Visionary Gift to FFE Endowment Completes Fundraising Goal
Published on November 06, 2023
The FFE Board was visibly and audibly moved at their Monday, October 30, 2023, meeting by an announcement by Executive Director Steve Brown of a new, $45 million visionary gift to the FFE endowment. "With this gift," Brown said, "We can be confident in FFE's permanence and sustainability for the benefit of Kalamazoo."
This new gift means that the FFE endowment fund will receive an additional gift of $45 million in the form of three, $15 million gifts per year for three consecutive years starting in 2024. These funds are to be invested into the FFE endowment without restrictions in order to continue fulfilling the mission of the FFE as established in its Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation of supporting the City and bringing Imagine Kalamazoo to life.
"The FFE endowment is set to provide at least $300 million in gtrant supports to the City over the next ten years (2024-2034)," said FFE Executive Director Steve Brown, "building on the $198 million already invested since FFE's founding in 2017."
FFE now has a proven, five-year record of honoring the original intent of the FFE and creating exceptional positive impact in partnership with the City of Kalamazoo and numerous local partners. The donor, although anonymous, expresses alongside City and FFE staff that the gift is because of a profound shared love for Kalamazoo and sense of duty to help residents live the lives they envision for themselves and their families.
"Residents of Kalamazoo and those seeking to move here for a great life and to invest in our community can rest assured that young people, businesses, affordable housing, infrastructure, and much more, are receiving historic investments to move Kalamazoo into a bright future for everyone. Because of FFE, taxes are 38% lower than in 2017 and municipal government is funded and vibrant. Although we have a lot of work to do to continually improve life for everyone in our community it is the best time to be in Kalamazoo in generations."
The FFE endowment works by investing donated gifts of all sizes to earn interest each year, allowing tens of millions of dollars to be granted to the City of Kalamazoo in support of City goals, in particular the Imagine Kalamazoo strategic vision. As of the most recent public investment reports, the FFE endowment was valued at approximately $205 million. With earnings on such large investment principal, the endowment is projected to reach more than $500 million by the year 2040.
The value of annual building permits issued in 2022 is $20 million above where it was nine years earlier in 2013, a 33% increase from $53 million to $72.5 million. Overall, 240% more building permits were issued in 2022 as in 2013 with 6,353 compared to 2,665 permits. This speaks to the fundamental positive trends of investment, development, and prosperity that continue to be both seen and felt in Kalamazoo because of the FFE.