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We're learning to work in new ways to support changemakers and build a region that is fair, thriving and resilient. As we invite changemakers to join us in learning to be more inclusive, collaborative, resourceful, reflective, adaptive and aligned - our Guiding Principes and also our Grant Criteria - we're sharing the resources and conversations that are shaping our organizational strategy. Learn with us here.


by freya
As we look back on the five-year milestone of the Systems Change Community of Practice, it's worth celebrating that the CoP has not only fostered a supportive community of changemakers but has also amplified our collective capacity to drive meaningful transformation. Looking ahead, we are inspired by the potential for even greater impact as we continue to grow and deepen our practice together. 

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by freya
What does love have to do with systems change? It could be its very purpose. A different paradigm from which to consider the individual, relational, and community work needed to create healthier, more equitable, and regenerative systems.

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by Miriam
Change, no matter the scale, can bring with it a mix of excitement, uncertainty, and potential. How we navigate it determines not only our success but also the resilience and adaptability of our teams.

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by Miriam
With support from Rotary Charities for pilot programming, HOM has improved care and expanded its reach to communities throughout Northern Michigan and beyond.

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by Miriam
In this interview, Jennifer Hricik shares her candid experiences, growth moments, and the authentic story of her leadership evolution—revealing the genuine, human side of our coaching program.

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by admin
In the face of a youth mental health crisis in northwest lower Michigan, LIFT's dedicated staff finds empowerment in training funded by Rotary Charities’ Learning Fund.

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by admin
As summer transitions to fall and backpacks are full of new notebooks and sharpened pencils, local leaders find their seats and prepare for a year of learning, connection, and community.

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by freya
To help turn new insight into action, we developed three new reflection and discussion guides that accompany the Stories of Change publication. Learn more about how they can be used for individual reflection or, ideally, individual reflection that is then processed with a group of stakeholders committed to moving from insight to new action.

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by admin
Mary Bevans Gillett, Director of the Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture Network shares their experience, highlighting how the Learning Fund enabled them to go beyond individual professional development, foster collective impact, and ignite a ripple effect of change throughout the region.

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by admin
In this guest post from James Dake, Education Director of Grass River Natural Area, learn about interpreting the natural world and creating access for everyone. Dake shares his recent experience utilizing Rotary Charities Learning Fund.

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by Miriam
Sakura and Freya shared our approach to catalyzing positive change with other funders at the GEO Learning Conference. Our participation at the conference allowed us to connect with like-minded individuals who are curious about adopting a systems change approach in their work and funding.

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by admin
Prioritizing your learning and taking the time to invest in new skills and connect with other professionals is critical to our long-term success and the success of our organizations.

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by Miriam
Exploring the power of storytelling for nonprofits, emphasizing the importance of authenticity and including the voices of those with lived experiences in communicating an organization's mission and driving change.

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by freya
If organized philanthropy aims to make progress on complex, systemic issues, philanthropy itself must transform.

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by admin
Five key insights emerged across the four case studies featured in Stories of Change that point to the practices that have accelerated changemakers’ progress in transforming the systems at the heart of complex community issues. These insights are for anyone working to change the odds in favor of communities where everyone can thrive.

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by admin
Our Director of Community Development, Kristin Hettich, reflects on her recent trip to Malawi and Kenya with the Traverse City Sunrise Rotary Club.

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by freya
In 2022-23, Rotary Charities is experimenting with working more “out loud” by sharing some of our tools and processes, questions we’re asking ourselves, and our work in progress. In this blog, our Director of Systems Change & Learning, Freya Bradford, first shares some of the results of our Changemaker Needs Assessment and then explores a process we are trying to apply learnings like those and the questions it is bringing up for her.

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by Miriam
Rotary Charities of Traverse City is pleased to announce its recent award of $270,000 to seven regional nonprofits as part of its 2022 Spring grant cycle.

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by freya
This final installment in Freya's four-part systems change series explores two systemic learning questions, potential indicators of change to look for, and methods we might use to capture signs of change all along our journeys.

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by admin
Once opportunities and points of leverage are identified, systems can begin to shift when multiple actions across a system design a constellation of actions that act on those patterns.

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by Miriam
A lack of affordable housing is a common challenge to "gateway communities". Community members may hold the key to a unique solution.

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by sakura
Five years ago, Rotary Charities began a journey to shift our focus from charity to changemaking in an effort to better help our region tackle our most complex problems and create community assets for all. We have much work ahead.

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by Miriam
Good Samaritan Family Services has grown its programming over 30 years to support its neighbors in Ellsworth, MI. With support of an Assets for Thriving Communities grant, their Family Center buildout is now complete.

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by freya
This is the second in a series of blogs about different aspects of systems change work. This series is about making different choices about how we work and what we work on when we are aiming for community-level change in our most complex problems. These are choices that require we walk upstream, together, to investigate why our problem looks the way it does downriver.

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by Miriam
With the support of a $50,000 Assets for Thriving Communities grant the Traverse City office will serve at least 250 immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers living in Northern Michigan communities during the next two years.

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