The Community Foundation partners with other community organizations to bring people together to discuss, plan, and implement strategies that meet the needs of the entire community and that take advantage of opportunities available to members of the community. These collaborative partnerships help optimize all the financial and other resources in our community.

Cross Cultural Understanding and Exchange

Branch County Community Foundation partners with organizations and individuals who have a desire to work together to create strong, prosperous communities. One of our partners in promoting cross-cultural understanding and exchange, in our diverse community, is the Arab American Society of Coldwater (AASC). Since 2011, the Community Foundation and the Arab American Society of Coldwater have collaborated on several multi-cultural celebrations. These events have focused on promoting understanding between the Yemini/Arab and non-Arab cultures while developing relationships that lead to a better quality of life for all. Past events included cultural dancing, music, and food. The Community Foundation provides consulting services to the AASC, and other emerging or transitioning nonprofits, in the areas of nonprofit management and board governance. As part of our overall objectives for our scholarship program, we also provide direct assistance to first-generation college applicants seeking access to higher education.

Economic Development

HomeTown Competitiveness Partner The HomeTown Competitiveness (HTC)initiative is a framework that joins a variety of approaches and multiple community organizations into a cohesive force for developing and sustaining a vital, prosperous community. HTC recognizes that although small towns and rural communities sometimes may struggle, they have significant local resources and resolve that, when focused, can create a sustainable plan for community and economic development. The Community Foundation has created a fund to help gather charitable assets and is working with local leaders to implement a county-wide "hometown" vision for all of our futures. Through the HomeTown Competitiveness Fund and HTC initiatives we can support entrepreneurship and help maintain thriving farms and small businesses; create flexible charitable assets and retain local wealth; engage youth in positive ways and give young people a reason to return to their hometown to work and raise their families, and strengthen local leadership capacity. Member Michigan WORKS! Southwest Workforce Development Board connecting people to jobs through the Michigan Works! system.

Community Development

Member Branch County Community Network (BCCN). BCCN is a coalition of educators, employers, service providers and others that help coordinate health and human services for Branch County families and re-allocate state and federal block grants aimed at strengthening Branch County families. We also serve on the community funding re-allocation and monitoring committees through BCCN. Follow this link to gain access to the BCCN page on our website: http://www.brcofoundation.org/branch_county_comm_network.html

Homelessness Prevention

The Community Foundation works with the Continuum of Care in Branch County.  The Continuum of Care (CoC) is a coalition of area agencies working together to help homeless residents of the county access needed services. BCCF also holds a Homelessness Prevention Fund which was created to support innovative prevention initiatives to reduce end homelessness in Branch County.

Early Childhood Education

The results of a Columbia University's Teachers College study, released in May 2008, estimated that those who drop out of high school cost Michigan taxpayers about $2.5 billion a year. Every student who drops out of high school costs the public $127,000 in tax revenues, public health costs, crime, and welfare payments. By investing in early childhood care, education, and development you can prepare a child to succeed in school and avoid some of these costs.

Research has shown that early childhood education increases lifelong earning potential, achieves better academic outcomes, lowers rates of teen pregnancy and incarceration, and improves the community's ability to recruit and retain parents who work---all of which provide long-term positive results and cost savings to the community.

The Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) is a statewide initiative that recognizes education begins at birth (not when a child enters school) and works to effectively focus early childhood efforts and leverage public and private support to expand the availability of high-quality early education and child care, including parenting education.

A small investment for a lifetime of returns!

The Community Foundation believes that early childhood education can improve children's chances for success in later life, thereby providing benefits to children, their families, and society as a whole. We recently created the Early Childhood Investment Fund to support the Branch County ECIC initiative and to provide a further giving opportunity for those with similar values.

For more information on Branch County Great Start contact  Amy Galliers at (517) 278-5600 or amy@branchcountygreatstart.com.  

If you would like more information regarding Early Childhood Investment Fund please contact us.