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Groundwork Member Drew Buchholz Shares Why His Family Contributes as a Monthly DonorPrint

Membership | November 20, 2018 | By Jeff Smith

 Groundwork Member Drew Buchholz Shares Why His Family Contributes as a Monthly Donor

Above: Drew and Emily Buchholz

A $100 matching-gift offer is in effect through the end of 2018 for new monthly donors. We check in with Drew Buchholz to discuss why that type of Groundwork giving is important for his family.

Drew Buchholz has made a career in the nonprofit sector. First as director of public policy for a statewide Michigan arts group and then on the fundraising team of Interlochen Center for the Arts, a world-class organization where he now serves as Director of Advancement and Senior Major Gift Officer. As such, Drew has seen the outcomes of philanthropy up close, witnessed the change that giving can achieve. And he and his wife, Emily, have woven philanthropy into their own lives.

When Drew and Emily moved to Traverse City a decade ago, Groundwork (Michigan Land Use Institute at the time) caught their attention. “They were working for clean energy and protecting the natural environment, and those things are important to us,” he says.

As the couple learned more about the breadth of Groundwork’s programs, they became even bigger fans of the organization because of how its values aligned with their own. They discovered Groundwork’s work in sustainable foods and Farm to School—both important to them.

“When we were thinking about moving here, we had pictured the dunes and the water, and that alone made living here a wonderful opportunity,” Drew says. But the couple was so happily surprised to find a “little big town,” a place where they could walk and bike to so many great things, and a town with strong cohesion. “Community is everything to us,” Drew says. They saw that Groundwork worked to protect all of these things.

Beyond that, the Buchholzes believe in Groundwork’s ability to get things done. “I’m amazed at what they achieve,” Drew says. “I know, too, that they partner a lot, and that’s a wonderful thing to see, especially on big issues like Line 5.”

And there was something more about Groundwork that appealed to Drew and Emily: the policy piece. “This is an advocacy organization that is trying to change policy for the betterment of the entire state, and it happens to be in Traverse City,” Drew says.

Eventually, the Buchholz family became monthly donors to Groundwork. “It’s important to us,” Drew says, simply. “Philanthropy is something we believe in, and we believe you need to support philanthropy if it’s possible. We have a 10- and a 6-year-old, and we want them to know that supporting the organizations we believe in is a core belief as a family.”

New monthly donors receive a $100 matching gift if they sign on by the end of 2018—a match that acknowledges the importance of this type of philanthropy. Groundwork’s Director of Development, Amy MacKay, sums up the power of making monthly donations. "When donors decide to make a monthly commitment, it allows us to feel confident throughout the year that we will have the funds to sustain the programs and services we are delivering. Steadfast investment is a gift that we can plan around, and it usually allows the giver to make a larger commitment—increasing their role in the organization’s well-being and effectiveness. So, we see it as win-win opportunity."