2016 Annual Report
A year in review
Mary Frey Bennett
Some might say that philanthropy and community service are part of being a Frey. It is something that my siblings, cousins and I have observed of our grandparents and parents throughout our lives. The drive to make the places we love—the places that we call home—strong and vibrant is a core to our identity.
After dedicating my career to the nonprofit sector and serving as a Frey Foundation trustee for the past four years, I was honored to become the Foundation’s chair at the start of 2017. I am thrilled to serve in this capacity. I am also grateful for the thought and intention my father and his siblings put into preparing my generation for the significant opportunity and responsibility to lead our family’s foundation.
Today, our multigenerational board shares a commitment to embracing our differences and learning together. Our parents’ generation has long-standing relationships in the communities we serve and a proven track record of forging successful collaborations. Members of my generation bring a new set of experiences, relationships, perspectives and ideas to the table.
I often reflect on how much philanthropy has evolved over the decades. It used to be that funders saw a community need and responded to it. Grant applications were reviewed and decisions were based on whether a project could—and would—simply get done.
Today, we have grantmaking priorities, access to an incredible amount of data and strong community collaborations. Equipped with these resources, we are digging deeper into complex community issues and making grants that are smarter, more sustainable and impactful than ever before. It is an exciting time to be in this field and I am honored to be part of the continued evolution of this work in West and Northern Michigan.
This year marks a significant transition in leadership at the Frey Foundation. After years of thoughtful planning and preparation, I am delighted to be working alongside our first board chair from the third generation of the Frey family, Mary Frey Bennett. Mary grew up in the communities we serve, and she knows them well. Having been raised in a philanthropic family, she has been training for this leadership role most of her life.
58 GRANTS APPROVED
AVERAGE GRANT SIZE