will see how your peers in rural, urban and suburban communities are bringing people together across a spectrum of issues, perspectives and lived experiences, including:

  • Working with a cross-sector, county-wide coalition to support the community in advancing individual and shared diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and justice journeys.
  • Enhancing policies and practices to welcome new voices into grantmaking decisions and address critical issues facing youth.
  • Fostering spaces to bridge divides across races, genders, faiths and socioeconomics.

These inspiring features highlight how CMF members – each with unique missions, talents, structures, sizes and contexts – are fostering spaces of belonging and collaborating for a brighter, more equitable future for our state.

We invite you to also explore in this Annual Report highlights of new and enhanced supports, resources, learning opportunities and connections CMF has launched in service to you and your staff, trustees and partners.

CMF is here to lead, strengthen and support you and your organization. We are honored to serve our community of Michigan philanthropy!

Thank you for your partnership, 

Dave Mengebier

CMF Board Chair

President & CEO

Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation

Kyle Caldwell

President & CEO

Council of Michigan Foundations