Empowering City of Kalamazoo residents to achieve the lives they want for themselves and their families.
FFE supports the goals of the City of Kalamazoo, funds aspirational projects, and empowers Kalamazoo residents to achieve the lives they want for themselves and their families.
A municipality like Kalamazoo would traditionally navigate financial challenges by increasing taxes or cutting services. FFE was founded in 2017 as an innovative solution that will serve as a model for others.
FFE funds projects in youth programming, parks, infrastructure, career development, transportation, economic and business support, and housing that touch every neighborhood in Kalamazoo.
FFE's impact begins and ends with residents. Residents identify needs and FFE funds projects and partnerships to address those needs and advance the transformational goals of Imagine Kalamazoo 2025.
Published on November 01, 2022
The FFE Board and City Commission both voted unanimously to appoint FFE Manager Steve Brown as the foundation’s first Executive Director.
Published on October 06, 2022
If approved, the 2023 budget would continue the unprecedented level of investment in Kalamazoo's neighborhoods with an additional $24 million.
Published on August 12, 2022
The City of Kalamazoo is announcing a series of presentations to update the public on programs and projects funded by the Foundation for Excellence (FFE).
Make a gift of any size to support the work of the Foundation for Excellence.
Sign up for the City of Kalamazoo email list to stay up-to-date.
Join an upcoming neighborhood or FFE Board Meeting.
Imagine a vibrant, prosperous, and equitable city, where people want to live, work, and raise families. Imagine being a more beautiful and livable city each year, more innovative and connected. Imagine having more jobs, less poverty, and opportunities for young people to the jump-start the lives they want. Since 2017, FFE has invested nearly $150 million to make this vision possible. View the Power BI dashboard.
The 2017 decrease to 12 mills applied to all individuals and businesses that are subject to City...
These transformational investments include youth employment programs, neighborhood revitalization...
A stable city budget ensures that local government can deliver core services and plan for highly...
The Foundation for Excellence is an independent 501c3 organization created to address systemic challenges to the prosperity of the city and help make Kalamazoo the most dynamic, fulfilling and equitable place that it can be. Every year, the FFE provides funds to the City of Kalamazoo to stabilize its budget, lower the property tax rate, and invest in aspirational projects and programs. FFE is led by the diverse community members that sit on its Board of Directors and all investments are driven by the community's vision. The people of Kalamazoo have final authority through their elected representatives on the Kalamazoo City Commission.
"A lot of people tell me they don’t believe it until they see what's being done on that corner”
"Virtual Job Shadow was helpful because it showed me a wide variety of different careers I could do"
Jasmine Childress wants her passion for art and design to make a difference in her community.
The FFE bylaws establish a 15-member Board of Directors. Ten members are stakeholder directors, each representing a community interest like healthcare, education, or business. Five are City Directors, representing the City of Kalamazoo generally. These members include the Mayor, City Manager, two City Commissioners, and one At-Large representative from the city. Stakeholder and At-Large terms rotate every three years while City Directors serve for the duration of their employment or elected service. A significant initiative is undertaken to cultivate a Board that is largely representative of the community and that will add unique insights about every facet of Kalamazoo.
The FFE’s bylaws state that one-third of board positions expire each year, meaning there are opportunities annually for anyone in the community to participate. Board members are responsible for attending at least three meetings per year and contributing to the responsible and transparent operation of the foundation. There are no requirements on previous board membership or restrictions on who can apply, (though an overall percentage of city residents is required). Positions expire on June 30 each year and vacancies are announced along with application instructions in December.