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Caring for Michigan's Communities: Consumers Energy Contributes More Than $8 Million to State's Nonprofit Organizations in 2013

JACKSON, Mich., Feb. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan nonprofit organizations received more than $8 million in contributions in 2013 from Consumers Energy, its employees, retirees, its Foundation and the utility's parent company, CMS Energy.

"In this extremely cold winter and all year, we work to fulfill our Promise to care for the communities we serve," said David Mengebier, Consumers Energy's senior vice president of governmental and public affairs and president of the Consumers Energy Foundation.

"Helping Michigan residents in need today creates opportunities for our state's future and supports the strategic work being done by many nonprofit organizations."

Three million dollars of the contributions in 2013 went to organizations that provide direct energy assistance to those in need, including The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), $1.5 million; TrueNorth Community Services, $1 million; and The Salvation Army, $500,000.

The United Way also received significant support, with $1.7 million going to 58 local United Way organizations. Of that amount, $1.1 million was contributed by employees and retirees.

Other highlights of Consumers Energy's contributions in 2013:

  • $2.7 million to support 994 projects, focusing on education, social welfare, community, civic and cultural development and the environment. 
  • $1 million to early childhood initiatives and basic needs programs from a CMS Energy donor-advised fund. Those grants included a $200,000 grant for Michigan 2-1-1, providing local matching funds to maintain the service in communities across the state. 
  • $221,225 to 430 nonprofit organizations on behalf of 531 employees and retirees through the Volunteer Investment Program (VIP). Organizations supported by employees and retirees with volunteer time may receive grants of $100 to $500 or more through this program.
  • $11,250 to 45 nonprofit organizations on behalf of 697 employees through the Caring for Community grant program.  This is a new program recognizing the efforts of teams of employees volunteering for a nonprofit organization or event. 
  • $110,217 of the foundation's Matching Gifts program was utilized to match employee and retiree donations for 28 higher education institutions, 15 community foundations, and 65 food banks, food pantries, and homeless shelters across the state.

"What is striking is the diversity of ways in which our employees and retirees contributed to communities throughout Michigan. Our combined efforts make a difference in communities in which our employees live, work and play," Mengebier said.

Notable 2013 grants included:

  • $200,000 to Michigan State University's College of Engineering to support its residential experience program for engineering students
  • $100,000 to the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan to support the Michigan Economic Impact Coalition to promote, support and build capacity for free income tax preparation services to financially vulnerable families, individuals and children in the state
  • $100,000 to the Grand Action Foundation for construction of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market
  • $50,000 to the Nature Conservancy – Michigan Chapter for an aquatic invasive species initiative that will benefit Michigan and all Great Lakes communities
  • $50,000 to Munson Healthcare Regional Foundation for the re-routing and restoration of Kids Creek in Traverse City
  • $50,000 to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan supporting renovations of a warehouse facility in Flint
  • $50,000 to Goodwill Industries of Southwest Michigan in Kalamazoo to support its Read & Seed Family Literacy Program
  • $50,000 to Saginaw Valley State University for its 50th anniversary, with grants for a new sculpture garden at the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum and engineering programs supporting Great Lakes Bay area students.
  • $50,000 to Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills for its "Young Scientists" program that provides science, technology, engineering and math experiences for students in the Flint Community Schools
  • $50,000 to the Community Foundation for Muskegon County to support construction of a Muskegon Farmers Market in the downtown area
  • $50,000 to the Michigan 4-H Foundation to support improvements at the organization's Kettunen Center in Tustin

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy.  It provides funding for a variety of areas including education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment, and emerging issues.  For more information about the foundation, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, visit us at www.ConsumersEnergy.com or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan.

SOURCE Consumers Energy

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