Consumers Energy, Employees Strengthen Communities by Giving to Michigan Nonprofits in 2015

Help for Habitat for Humanity, United Ways, Community Programs

15 Feb, 2016, 06:00 ET from Consumers Energy

JACKSON, Mich., Feb. 15, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy and its employees continued their strong record of contributing to Michigan's nonprofit organizations in 2015, giving their time and money to support early childhood education, United Ways, Habitat for Humanity affiliates and other groups that are strengthening communities across the state.

"Our Promise to the communities we serve goes beyond providing energy to Michigan's homes and businesses," said David Mengebier, Consumers Energy's senior vice president of governmental and public affairs and president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. "Our company and employees are committed financial contributors and volunteers who put countless hours toward organizations that are the backbone of our communities and make Michigan a better place."

Consumers Energy, its employees, retirees, Foundation and parent company CMS Energy last year contributed over $6.5 million to Michigan's nonprofit organizations. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy, providing funds for education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment, and emerging issues.

Employees' commitment to nonprofit organizations takes many shapes:

  • United Way campaigns -- Consumers Energy and its employees have been strong supporters of United Way campaigns for many years. Last fall, the company, its employees and retirees pledged over $1.6 million to 55 United Ways across the state.
  • Volunteering -- More than 430 nonprofit organizations received $215,850 on behalf of 547 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.
  • Matching gifts -- Another $100,000 went to 115 higher education institutions, community foundations, food banks, food pantries and homeless shelters across the through the Foundation's Matching Gifts program, which matched employee and retiree donations.
  • Team efforts -- The Caring for Our Community grant program provided $46,250 to 185 nonprofit organizations on behalf of 999 employees. The program recognizes the efforts of teams of employees volunteering for a nonprofit organization or event.

"What's significant about the nonprofit contributions from our company and employees is the impact they make," Mengebier said. "We give to organizations that are making a positive impact on our state, every day of the year."

Other highlights of 2015 contributions:

  • $537,500 to support early-childhood programs across Michigan.
  • $256,000 to support economic development in communities across the state. That support includes such grants as $30,000 to assist the regional business financing efforts of Venture North Funding & Development in Northern Michigan.
  • $200,000 to support Habitat for Humanity of Michigan's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, which seeks to increase the number of families living in safe, affordable housing, among other goals. Consumers Energy and its foundation have provided $800,000 to Habitat for Humanity since 2001.
  • More than $190,000 to provide energy assistance to Michigan residents through Walks for Warmth.
  • $160,000 for the Michigan Women's Foundation Entrepreneur You program in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Southeast Michigan, supporting a business plan and pitch competition for female entrepreneurs.
  • $150,000 to help provide free tax preparation through the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan. Consumers Energy regularly encourages qualifying individuals to apply for the State of Michigan Home Heating Credit.
  • $150,000 to Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing, helping fund the development of a new exhibit devoted to the subject and science of water.
  • $155,000 to support robotics programs, including funding to help start new middle school and high school teams across the state through FIRST of Michigan. Through its Generation Genius Project, Consumers Energy encourages today's students to learn about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.
  • $75,000 for the Frankenmuth Farmer's Market.
  • $45,000 to the Michigan Association of United Ways, supporting the Americorps Veterans Resource Navigator Program.
  • $30,000 to the Kids Food Basket Sack Supper program, providing nutritious meals to children in Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland.
  • $25,000 to purchase water filters for Flint residents through the United Way of Genesee County. The Consumers Energy Foundation pledged up to another $50,000 this year to support early childhood education in Flint.

Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.

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