The Mission of the Foundation is to provide educational resources to an many members and charitable organizations as possible, as well as to support health and wellness. Interest free loans are available for Grange members to attend Universities, Colleges, and/or Trade Schools of their choice. Funds are also available for Grange Department Directors' programs including support for Youth Leadership and Promotion, Junior Activities, Family Activities, Lecturer’s Activities, Deaf Awareness Projects, and Community Service Projects.
The Foundation is supported by donations from Granges and by individuals who believe in the program. Additional funds are also gained from investments made by the Foundation Board of Directors.
A permanent Endowment Fund has been established from which only the interest earned is used for Foundation activities. Donations can be made directly to the endowment fund. In addition one-half of all general donations are credited to the fund. Establishment of this fund assures a continued support in the future of the Foundation programs.
Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible, as the Foundation is incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit entity. Donations can be made to commemorate the lives of
deceased friends, family, and Grange brethren. It is also suggested that donations can be made on special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. The Foundation can also be named as a beneficiary in a will or trust, and can accept real estate and personal property donations. Your donations to the Michigan State Grange Foundation will be gratefully acknowledged and your support will be appreciated by the many benefactors that receive support from Foundation programs.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021 GRANGE NEWS
Michigan State Grange Foundation Annual Report 2020-21
Eric A. Bishop, Board President
It is my privilege to provide the Grange with a report on the state of the Michigan State Grange Foundation, on behalf of the Foundation Board. As it has throughout its history, the Foundation’s work has been focused on its chartered areas of emphasis, namely charitable work, education, and healthcare. Enabled by donations from Granges and Grange members, as well as the performance of our investments, the Foundation Board routinely considers requests for funds for educational institutions, historical societies, and other organizations whose missions align with our priorities. In addition, it also plays its important historical role in providing educational loans for members seeking assistance with their education, and funds MSG Department Director activities to develop and carry out educational workshops and send out quarterly newsletters for their departments.
With regard to our investments, this year yielded growth in our annuity investments but also saw the emergence of several key questions about the structure of those investments. In particular, questions were raised about the manner in which those investments center on an identified Annuitant, despite being owned by the Foundation. Those interrelationships have created a risk of previously-unidentified fees or penalties that would functionally reduce the return previously envisioned from the investments. In addition, the impact of capital gains taxes has been identified as an area of impact for the investments, which will require active decisions on the part of the Foundation Board, regarding the future plans for these investments. The new Board will look to make such decisions in the near future, focusing on both maximizing net return and appropriately managing financial risk. In the meantime, the overall gross return on those investments is reflected in Foundation Financial Reports.
In addition to income from our investments, the Foundation Board has been focused on ensuring that our past student loan recipients meet their obligations to repay those loans, thereby refilling the Student Loan Fund for future use by Grange members. This went well overall during the past year, as loan repayments were received regularly from recipients of Foundation loans from across the past 10 years. We have seen
excellent response from our more recent student loan recipients, which is very much appreciated. Those who have received loans within the past ten years or more have been consistently reliable in providing regular repayment of their loans. This has created greater predictability within the available Student Loan
Fund, and the Foundation would like to commend our student loan recipients who have met their repayment obligations reliably and routinely.
During the past year, the Foundation remaining active in support of continued education, approving one new student loans of $1,000.00. As many of you likely know, the loan program was started in the early 1960s by the Youth Department and was then integrated into the Michigan State Grange Foundation when it was founded in 1986. At present, the Student Loan Fund is allocated $36,000 of the total assets of the Foundation. Sufficient allocated funds are available to provide as many as 20 new student loans, even without consideration for repayments being made by past recipients. Considering that these loans may be approved for a variety of educational endeavors, this leaves us with great flexibility to help members of
all ages and interests.
As always, the Foundation is happy to accept donations from individuals and Granges, either as memorials or simply as contributions toward the mission and goals of the Foundation. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and individual donations are tax deductible, as charitably contributions. Within the Foundation’s assets, a permanent Endowment Fund is held from use to ensure future funding for activities through investment income. By Foundation policy, half of all donations made without program designation will be allocated to the Endowment Fund, ensuring continued growth potential for the future.
The Michigan State Grange Foundation Board would like to thank those Granges and Grange members who have made donations to the Foundation. We truly appreciate your contributions.
I would like to thank the other members of the Foundation Board for their hard work and consistent dedication to the mission of the Foundation, namely: Vice President Roland Winter, Secretary/Treasurer Kathryn Strouse, Director Jeff Swainston, and Director Chris Johnston.
Eric A. Bishop
Michigan State Grange Foundation Board President