October 2016 - Now, more than ever before, the M&M Area Community Foundation is meeting benchmarks and new standards. Under the leadership of Paula Gruszynski, Executive Director, as well as a broad group of community leaders and supporters, the foundation is meeting expectations not only in the community, but nationally.
“We are proud to announce our recertification from the National Standards Board,” said Gruszynski. “This is a big deal. It means that we not only have integrity with our fundraising and giving, but it means that we are exceeding national standards.”
National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations establishes legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere. The process of earning National Standards accreditation is arduous. The program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grant making, and administration. The documentation was reviewed by a community foundation expert from a panel appointed by the Community Foundations National Standards Board, a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations.
“In short – it means our house is in order,” said Gruszynski.
Since Gruszynski assumed the lead position with the foundation, funds have grown and giving back to the communities has expanded. Ask any past or present board member and they will tell you Gruszynski is passionate, hands on, and effective. As is often said of Gruszynski “she gets things done and is centrally focused on helping others,” says Board member Todd Schloegel.
The renewed energy within the M&M Area Community Foundation has inspired its new look, new mission and expanded goals.
“In order to cultivate a culture of community we established additional goals along with a coordinated brand which better compliments our broader mission of inspiring legacies and enriching communities,” states Dan Ward, Board member and Chair of the Marketing and P.R. Committee.
While enthusiastically moving forward, it is important to look back to our roots and where we began. The history of the foundation is unique in that it began in one state and expanded into another. Created back in the early 1990’s by Dave Higley, Wes Hoffman, Roger Derusha, Randy Neelis, Don Gehrke, Mary Staudenmaier, Katie Jones, John Reinke, John Seaborg and Matt Minor, it was strictly a Menominee county organization. It quickly transitioned into a two county, two state foundation extending its impact considerably. Since it began, it has had many faces and a rich history of leadership which is still called upon for relationship building and historical guidance.
“Recent participation in a MMACF roundtable discussion further reinforced my strong belief in the mission and direction of the M&M Area Community Foundation,” says founding member, Dave Higley.
The foundation’s history reflects great involvement in a variety of nonprofit organizations and the trend proudly continues. Current projects supported by the foundation include the new Community Sports and Event Center building fund project. “The M&M Area Community Foundation has been a valuable partner in the execution of the highly anticipated Community Sports and Event Center. We are pleased to be able to partner with them to benefit our communities,” said Marinette Mayor Steve Genisot.
“We would not be able to carry out the foundation’s mission without the involvement and support of our donor’s, supporters and volunteers, so these truly are community projects,” stated Gruszynski.
Those interested in learning more about the foundation or volunteering for upcoming activities should contact the M&M Area Community Foundation at 906-864-3599.