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Michigan Nonprofit Association Advocates for Community Difference-Makers

The holidays are a season of giving and gratitude — a reminder of the importance of recognizing the needs of the community. However, a…

The holidays are a season of giving and gratitude — a reminder of the importance of recognizing the needs of the community.

However, as any nonprofit organization knows, the needs of the community are not seasonal, said Kelley Kuhn, president and CEO of Michigan Nonprofit Association.

“Nonprofits understand and work tirelessly every day at helping our most vulnerable, and the organizations MNA serves and represents rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations and other donors to make donations so they can continue to carry out their missions,” Kuhn said. “Nonprofits would not exist if it weren’t for the gifts of time, talent and treasure from caring individuals who recognize and appreciate their programs and services. There is no better time of the year to bring together a generous heart to help fill a pressing need, and nonprofits are the natural connectors for making this happen. During giving season, I strongly encourage people to support nonprofits across Michigan.”

Michigan Nonprofit Association serves 750 members — primarily small to midsize 501(c)3 charities in the state — but reaches over 16,000 nonprofits through social media platforms, email lists and other communication outlets. The organization serves as a champion for nonprofits in its advocacy and public policy efforts; builds capacity through efforts such as ensuring optimal operating environments for nonprofits with tools, resources and technology services or by leading large-scale projects and initiatives; and acts as a connector by assembling stakeholders, collecting data and building relationships to strengthen nonprofits and the communities they serve.

Kuhn assumed her leadership role at MNA in January after being with the organization for 15 years.

“When I was a young nonprofit leader over 15 years ago, I knew I wanted to work for MNA; and I feel very honored to be serving as president and CEO,” Kuhn said. “In my role, I am first and foremost the loudest and most enthusiastic cheerleader for nonprofits and the great work they do in communities all over Michigan.”

In fact, Kuhn’s entire career has been spent working for nonprofits, and her past played a large role in why she holds the work they do in such high regard.

“My love for the work of nonprofits stems from my own experience growing up,” Kuhn said. “I am a product of programs and services provided by several nonprofits throughout my life. First, as a young child who came from a family with little means and experienced some turbulent times following my parents’ divorce. Then, as a young adult who spent time in college learning about and volunteering for nonprofits.”

At both points, Kuhn learned important life lessons, developed skills around resiliency and building self-confidence, and realized that giving back and supporting others in need is the greatest gift of all.

“Nonprofits make a difference every day and are essential to the fabric of every community. Trust me when I say any major issue in the community is being dealt with head-on by a nonprofit,” Kuhn added. “This is true throughout our history as a country and was never more evident than the last almost three years of serving our most vulnerable and more through the pandemic.”

For more information on Michigan Nonprofit Association, visit mnaonline.org.

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