2023 Annual Report



CMF seeks to fortify the field through public policy action and champion the policy leadership of CMF members.

In 2023, CMF members created new connections with policymakers through a new CMF-hosted in person meeting series in Lansing, partnered with their local units of government to help equitably shape federal funding through CMF’s Statewide Equity Fund and engaged in our policy and advocacy efforts. CMF also engaged in a new, innovative partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to expand access to indoor and outdoor recreation in under resourced communities.

Advocacy Efforts in Action

With the leadership of the Government Relations Public Policy Committee (GRPPC), we continue to focus on cultivating and deepening relationships with policymakers, championing the policy leadership of CMF members through learning opportunities, resources, advancing sign-on letters and sharing timely updates in the Policy Online Community.

Foundations in Lansing

In 2023, CMF hosted its first-ever in-person Foundations in Lansing series of events. These meetings between CMF members and members of our state Legislature focused on education, small businesses and health. Visit the CMF events calendar to see the 2024 Foundations in Lansing schedule and register today.

Foundations on the Hill

More than 30 CMF members representing diverse communities throughout Michigan and CMF staff returned to Washington, D.C. in March 2023 for the first in-person Foundations on the Hill (FOTH) since 2020.

In these meetings with policymakers and their staff, CMF members advocated for policies that strengthen the sector and our ability to partner with communities.

Statewide Equity Fund Strategic Support Pilot

CMF’s Statewide Equity Fund (SEF) Strategic Support Pilot launched in 2021 to empower CMF members to strategically pool resources toward systemic change. These efforts supported five regional collaborative sites, led by CMF members, to work with their local units of government to shape investments toward equitable outcomes. While the pilot officially concluded in 2023, the work continues in the five communities. We are highlighting how each community has advanced these efforts within their local context and key takeaways for philanthropy.

“We funded this SEF work with three goals: to ensure equity was at the heart of ARPA fund distribution; to ensure community participation in budgeting; and to build and deepen cross-sector partnerships with foundations and municipalities.”

Wendy Lewis Jackson

Managing Director

Detroit Program, The Kresge Foundation and CMF Trustee

CMF/DNR Spark Grant Program Partnership

CMF, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Foundation Liaison (OFL) and through our Statewide Equity Fund (SEF), is working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on a unique opportunity to equitably guide resources to expand access to healthy indoor and outdoor recreation programs for traditionally marginalized communities.

Several community foundations are leading as trusted local conveners, working with their local units of governments, residents and other stakeholders in their identified “opportunity community” to support their communities in accessing federal funding. We look forward to sharing more with you as these efforts evolve in the designated opportunity communities.

Partner Spotlight: Governor's Office of Foundation Liaison

In 2023, the Governor’s Office of Foundation Liaison (OFL) celebrated its 20th anniversary. We invite you to read more about this major milestone in this feature with Karen Aldridge-Eason, Foundation Liaison: Advancing Public-Private Partnerships: 20 Years of The Governor’s Office of Foundation Liaison.

Explore OFL’s 2023 Publication: Foundation-Government Liaison Offices: Why and How of Michigan Governor’s Office of Foundation Liaison