Shelby Community Foundation merges with larger foundation

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published August 26, 2021

 The Shelby Community Foundation recently merged with the Four County Community Foundation. Nancy Bates, pictured, served on the Shelby Community Foundation’s board and is now a Four County Community Foundation trustee.

The Shelby Community Foundation recently merged with the Four County Community Foundation. Nancy Bates, pictured, served on the Shelby Community Foundation’s board and is now a Four County Community Foundation trustee.

Photo provided by Phil Foley

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — In the mid-1990s, Shelby Township residents came together to create the Shelby Community Foundation to support people and organizations in the township and county.

In the ensuing years, the foundation raised $1.7 million and gave out $658,000 in grants and another $132,000 to local residents and groups. Some of the giving has been going on this year.

“(Twelve thousand five hundred dollars) in scholarships were given this year to Shelby high school seniors, and $7,000 (was) just granted to Trinity Community Care to help with women’s care and to start a free dental clinic,” Linda Stout, the Shelby Community Foundation’s founder, stated in an email.

However, Stout was concerned about the foundation’s future as its board continued to age and new volunteers were not apparent. The solution approximately six months ago was to merge the foundation with the Four County Community Foundation in Almont. That foundation, formed in 1987, has served 18 townships in the area where Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair and Lapeer counties come together.

The Four County Community Foundation had $22 million in assets that it managed in 145 funds at the time of the merger. The Shelby Community foundation merged its $878,000 in 14 funds into the Four County Community Foundation. All 159 funds continue to benefit the communities for which they were created.

“From the beginning of our conversations about a merger, we have referred to our merger as a partnership. That terminology best describes it,” Kathy Dickens, the executive director of Four County Community Foundation, said in an email. “The purpose of each Shelby Township fund is being maintained just as they were conceived, to give back to the Shelby area. We welcome new funds from Shelby, as well! While the Shelby Foundation operated with 100% volunteers, Four County Community Foundation has three staff members, so there is always someone to answer a question or explore new giving opportunities! We hope to see the number of Shelby funds grow, helping to enrich the lives of Shelby residents.”

Stout reportedly investigated other foundations but determined that Four County Community Foundation was the largest and best managed. Stout and former Shelby Community Foundation board member Nancy Bates both now serve as trustees for the Four County Community Foundation.

“The Shelby Community Foundation has not gone away or disbanded. Our funds are still intact for the people of Shelby Township and being administered by the wonderfully professional Four County Community Foundation staff and hardworking Board of Directors. Nancy and I are honored to be elected to their board and look forward to a prosperous future for the foundation. Donations are always needed to help our ‘forever’ funds grow and work for our community. To donate, go to the website: 4ccf.org,” Stout said.

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