MiBiz presented its fourth annual Best-Managed Nonprofit Awards at a luncheon at the Goie Center in Grand Rapids on Jan. 24. MiBiz received a record number of nominations for this year’s awards, which were solicited in three organizational categories separated by annual revenues and one honoring professional achievement.
One of the things that most impressed the judges about the work of Extended Grace is the way they formed Just Goods to provide an alternative funding stream to the work of the nonprofit. Every purchase of a fair trade item or cup of coffee goes directly to supporting Extended Grace’s mission to build community while solving solutions. The same is true of the Cultural Immersion Experiences that Extended Grace offers through Just Goods to Kenya, China/Tibet, Egypt and Honduras.
Just Goods is housed within the Momentum Center for Social Engagement in Grand Haven, a social and recreational program for people with mental illness, additions and disabilities. Through interaction at Just Goods, there is an opportunity for growing understanding and reducing the stigma so often associated with these struggles. Both are located at 714 Columbus Ave.
MiBiz also noted the proactive stance Extended Grace takes in organization and hosting respectful community conversations on socially relevant topics like the recent Inspire! event on racism and the upcoming town hall meeting on sexual assault. Other management best practices included grassroots outreach to identify programs and barriers by those experiencing them, then building collaborative networks to address those problems and barriers — being accountable but also allowing for organic change to occur.
Extended Grace Executive Director Barbara Lee VanHorssen accepted the award at the luncheon. Also attending were co-founder Leif VanHorssen, President Leijhl Koval, Vice President/Secretary Shelbee Axsom, board member John Gork and Just Goods Manager Cali Caluza. Other board members include Treasurer Lindsay Hartman, the Rev. Dan Anderson, Sara Barco and David Lewis.
The Lakeshore was well represented at the MiBiz luncheon. Read Muskegon, the Center for Women in Transition and the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation were all finalists in their respective categories.