COMMUNITY FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES $250,000 EXPANSION OF COIN MICRO-LOAN PROGRAM FOR DOOR COUNTY ENTREPRENEURS

The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. announced today that it has made an additional $250,000 of business capital available to local entrepreneurs through an expansion of its COIN Micro-Loan Program.

COIN, the Community Opportunity Investment Network, was created by the Community Foundation to stimulate economic activity which leads to the creation of new jobs.

coin-blue“While we will always award grants to human service programs, the best anti-poverty program is a year ‘round, good paying job with benefits,” says Bret Bicoy, President & CEO of the Community Foundation. “COIN was created to invest in local entrepreneurs who are building the businesses that will eventually employ people in Door County.”

COIN borrowers usually have been turned down by traditional banks because their businesses have little cash flow history or the loans for which they qualify are at credit card like interest rates. COIN loans are available to people with great business ideas and strong character at interest rates that are far below what would normally be available for a business with such limited history. COIN loans make it affordable for promising entrepreneurs to start or expand their business in Door County.

During the initial phase of the COIN Micro-Loan Program, four local businesses received loans ranging from $8,000 to $45,000. In the first 18 months, two of those companies had grown successful enough to pay back their loans entirely. The other two businesses remain strong and have never missed a loan payment.

“We’re not here to give someone an easy path to riches,” says Dave Eliot of the Community Foundation’s Board and a member of the COIN Loan Committee. “We want people who say I’m willing to take a risk. I’m willing to work hard. We want the entrepreneur who says if you’re willing to give me access to a small amount of capital to get me over that hump, I’m going to be successful.”

A COIN Loan Committee comprised of local business leaders and successful entrepreneurs reviews every application and interviews the entrepreneurs.

Nicolet National Bank is an integral partner in this program and will originate and service all COIN loans for the current $250,000 expansion. “We are excited to be working with Nicolet as they continue the long tradition of their forerunners of building successful businesses in Door County,” says Bicoy.

The Community Foundation has engaged the services of the Door County Economic Development Corporation to accept applicants and guide local entrepreneurs through the process. Entrepreneurs interested in learning more or applying for a loan should contact DCEDC at (920) 743-3133 or visit http://www.InvestDoorCounty.org.

For more information about the Community Foundation’s services and various grant programs, please visit http://www.GiveDoorCounty.org.

The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is a collection of separate charitable funds set up by individuals, families, non-profit organizations, private foundations and businesses that are managed, invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County. The Foundation was launched in 1999 and currently administers more than $17 million in charitable assets.

Community Foundation Awards Sustainability Grant to the Door County Medical Center Foundation

The Door County Community Foundation recently awarded the Door County Medical Center Foundation a Sustainability Grant from the John and Nell Herlache Community Impact Fund and the Health and Human Needs for the Ministry Fund Program.

The Ministry Fund Program is an initiative to improve the health and well-being of the people in Door County, especially the poor and vulnerable. In 2015, the Ministry Fund helped over 800 people in our community and distributed over $43,000 worth of assistance.

“Often people reach out to the hospital when they feel they have nowhere else to turn,” said Kacie Mueller, Community Relations Officer of the Door County Community Foundation. “The Community Foundation is proud to support the Ministry Fund Program which provides one-time assistance to help Door County residents overcome a crisis.”

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From left to right, Andrew Boettcher, Assistant Director of Foundation and Development at the Door County Medical Center Foundation, Kacie Mueller, Community Relations Officer of the Door County Community Foundation, and Mike Herlache, Executive Director of Door County Medical Center Foundation.

 

Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic provides oral health care to the youth and adults of Door and Kewaunee Counties. The clinic serves those who are on Medicaid and/or those with no dental insurance that are low-income with no dental home.

For more information about the Door County Medical Center Foundation, please call (920) 746-1071 or visit www.ministryhealthy.org/DCMH/home/Foundation.org.

The Door County Community Foundation’s Sustainability Grants program distributes grant dollars from funds such as the Arts Fund, Children & Youth Fund, Green Fund, Health & Human Needs Fund, Education Fund, Historic Preservation Fund, Healthy Water Fund, and Women’s Fund.

For more information about the Community Foundation’s services and various grant programs, please visit www.GiveDoorCounty.org.

The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is a collection of separate charitable funds set up by individuals, families, non-profit organizations, private foundations and businesses that are managed, invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County. The Foundation was launched in 1999 and currently administers more than $17 million in charitable assets.

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Community Foundation Awards Grant to Prevent Suicide Door

The Door County Community Foundation has awarded Prevent Suicide Door County Nathan Wilson Coalition a Sustainability Grant from the Health and Human Needs Fund. This grant will support Question, Persuade, Referral (QPR) Trainings.

The issue that Prevent Suicide Door County Nathan Wilson Coalition continues to address is the education of Door County residents. With the grant from the Community Foundation, Prevent Suicide Door County will send 4 people through the QPR “Train the Trainers” course. The training course comes out of the state of Washington QPR Institute. These trainings are held across the US and are acknowledged as making an impact on lessening suicides. Upon completion of the course, these trainers will hold over 40 free, one hour trainings throughout Door County.

“Education builds confidence and self-esteem. It encourages the kind of leadership that supports a healthy community,” said Jeff Ottum, Board Member of the Door County Community Foundation.

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Jeff Ottum, Board Member of the Door County Community Foundation and Cheryl Wilson, Chairperson of Prevent Suicide Door County Nathan Wilson Coalition

Prevent Suicide Door County Nathan Wilson Coalition was started in 2011 after Dave and Cheryl Wilson’s son Nathan died by suicide in 2010. Family and Friends came together to try to stop the pain of loss be suicide in Door County and organized with the help of Prevent Suicide Wisconsin.

For more information about Prevent Suicide Door County Nathan Wilson Coalition, please email preventsuicide@gmail.com or call 920.495.2383.

The Door County Community Foundation’s Sustainability Grants program distributes grant dollars from funds such as the Arts Fund, Children & Youth Fund, Education Fund, Green Fund, Health & Human Needs Fund, Healthy Water Fund, Historic Preservation Fund, and the Women’s Fund.

For more information about the Community Foundation’s services and various grant programs, please visit www.GiveDoorCounty.org.

The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is a collection of separate charitable funds set up by individuals, families, non-profit organizations, private foundations and businesses that are managed, invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County. The Foundation was launched in 1999 and currently administers more than $17 million in charitable assets.

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The Village is the Personal

“It takes a village to raise a child.” That African proverb has been repeated so often that it’s taken as a matter of faith by leaders of all stripes and political persuasions. Yet the truth is that increasingly, too many of our children are not raised by a village. With the best of intentions, we’ve outsourced our responsibility as a village to countless human service and educational programs.

A few weeks ago I spoke at the annual breakfast for Big Brothers Big Sisters and shared my belief that we have attempted to professionalize the role of the village. We’ve tried to outsource too much of the raising of our children to activity leaders and program managers, teachers and school counselors, juvenile therapists and recreational staff, and countless other professional positions. Instead of a village, we’ve surrounded our young people with paid professionals.

John McKnight and Peter Block write in their book, The Abundant Community, “Professionalization is the market replacement for a community that has lost or outsourced its capacity to care.”

My lovely wife is a fourth grade teacher here in Door County. She is the very definition of a professional educator. She spends countless evenings and every Sunday afternoon preparing on her own time so she can spend her school day focused on her students. Thankfully, dedication like my wife’s is commonplace among many of the professionals who teach our children.

I work at the Door County Community Foundation. I’ve spent more than 20 years investing philanthropic dollars in the programs offered by human service and education professionals. I have seen firsthand how lives can be changed for the better by a well-run program that is faithful to a proven model.

I offer this background because I don’t want to diminish by one iota the importance of the work of human service and education professionals. The programs our society has created to serve and educate our children are critically important. These programs keep our kids safe today and nurture a brighter tomorrow.

Yet I am firm in my belief that McKnight and Block have identified perhaps the greatest source of our society’s current ills. There is something missing. No matter how effective our programs might be, there remains something hollow at their core.

As McKnight and Block write, systems are designed to create scale. They are built on the ability to reproduce the same result over and over again. Yet uniformity is both the strength and the bane of all systems. If consistency is the system’s strength, then the cost to our humanity is the system’s weakness. McKnight and Block warn us that systems, by their very nature, have a limit. Inherent in the professionalization of our programs is the need to maintain a professional distance between the service provider and the one who is being served. As the mantra goes, “You need to remain impartial. Don’t get too close to your clients. It might affect your judgment.”

This is the unavoidable reality of the program delivery systems we have created. It is not a failing of these systems, it’s just the reality of how they work.

It is not the programs or systems that are failing us. Our failure is that we as a society have forgotten that the professionals cannot do this alone. We have failed to remember that the village in that African proverb is not made up of professionals. You cannot hire people to be the village. We as a community of people have to be the village for each other.

When we weave people together in a neighborhood of personal relationships, we reap the benefits of the extended family. By being the village for each other not as professionals, but as human beings, we help our young people understand that it’s okay to take risks, to fall down, to be fallible, because they will always have a place at the table of our village family. We teach our children, and remind ourselves in the process, that we are all a worthy and integral part of the village whole.

The village is not the professional. It’s the personal.

This is why I agreed to speak at the breakfast for Big Brothers Big Sisters. They use institutional words like “mentoring” and phrases like “make a match,” but that’s just a bunch of professional mumbo jumbo that refers to personal relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters works to create a personal space between people where affection, caring and friendship can blossom between a “big” and a “little.” It’s a space where every young person can come to know from experience that they are valued by our community. They learn that they are always welcome, and will forever have a place, in our village.

At that same Big Brothers Big Sisters breakfast, Jeremy Schwab shared his experience as a “big brother” for more than a dozen years now. He told a story of his “little brother” barging into his house in the wee hours of the morning to talk about the young man’s first kiss earlier that evening. Apparently it tasted like Doritos.

It would be completely inappropriate for a guidance counselor, juvenile therapist or other human service professional to invite a young man into their home at one o’clock in the morning. The ethical standards for human service professionals correctly require that they maintain a certain level of distance so that boundaries are not crossed and their judgment is not impaired. Inherent in what makes one a professional is an ability to maintain a professional detachment.

Yet someone needs to be attached to that young man. Someone needs to hear the story about his first kiss. He needs an extended family. He needs a village.

I like to think of it this way. What separates the professional and the personal is how we use our limbs. It’s the difference between the need to keep a client at arm’s length, and the hug and embrace of a friend.

Our human service and educational professionals have a critically important role in our community, but they cannot be the village. The village must be us as people.

This article originally appeared in the Peninsula Pulse.

Community Foundation Awards Sustainability Grant to the Door County Medical Center Foundation

 

The Door County Community Foundation recently awarded the Door County Medical Center Foundation a Sustainability Grant from the Health and Human Needs Fund, Elizabeth “Betty” Lawrence Human Services Fund, Bernice & Gene Hawkins Charitable Fund, and the Ruth & Hartley Barker Memorial Fund for the Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic.  Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic provides oral health care to the youth and adults of Door and Kewaunee Counties. The clinic serves those who are on Medicaid and/or those with no dental insurance that are low-income with no dental home.

“The lack of oral health care continues to be a serious epidemic throughout Door County,” said Grace Rossman, board member of the Door County Community Foundation.  “Ministry Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic aims to improve the oral health of low income people in Door County by providing a dental home for routine care.”

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From left to right, Grace Rossman, board member of the Door County Community Foundation and Tanya Fischer, Director of the Ministry Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic. 

 

Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic provides oral health care to the youth and adults of Door and Kewaunee Counties. The clinic serves those who are on Medicaid and/or those with no dental insurance that are low-income with no dental home.

For more information about the Door County Medical Center Foundation, please call (920) 746-1071 or visit www.ministryhealthy.org/DCMH/home/Foundation.org.

The Door County Community Foundation’s Sustainability Grants program distributes grant dollars from funds such as the Arts Fund, Children & Youth Fund, Green Fund, Health & Human Needs Fund, Education Fund, Historic Preservation Fund, Healthy Water Fund, and Women’s Fund.

For more information about the Community Foundation’s services and various grant programs, please visit www.GiveDoorCounty.org.

The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is a collection of separate charitable funds set up by individuals, families, non-profit organizations, private foundations and businesses that are managed, invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County.  The Foundation was launched in 1999 and currently administers more than $17 million in charitable assets.

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Community Foundation Awards Sustainability Grant to Neighbor to Neighbor

The Door County Community Foundation has awarded Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteer Caregivers of Door County, Inc. a Sustainability Grant from the Ruth & Hartley Barker Memorial Fund and the John and Nell Herlache Community Impact Fund. This grant will help fill the need for bariatric-sized medical equipment within the Medical Equipment Loan program facilitated by Neighbor to Neighbor.

Bariatric-sized medical equipment makes Door County safer for the vulnerable populations by enhancing safety services available to those in need of medical equipment with a weight capacity up to 500lbs. In the interest of these vulnerable individuals, Neighbor to Neighbor will add some of the following pieces in bariatric sizes to their stock: wheelchairs, 4-wheeled walkers with seats, 2-wheeled walkers, commodes, bath benches, and bath transfer benches to accommodate individuals weighing up to 500 lbs.

“Bariatric equipment is often cost prohibitive to patient and families so unsafe substitutes are obtained putting patients at risk for injury,” said Marcia Smith, Vice Chair of the Door County Community Foundation. “The Community Foundation is pleased to support the purchase of this equipment, allowing Neighbor to Neighbor to assist those in need.”

2016-10-05-n-2-nFrom left to right, Ann Bennett, Executive Director of Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteer Caregivers and Marcia Smith, Vice Chair of the Door County Community Foundation.

Neighbor-to-Neighbor is a non-profit organization that comforts and assists people experiencing problems arising from conditions or limitations that lead to a deterioration in their quality of life.  Since 1981, Neighbor to Neighbor has offered four core programs:  Medical Equipment Loans facilitated through three medical equipment loan facilities located in Sturgeon Bay, Northern Door and Washington Island, Peer Companions, Respite Care, and the Lemonade Club which is a support group for cancer patients and survivors.

The many committed volunteers of Neighbor to Neighbor help to ensure that Door County residents have access to needed programs and services that saves their clients thousands of dollars annually and allows them to live at home independently and safely.

For more information about Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteer Caregivers, please visit www.neighbor-to-neighbor.org or call 920-743-7800.

The Door County Community Foundation’s Sustainability Grants program distributes grant dollars from funds such as the Arts Fund, Children & Youth Fund, Education Fund, Green Fund, Health & Human Needs Fund, Healthy Water Fund, Historic Preservation Fund, and the Women’s Fund.

For more information about the Community Foundation’s services and various grant programs, please visit www.GiveDoorCounty.org.

The Door County Community Foundation, Inc. is a collection of separate charitable funds set up by individuals, families, non-profit organizations, private foundations and businesses that are managed, invested and disbursed for the current and future good of Door County.  The Foundation was launched in 1999 and currently administers more than $17 million in charitable assets.

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Your Generosity is Our Sustainability

In the physical world, “sustainability” generally refers to the use of resources in such a way that does neither permanent harm to the environment, nor depletes its natural resources. It is a state of ecological balance in which society’s impact on the world does not exceed the ability of nature to regenerate itself.

While we might differ as to the environmental policies we choose, and often disagree vehemently about the impact of some of those policies, the overall goal of environmental sustainability just makes good old common sense. We should all want to achieve environmental sustainability. Our planet needs to be protected so that it will thrive for the sake of our children, grandchildren and the generations to follow.

The concept of sustainability has long been applied to the charitable world as well. Nonprofit sustainability traditionally refers to a charity’s ability to achieve a state of financial balance in which the revenue it expends to fulfill its mission does not exceed the revenue it generates.

This too is just common sense. A nonprofit organization needs to operate responsibly and modestly, scrutinizing expenses so that it can live within its budget. Like many donors, I want the charities I love to thrive so they can continue doing their important work for generations to come. Regrettably, the concept of nonprofit sustainability has become twisted and contorted into an idea that is placing problematic and often unrealistic expectations on our charities.

Unfortunately, too many donors and foundations have come to redefine nonprofit sustainability as the idea that charities should not become “dependent on funders.” On its surface, this sounds like an appropriate expectation for nonprofit organizations because it’s the same standard we reasonably use for many of the people in our lives. As parents we want our children to become independent of us. Hence we feed, clothe, and educate our kids until they are able to take care of themselves. As taxpayers, we want the poor and downtrodden to become independent of government assistance. So we invest in human service programs and job training so that they might be able to find a job and ultimately support themselves.

Thus, some donors and foundations argue that after giving to a charity over several years, the nonprofit organization should become “sustainable” in the sense that they are no longer dependent on their donation. The problem is that with few exceptions, there rarely is sufficient earned revenue generated by these charities to pay for their own operations. These are nonprofit organizations for an obvious reason – because there is no profit to be made. The vast majority of charities need to supplement their earned income (if any) with contributions from the donors and foundations of their community.

Think of it this way. Have you ever known a billionaire who made his or her money running a charity? I have yet to encounter the Sam Walton of domestic violence programs, the Bill Gates of animal shelters, or the Jeff Bezos of after-school programs for low-income kids.

It’s obvious that most human service organizations generate little if any earned revenue and thus are dependent on contributions, but this also applies to many charities that generate substantial revenue from ticket sales, fees or membership dues. Northern Sky Theater might be able to survive without charitable contributions, but to do so they would need to raise their ticket prices so high that only the wealthiest families could afford their shows. The Boys and Girls Club could keep its doors open without the community’s donations if it rebranded itself as the Boys and Girls Private Country Club and raised its annual membership fee from $10 to $10,000.

Insisting that nonprofit organizations cease being dependent on their donors is an unrealistic goal unless we are willing to accept that they should be open only to those who can afford to pay for the services they offer. Of course, if a charity existed solely to serve the wealthy, that would contradict their charitable mission in the first place.

Like too many words that have been usurped and perverted by our current political climate, the word “dependent” has taken on an exclusively negative connotation. That’s unfortunate because like most words, context is critical to meaning. The dictionary definition of dependent is “relying on someone or something else for aid or support.” That can be a problem if it’s a healthy adult who is dependent on a parent (or the government) because they refuse to work hard and pay their own way. However, there is nothing inherently negative about a charity being dependent on its family of donors. In fact, it can be a beautiful thing.

At the root of dependent is the word “depend.” That’s one of our most respected values and greatest compliments. When times are tough, you know you can depend on him. I highly recommend her – you can really depend on her. Dependable folks are the ones on which you can rely. These are the people you can truly trust.

In the traditional sense, the Door County Community Foundation is a completely sustainable nonprofit because we live within our means, operate modestly and balance our budget. Yet let me be the first to freely and openly admit that the charity for which I work is dependent on the kindness of people who love this community. Thankfully, we are blessed with countless admirable and amazing friends on whom we are able to depend every day.

The community foundation has distributed millions and millions of dollars to support charitable work on our little peninsula. An incredible number of Door County’s residents depend on the community foundation. But to be able to fulfill our charitable mission, the community foundation depends on the unselfish contributions of wonderful people like you. Your generosity is our sustainability.

 

This article originally appeared in the Peninsula Pulse.