Kzoo updates Foundation for Excellence fund

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek
kalamazoo city commission meeting

The Oct. 7, 2019, meeting of the Kalamazoo City Commission.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The city of Kalamazoo on Monday accepted an updated agreement with the Stryker-Johnston Foundation to fund the Foundation for Excellence until 2022.

The original agreement, a $70 million donation, launched the fund and was set to be consumed this year. The updated agreement adds an additional $18 million and funds the program for three more years. A large portion of the funding, over $2.2 million, will go to pay for affordable housing programs.

Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the updated agreement.  

kalamazoo foundation for excellence funding
A slide displayed at a Kalamazoo City Commission meeting shows approved funding for the Foundation for Excellence. (Oct. 7, 2019)

The goal is to fund the foundation with an endowment. That has not happened yet, but the success over the last two years will help them sell the idea to potential donors.

“Now we have some evidence about how this innovative funding program is actually working,” Commissioner Jack Urban said. “If we had tried to raise money from donors around the county with only the promises we had two years ago, it would have been tough.”

He said continuing to use Foundation for Excellence funding for projects gives the city a “good story to tell.”

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