We join our friends over at 98.3 The Coast weekly to discuss what's happening in and through the Berrien Community Foundation. Check back each week for BCF interviews listed here.
⮞Serving Kids Through Big Ideas
⮞Backpacks For Good
⮞Big Idea Grows Relationships
⮞The Ins and Outs
⮞Deputy Grant Funds Refreshing Project
⮞The Heart of Cook
⮞What Goes Around Comes Around
⮞Jobs For Life
⮞Deadlines Springing Up At BCF
⮞Sisters from Another Mother
⮞Alamar Grant Apps Due Soon!
⮞Spring Has Sprung at BCF
⮞Bonnie Benson Day!
⮞For The Kids
⮞What's Your Big Idea?
⮞A "Herstory" of Giving
⮞Helping the Environment Through Grants
⮞Love Your Shelter
⮞Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy
⮞Crock Pots Rock!
⮞The Million Dollar History of the Heart of Cook
⮞In Memory - Patrick Freehling Memorial Scholarship
⮞In Memory - Jean M. Heisner Medical Technician Scholarship
⮞Unified Civic Monuments Fund
⮞Scholarship Season Begins at BCF
⮞70 Years Serving Berrien County
⮞For Good Locally
⮞Caring For Tri-County Nonprofits
⮞Wonderland Toy Store
⮞Confetti Cannons + Grants
⮞Celebration On The Station
⮞Learning From One Another
⮞Volunteers Needed: Senior Care Kits
⮞Band Scholarship Takes Center Field
⮞The Sweet Sound of For Good Grants
⮞Bettering the Community Through Partnerships
⮞From Point A to Point B
⮞Growing A Beach
⮞CASA For Good
⮞Smashing Hits All Around
⮞A Little Bit of Everything
⮞Act 2 of the Arts Challenge
⮞Backpacks For Good
⮞Deputy Grant Sets Sail to Improvements in Harbor Country
⮞Expanding Their Reach For Good
⮞Record-Setting Scholarship Season
⮞For the Community, By the Community
⮞Backpacks, Grantmaking, TEAM, Oh My!
⮞Granting Teachers' Wishes
⮞Calling All Colors
⮞Reimagining + Moving Forward
⮞Loving Your Community Well
⮞Bringing Minds Together to Accomplish More
⮞Leaving Your Legacy
⮞Helping You Help Your Employees
⮞Give Where You Live
⮞Reducing Harm for the Betterment of Berrien County
⮞Banding Together to Bring Broadband Home
⮞Putting the "C" in BCF
⮞Guess What's Due This Week?
⮞Help4Her is Help For All
⮞What's Your Big Idea?
⮞Grants That Make the Earth a Little Greener
⮞Need - Meet Resource, Resource - Meet Need
⮞BCF + HoC = BFFs
⮞Youth Helping Youth
⮞Scholarships Available for Students
⮞Need a Grant? We Got 'Em!
⮞BCF Partnerships Provide SWMI CARES Emergency Fund
⮞Teens Serving Other Teens for the Holidays
⮞BCF Volunteers Serve Our Seniors
⮞Soup Cans & Legacy Giving
⮞Need a Scholarship? We Got 'Em!
⮞BCF Arts Challenge
⮞Calling All Volunteers!
⮞BCF Loves Community Members
⮞BCF Serves Community Amidst the Pandemic
⮞BCF At The Drive-In
A Slice of BCF - Podcasts
July 27, 2022
Serving Kids Through Big Idea Grant
Harbor Impact Foundation is the recipient of the $50,000 Frederick S. Upton Foundation Big Idea Grant. The nonprofit will use the funds to help build a sports complex to bring young people together.
July 20, 2022
Backpacks For Good
Summer can be an expensive time for families. That's one of the reasons we offer Backpacks For Good - a school readiness event that gives away free backpacks and school supplies to students who attend Niles, Brandywine, Coloma, Watervliet or Hagar #6 students (regardless of the zip code in which they live) and students who live in the 49022 zip code (regardless of the school they attend).
July 15, 2022
Big Idea Grows Relationships
The winner of the Frederick S. Upton Big Idea Grant is growing relationships between Benton Harbor residents through a community garden. The Big Idea Grant is awarding $25,000 to the Benton Harbor Community Development Corporation for their Flourish Community Garden project.
July 6, 2022
The Ins and Outs
Ever wondered was BCF is, in a nutshell? BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey discusses the many aspects of what the community foundation is and does for the community.
June 29, 2022
Deputy Grant Funds Refreshing Project
Berrien Community Foundation announces New Buffalo Recreational Authority as the 2022 winner of the William J. Deputy Grant. The winning project takes aim at quenching the thirst of the thousands of people who enjoy New Buffalo’s many recreational outlets.
June 15, 2022
The Heart of Cook
Every year, the Heart of Cook Foundation awards thousands of dollars in grants to local nonprofits. Cook Nuclear Plant Communication Manager Bill Downey joins us to chat about the recent awards recognition event and how people can apply for next year's cycle.
June 8, 2022
What makes T.E.A.M. so great? Senior Jack Jollay talks about his experience on T.E.A.M. (Teens Exhibiting Able Minds) these past four years.
June 1, 2022
A garden party as a fundraiser? Yes, please! Former BCF Executive Director Margaret Poole joins us to talk about the self-guided garden tour the Pooles will host this weekend.
May 25, 2022
What Goes Around Comes Around
The Silver Beach Carousel Society celebrates 25 years of bringing back the magic that was once at Silver Beach Amusement Park. Carousel society president Suz Shalon talks about the history of the carousel at Silver Beach ahead of a showing of the WNIT documentary.
May 18, 2022
Jobs For Life
Mosaic CCDA Executive Director Andrew Robinson said, "They (BCF) are key partners in the transformation that takes place in this city." Mosaic has received a number of our For Good Grants for their programs. Today, BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey talks with Andrew about them, including Jobs For Life.
May 11, 2022
Deadlines Springing Up At BCF
BCF Program Director Susan Matheny talks about the spring deadlines coming up at the Foundation - Golden Acorn Classroom Mini Grants, Stephen E. Upton Love Your Community Grant, William J. Deputy Grant, Frederick S. Upton grants and Carolyn's Kids.
May 4, 2022
Sisters from Another Mother
We are partnering with local nonprofits to address vaccine hesitancy in the Black and Latinx communities. We talk with Diane from Sisters from Another Mother about how they're addressing questions and helping residents make informed decisions about numerous different vaccines.
April 27, 2022
Alamar Grant Apps Due Soon!
One of the biggest things BCF does is help nonprofits across Berrien County. The Alamar Grant (deadline is April 29) is awarded to nonprofits to help them with sustainability. Apply at www.berriencommunity.org/alamar.
April 13, 2022
Spring Has Sprung at BCF
Spring is a very welcomed time of year. And with spring comes many grant deadlines (and activities) here at BCF: Alamar, Deputy, Big Idea, Carolyn's Kids, etc!
April 6, 2022
Bonnie Benson Day!
Bonnie Benson Day - a day of distributing monetary gifts Bonnie Benson left behind - caught some nonprofits by surprise. One being the Cora Lamping Center, who is featured on this podcast.
March 30, 2022
For The Kids
Carolyn Hanson is passionate about helping kids and she does what it takes to help kids make it. Carolyn's Kids is a reflection of her love of kids and belief that strengthening kids is crucial to our community and future of our world.
March 23, 2022
What's Your Big Idea?
We chat with a previous Big Idea grant winner about how they were able to open a satellite location to serve more kids in the Benton Harbor area.
March 16, 2022
A "Herstory" of Giving
In honor of Women's History Month, Lisa Cripps-Downey shares stories of women from Berrien County who established scholarships with the Berrien Community Foundation.
March 9, 2022
Helping the Environment Through Grants
Heart of Cook Earth Day Grants are awarded to projects that are environmentally-minded. BCF Program Director Susan Matheny talks with last year's winner about the project.
March 2, 2022
Love Your Shelter
The Berrien Community Foundation, Hanson Family Foundation, Frederick S. Upton Foundation and Felland Fund are pooling their resources to create a $4 to $1 matching grant to help Emergency Shelter Services raise much-needed money for shelter repairs.
February 23, 2022
Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy
BCF recently secured a grant to talk about vaccines in Black and Latinx communities. To view the grant and details, visit www.berriencommunity.org/vaccinegrant.
February 16, 2022
Crock Pots Rock!
Hope Resources is teaching Coloma-area residents how to cook healthy meals via slow cookers when time and money are short.
February 9, 2022
The Million Dollar History of the Heart of Cook
The Heart of Cook Foundation topped $1 Million in giving last year, and they expect to add onto that number when they award the 2022 Heart of Cook Grants! Deadline to apply is February 14!
February 2, 2022
In Memory - Patrick Freehling Memorial Scholarship
Teri Freehling joins BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey to chat about the new scholarship she and her daughters created in memory of her husband, Pat, to honor his life and legacy.
January 26, 2022
In Memory - Jean M. Heisner Medical Technician Scholarship
Many scholarships are started through BCF to honor a late loved one. That's the case for the Jean M. Heisner Medical Technician Scholarship. We chat with Mark and Jean Penwell to hear about the "who" and "why" behind the scholarship.
January 19, 2022
Unified Civic Monuments Fund
The UNIFIED Civic Monuments Movement is an initiative to commemorate social justice and honor the historic legacies of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, Michigan. The project proposes to publicly place a total of 4 monuments by 2022. Two complementary monuments, one in each city, would represent recognized civil rights leader Martin Luther King. Two additional monuments, unique to each city, would honor a historic figure specific to that city. The Berrien Community Foundation made a $10,000 grant for this project in our last round of For Good Grants.
January 12, 2022
Scholarship Season Begins at BCF
Scholarship applications are now available for download at www.berriencommunity.org/scholar. Three new scholarships have been awarded for the 2022 season, with more than 70 scholarships to be awarded.
January 5, 2022
70 Years Serving Berrien County
What's the history of BCF? Why were community foundations started in the first place? This podcast answers those questions!
December 29, 2021
For Good Locally
Twice a year, dozens of For Good Grants go out to local nonprofits to help them operate and perform special projects. We recently nnounced the Fall 2021 winners.
December 22, 2021
We are talking about the importance of year-end giving, and why local nonprofits need it now more than ever.
December 15, 2021
Caring For Tri-County Nonprofits
The Southwest Michigan Cares Fund exists to help nonprofits in Berrien, Cass or Van Buren counties with their operating expenses in light of incurred costs or lost revenue due to COVID-19. Listen as we explain what it is and how it can help. Nonprofits may apply by visiting www.southwestmichigancares.org.
December 8, 2021
Wonderland Toy Store
We have Constance from Mosaic CCDA talking about their Wonderland Toy Store that affords parents, who may be struggling financially, the opportunity to purchase Christmas presents for their kids at a fraction of the cost. BCF has been a toy drop-off site!
December 1, 2021
Single bedroom homes is a need teens from St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church saw when they were looking into ways to give back. The church received a For Good Grant to help, and through the effort of many volunteers and companies, the tiny house is complete!
November 24, 2021
Confetti Cannons + Grants
We recap what exactly happened during our Annual Celebration and who won the Alamar Nonprofit Sustainability Grant, Stephen E. Upton Love Your Community Grant, and the Golden Acorn Volunteer Recognition Award and Award For Excellence!
November 17, 2021
Celebration On The Station
BCF transformed its Annual Meeting into a radio takeover! All day on 98.3 The Coast and 94.9 WSJM BCF will be breaking in to surprise unsuspecting award and grant winners!
November 10, 2021
Learning From One Another
We all have something we can learn and we all have something we can teach. That's why the Women's Giving Circle at BCF put together programming to encourage women to be mentors to one another. That programming was one of the markers on Brianna Hayslip's journey to turn her life around.
November 3, 2021
Volunteers Needed: Senior Care Kits
Nearly 800 Senior Care Kits will be assembled this year, and we need YOU! Hear about how one of BCF's largest events happens.
October 27, 2021
Band Scholarship Takes Center Field
Rodney Weir began the Rodney Weir Marching Band Scholarship to encourage students to pursue a role in marching band while attending college despite their chosen major. Weir excelled as the drum major for the University of Michigan Marching Band.
October 20, 2021
The Sweet Sound of For Good Grants
Getting word that your organization received a For Good Grant is a great news. For the crew at Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, grants from BCF meant they could continue to operate after a year with no concerts.
October 13, 2021
Bettering the Community Through Partnerships
Partnerships like the one with Mosaic improve the community by connecting resources to the needs locally. Listen as we discuss our collaboration with them and the recent expansion of the Mosaic thrift store.
October 6, 2021
Want to get involved? BCF is a community foundation that is powered by the community. Volunteers are the heart of grant decisions, direction and so much of what we do.
September 29, 2021
From Point A to Point B
Friends of Berrien County Trails recently received a For Good Grant from Berrien Community Foundation. This podcast talks about the dreams and goals of having more interconnected trails throughout Southwest Michigan.
September 22, 2021
Growing A Beach
Cherry Beach in Chikaming Township grew from 253 feet of shoreline to 657 feet this year thanks to the effort of volunteers in securing funding to turn a portion of private lakefront property public. More than 800 donors from 27 states donated to acquire this parcel. BCF awarded a For Good Grant and acted as the fiscal agent for the project.
September 15, 2021
Program Manager Susan Matheny is joined by T.E.A.M. member Molly McVay from St. Joseph to chat about Teens Exhibiting Able Minds, and how high school students in Berrien County can join. Get details at berriencommunity.org/TEAM.
September 8, 2021
CASA For Good
Jamie Brooks of CASA talks about how a For Good Grant is helping the Court Appointed Special Advocates sustain and grow to help children across Berrien County.
September 1, 2021
Smashing Hits All Around
The Arts Challenge, Backpacks For Good and school supply drives were all smashing hits! We exceeded the Arts Challenge goal, more backpacks were given away than ever before and there was an overwhelming response to the school supply drives!
August 25, 2021
A Little Bit of Everything
This week we discuss a little bit of everything — available grants and their deadlines, scholarships, and how to connect about volunteering opportunities!
August 4, 2021
Act 2 of the Arts Challenge
The show isn't over for the Berrien Community Foundation Arts Challenge. A small group of donors has issued a match challenge for $60,000 that will help nine local nonprofit arts organizations continue to stay afloat as they re-open and start back up. BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey is joined by Water Street Glassworks Executive Director Lynne Clayton.
July 28, 2021
Backpacks For Good
When education is excellent and available, communities improve. That reasoning and to also help offset costs of school supplies is why BCF is offering Backpacks For Good. BCF Program Manager Susan Matheny talks about the school readiness event.
July 21, 2021
Deputy Grant Sets Sail to Improvements in Harbor Country
Philanthropist Bill Deputy loved Harbor Country, and always made sure to give back. This year, two communities received funding thanks to the William J. Deputy Grant to help visitors rest and take in the sights along the waterfront communities, and provide banners in Union Pier.
July 14, 2021
Expanding Their Reach For Good
Susan Matheny from Berrien Community Foundation and Lyndon Azcuna from LifePlan talk about the For Good Grants programs at Berrien Community Foundation, and how LifePlan is using their grant to do outreach in local housing communities in Niles.
July 7, 2021
With a goal of placing four monuments by 2022 in St. Joe and Benton Harbor to promote unity, BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey, Tami from the Krasl Art Center as well as Mack & Sharon Brown of the African American History & Literature Gallery gather to discuss the new United Civic Monuments Fund.
June 30, 2021
Record-Setting Scholarship Season
It's a beautiful day to talk about how nearly $300,000 was awarded this year through scholarships at BCF. Not only was 2021 a record-setting year in the total dollar amount awarded, but also in the portion of scholarships that went to students in the northern part of the county. Scholarship winner and recent Watervliet graduate Grace Weckwerth joins BCF Program Manager Susan Matheny to talk about the importance of scholarships and how they help local students succeed in their college careers.
June 23, 2021
For the Community, By the Community
What is a community foundation? Who is it for and who can contribute? BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey is joined by BCF Board Chair Bob Harrison to talk about how the Berrien Community Foundation is for the community and owned by the community.
June 16, 2021
Backpacks, Grantmaking, TEAM, Oh My!
The Foundation does not slow down just because it's summer. BCF Program Manager Susan Matheny and BCF intern Noah Hayden talk about the happenings around BCF in the summer months, including backpack giveaways, grantmaking and recruitment for TEAM (Teens Exhibiting Able Minds).
June 9, 2021
Furthering education is at the heart of scholarships. The Willging-Reed Summer Music Scholarship supports students seeking additional training and education at summer music camps where they can pick up high-quality experiences. The scholarship's co-founder, Steven Reed, joins BCF President Lisa Cripps Downey to discuss the newer scholarship.
June 2, 2021
Granting Teachers' Wishes
To help teachers be creative and make fun projects happen in their classrooms, BCF created the Golden Acorn Classroom Mini Grant. Berrien County teachers can apply to the $500 grant, which is offered twice per year. BCF Program Manager Susan Matheny talks about the grants and is joined by Eau Claire teacher Emily to talk about her funded project, Jump rope for the Heart. Upcoming deadline is June 15 for the final 2021 grant; Apply today!
May 26, 2021
Calling All Colors
Calling All Colors aims to bring children from both sides of the river together to form friendships. Calling All Colors' Kortney Moore joins BCF Program Manager Susan Matheny to discuss the good happening through BCF's For Good Grants.
May 19, 2021
With the support of a For Good Grant, the folks at St. Joe Today are able to offer community events this summer in their Love Local series. Executive director Amy Zapal gives a preview of the initiative and discusses how easy it was to apply for grants at BCF. Berrien Community Foundation President Lisa Cripps-Downey talks about the good For Good Grants do across Berrien County.
May 12, 2021
Reimagining + Moving Forward
Some of the recipients of this cycle's For Good and For Ever Operational Sustainability Grants have something in common: Reimagination. Specifically, reimagination of programs and projects as the nonprofits return to a more normal day-to-day life as a business. BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey is joined by Laura Jolly from The Acorn as they talk about how their For Good Grant will help transform the theater's backyard into a music venue.
May 5, 2021
Loving Your Community Well
Stephen E. Upton has a common saying that sounds like, "There's no problem we can't solve if we just love enough." This is the motivator and heart behind the Stephen E. Upton Love Your Community Grant that awards $50,000 to a nonprofit. To see who and what qualifies, visit www.berriencommunity.org/lovecommunity. Letters of intent are due June 1.
April 28, 2021
Bringing Minds Together to Accomplish More
What started out as funding requests for summer projects snowballed into a great collaboration effort to benefit Benton Harbor kids year-round. BCF can help get projects off the ground by connecting needs with resources.
April 21, 2021
Leaving Your Legacy
What's the legacy you'll leave behind? Bill Deputy left a legacy fostering growth in the Harbor Country region of Berrien County. BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey tells his story and how you can create a legacy supporting what your love through the Berrien Community Foundation, too.
April 14, 2021
Helping You Help Your Employees
$75K can go a long way in helping a nonprofit create sustainable ways to take care of their employees - and that's the purpose of the Alamar Nonprofit Sustainability Grant. Neighbor By Neighbor Program Manager Linnea Berg joins BCF's Program Manager Susan Matheny in talking about how the grant serves nonprofits.
April 7, 2021
Give Where You Live
While "fields of interest funds" may spark ideas of programs or activities, these areas of interests can also be your community in the city you live. BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey and Berrien Springs Area Endowment Fund chairman Dick Bartz discuss how their funds have helped a plethora of organizations in the Berrien Springs community.
March 31, 2021
Reducing Harm for the Betterment of Berrien County
BCF Focuses on helping resources meet needs in our community. We do this with Grants, scholarships, donor advised funds, etc., but we also keep our eyes out for opportunities to bring resources to our community from outside sources. The recently received $60,000 grant from the Community Foundation of S.E. Michigan is a prime example of this effort.
March 24, 2021
Lisa Cripps-Downey from the Berrien Community Foundation & Bob Rowe of Renaissance Enterprises talk about grantmaking at BCF and their Senior Empowerment Endowment fund. Donations can be earmarked for funds specific to causes, such as senior citizen life enrichment.
March 17, 2021
Banding Together to Bring Broadband Home
Berrien County Commissioner Teri Freehling joins BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey to discuss why it’s important for residents to fill out the broadband internet survey as they figure out where to send resources to bolster internet connections.
March 10, 2021
Putting the "C" in BCF
Volunteers from the community are at the heart of BCF, as they help us review projects and make decisions. Listen to Cortez' experience volunteering with the Berrien Community Foundation, and how you can get involved, too!
March 3, 2021
Guess What's Due This Week?
Previous scholarship winner Noah Hayden recalls how his BCF scholarship has helped him succeed in his educational goals. Deadline to submit scholarship applications is Friday, March 5, 2021.
Feb. 24, 2021
Help4Her is Help For All
BCF Manager Susan Matheny discusses the benefits of Help4Her and how it can help connect people experiencing a need to Berrien County organizations.
Feb. 17, 2021
What's Your Big Idea?
BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey is joined by Jeff Upton of the Frederick S. Upton Foundation to talk about how the foundation's vision in 1954 remains the same today.
Feb. 10, 2021
Grants That Make the Earth a Little Greener
BCF Program Manager Susan Matheny and Bill Downey from the Heart of Cook Foundation come back to chat about the new Heart of Cook Foundation's Earth Day Grant.
Feb. 3, 2021
Need - Meet Resource, Resource - Meet Need
When BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey got a call seeking funding to build desks for students who needed them, she knew who to call because BCF connects resources to needs in our community.
Jan. 27, 2021
BCF + HoC = BFFs
BCF Program Manager is joined by her friend Bill Downey from the Heart of Cook Foundation to talk all things Heart of Cook Foundation Grants.
Jan. 20, 2021
Youth Helping Youth
BCF youth advisory committee makes For Good Grants to other youth projects in Berrien County.
Jan. 13, 2021
Scholarships Available for Students
Each scholarship program has a story. Zach recalls the scholarship set up in memory of his brother, David A. Hicks.
Jan. 6, 2021
Need a Grant? We Got 'Em!
BCF Program Manager Susan Matheny talks about all the different grant available at the Foundation.
Dec. 23, 2020
BCF Partnerships Provide SWMI CARES Emergency Fund
Emergency CARES Fund surpasses $1 million raised that’ll be given to local nonprofits in light of pandemic closures and shutdowns.
Dec. 16, 2020
Teens Serving Other Teens for the Holidays
BCF TEAM - the youth advisory committee - talk about serving other teens from CASA.
Dec. 2, 2020
BCF Volunteers Serve Our Seniors
Once again volunteers signed up to do a special version of Senior Care Kits.
Nov. 25, 2020
Soup Cans & Legacy Giving
BCF President Lisa Cripps-Downey talks end-of-life giving.
Nov. 18, 2020
Need a Scholarship? We Got 'Em!
Over 40 different scholarships are available to students who are pursuing their education dreams – adults returning to college, fresh-out-of-high-school students and those who are pursuing the skilled trades.
Nov. 11, 2020
BCF Arts Challenge
Arts Challenge far surpasses goal thanks to community support.
Nov. 4, 2020
Calling All Volunteers!
BCF seeks volunteers for Senior Care Kit assembly.
Oct. 28, 2020
BCF Loves Community Members
Golden Acorn Excellence Awards are given community members and agencies that are doing amazing work in our area. Meals on Wheels’ Linda Strohl, an award recipient, recalls the uptick of need during the pandemic.
Oct. 21, 2020
BCF Serves Community Amidst the Pandemic
BCF’s For Ever Grants support organizations in keeping their lights when fundraising events are put on hold due to shutdowns. CARES Fund aids basic needs.
Oct. 14, 2020
BCF At The Drive-In
BCF moves the Annual Meeting outdoors to recap the year and announce grant winners.