Imagine a vibrant, prosperous, and equitable city, where people want to live, work, and raise families. Imagine being a more beautiful and livable city each year, more innovative and connected. Imagine having more jobs and less poverty, and providing young people with the jump-starts they need in life.
Structural budget challenges have for many years impeded the City’s effort to make its vision a reality. The Foundation For Excellence is a unique innovation by the City of Kalamazoo and private donors to address systemic challenges to the prosperity of the city. The Foundation will provide $70.3 million to stabilize the city’s budget, lower its property tax rate, and for $10 million of aspirational community projects per year through 2019. During this period, a community fundraising effort will be launched to create a fully endowed foundation that can sustain this funding in perpetuity.
Please note that because the Foundation for Excellence is incorporated as a supporting organization to the City of Kalamazoo, IRA rollover contributions can be accepted but will not be tax deductible
The Foundation’s financial model is being structured in such a way as to do the most good with the most efficient use of resources possible. The Foundation will work to establish strategic partnerships with organizations whose mission and work aligns with the goals and objectives of the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Strategic Vision and Master Plan, the Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo plan, and the City of Kalamazoo. These plans are built around the City’s deep investment in broad community involvement and collaboration. Each reflects a pathway to improve life for all residents of Kalamazoo.
A 2016 survey of Kalamazoo residents revealed that 80% of respondents were supportive of the Foundation for Excellence proposal, with consistent support across all demographics. You can read about projects and programs that the FFE supports in the annual newsletter below.
Approved Foundation for Excellence Policies and Descriptions
Foundation for Excellence Board of Directors to Meet on May 23