Donors make all the difference
Our work would not be possible without the generosity of our donors — people like you, deeply invested in the community, demonstrating their commitment through philanthropy.
Take a look at our donors’ stories. They’re your friends, your co-workers, you neighbors. Won’t you join us? Together, we’re changing lives.
A modest life yields a monumental gift
What does Cleon Mingus, a retired auto worker who lived most of his life in a small home near Lansing, Mich., have in common with Andrew Carnegie, W.K. Kellogg and S.S. Kresge?
They were all philanthropists who left behind a lasting legacy that will benefit future generations in perpetuity.
Cleon died on May 30, 2008, leaving the bulk of his estate — more than $500,000 — to our Community Foundation. Having no children and outliving his wife and siblings, he asked his financial advisor to help him make sure his estate would benefit the community he cared about.
So what has Cleon’s generosity accomplished?
It established the Cleon Mingus Fund, a permanent endowment, where his gift will be invested with other Community Foundation endowments and annually distribute approximately $25,000 to charities in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties.
What can a gift like Cleon’s do?
Grants from Cleon’s fund meet a variety of community needs, including feeding seniors healthy lunches, supplying building materials for Habitat houses, and providing hospice care, access to art and recreational activities. They can provide support for foster children or beds for the homeless — all this and so much more is possible with your generosity.
Consider your legacy and take a look at giving at our Community Foundation.
Meet our donors
Generosity takes many forms and wears many faces. Take a look at the faces of philanthropy at our Community Foundation.
Sara A. Ballard
The Sara A. Ballard Volunteerism Fund grants scholarships to people attending the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, as well as schools in Washington and Michigan that undertake a “day of caring” project. It was established in honor of Sara A. Ballard by her parents after her passing in 2011.
Read more about the Sara A. Ballard Volunteerism Fund
David Cutler has fond memories of growing up in DeWitt in the 1950s. Those fond memories, couple with the success Cutler has had as the key technical brain behind the Microsoft Windows operating system, has enabled him to give back to the community he loves. In 2013, Cutler established the David Cutler Endowed Scholarship Fund with a gift of $310,000.
Read more about the David Cutler Endowed Scholarship Fund
Michael and Deborah Harrison
Former Ingham County Circuit Judge Michael Harrison and his wife, Deborah Harrison, a longtime community volunteer, are enthusiastic about the importance of giving back — whether it’s time, talent or treasure.
Read more about the Jean D. Harrison Charitable Fund
Richard D. Letts
“If it is to be done, it will be done by me.”
Those words, spoken by Richard ‘Dick’ Letts, became the title of a documentary about the man affectionately known as “Mr. Lansing.”
They were the words he lived his life by. And they are his legacy and his call to action.
Read more about the Richard D. Letts Fund
Frank and Pattie Reynolds
Frank and Pattie Reynolds know our Community Foundation well. Pattie was the president from 1995 to 2002. Frank, a criminal defense attorney, has spent many years serving on local nonprofit boards and seeing the needs and challenges of the community first-hand in the courtroom. So when it came time for them to think about the legacy they wanted to leave, they knew exactly what to do: establish a donor-advised fund with the Community Foundation.
Read about the Frank H. and Patricia A. Reynolds Fund
Heather Spielmaker has spent her life supporting people. Whether she was working late-night shifts at a video store so she could make enough money to take care of herself and her young son or offering financial assistance to her two sisters who are also single mothers, her role in life is clear.
Read more about the Heather Spielmaker Testamentary Fund