The Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence (FFE) has received a $400 million commitment to its endowment. This gift will carry forward a bold vision for the City of Kalamazoo and fulfill the transformational goals of Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 and future strategic visioning.
FFE’s endowment funds will balance the City of Kalamazoo’s budget, maintain the 2017 property tax decrease for all home and business owners, and advance community projects in line with the goals of the City’s strategic vision, Imagine Kalamazoo 2025. FFE funds projects that address generational poverty, economic development, parks improvements, youth development, affordable housing, and neighborhood infrastructure.
Notable projects include Minority Contractor Certification program, 508 new multi-family units built or preserved, sidewalk investment from $0 to $1 million annually, tax foreclosures reduced to zero, wealth-building through title transfer, free summer camp for working families, and immediate assistance to small businesses during the pandemic, to name a few.
The commitment builds on FFE’s proven track record of success since its founding in 2017. To be fulfilled over 10 years, this gift adds to previous investments to establish a $500 million endowment and a sustainable future for the foundation and the City. The generous donors of this commitment are long-term residents of the community who wish to remain anonymous.
“This is a historic moment for Kalamazoo. This commitment and endowment mean dependability, ensuring the City will sustainably thrive and equitably serve all residents in perpetuity,” says Jim Ritsema, City Manager.
Building on deep-seated civic pride, FFE is a unique public-private partnership. A municipality like Kalamazoo would traditionally navigate financial challenges by increasing taxes or cutting services. FFE is an innovative model that provides financial stability and allows the City and partners to dream big and about the future of Kalamazoo.
FFE responds to needs identified by residents. Projects benefit all of Kalamazoo with particular focus on core neighborhoods with high levels of need. FFE’s Investment Map demonstrates that Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 is working where it is needed most.
“It is my hope that FFE can serve as a model to transform how we live together in community in a way that gives all of us more hope for the future,” says Mayor David Anderson.
This transformational commitment ensures that FFE’s cycle of impact will benefit Kalamazoo residents for generations to come.
The Kalamazoo Foundation for Excellence (FFE) is an innovative non-profit that was created in 2017 to address systemic challenges to the prosperity of Kalamazoo. FFE invests millions of dollars each year to stabilize the City of Kalamazoo’s budget, reduce the property tax rate, and invest in aspirational projects. Since it was created, FFE has committed more than $120 million dollars to help make Kalamazoo the most dynamic, fulfilling, and equitable place that it can be.
Please visit FFE’s website to learn more about the many projects that have been funded to date and that will continue thanks to this investment.