Non-profit

Wege Foundation

Website:

www.wegefoundation.com

Location:

Grand Rapids, MI

Tax ID:

38-6124363

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $23,139,359
Expenses: $23,047,557
Assets: $286,190,867

Type:

Private Grantmaking Foundation

Founded:

1967

The Wege Foundation is a family foundation started by the family that owns Steelcase Inc., a publicly traded office-furniture company. [1]

The foundation focuses on funding areas that include diversity, equity, and inclusion; the environment; education; and arts and culture in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. [2]

Background

The Wege Foundation is a Michigan-based nonprofit that gives primarily to the environment, education, arts and culture, community service, and health care in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. It is a family foundation named after Peter Martin Wege. [3]

Peter Martin Wege’s metal-working company, founded in 1912, became the world’s largest producer of office furniture. [4] The Metal Office Furniture Company became Steelcase Inc. in December 1954. [5] After the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1998, it allowed the Wege Foundation to provide more major financing for local causes. [6]

History

Peter Melvin Wege started the Wege Foundation in July 1967, keeping its focus local in order to honor his father. [7] The younger Wege said, “Dad said the money was made right here in Grand Rapids by Steelcase and he wanted it to stay here to do all the good we can.” [8] Wege said his goal was that Grand Rapids would become “the best medium-sized city in the United States.” [9]

The foundation says it is “Planting seeds that develop leaders in economicology, health, education, and arts and enhance the lives of people in West Michigan and around the world.” [10]

The Wege Foundation Natural Area is a 1.3-mile trail located in Lowell, Michigan adjacent to Lowell High School and the Wittenbach/Wege Environmental Center. The foundation purchased the property in 1999. [11]

Giving Priorities

The Wege Foundation’s grant policy was amended in April 2020 to establish four pillars for grantmaking. Under this model, the foundation will direct 20 percent of grants to arts and culture, 35 percent to the environment, 25 percent to education, and 20 percent to community health and wellbeing. [12]

The organization also says it has four themes for its philanthropy: “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” “civic engagement,” “environmental sustainability.” and “organizational sustainability.” [13]

Wege Foundation grants have included a $1 million grant from December 2021 to the New Community Transformation Fund, an organization aimed at boosting minority-owned businesses in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. [14]

In 2013, Ferris State University’s Kendall College of Art and Design teamed with the Wege Foundation to establish an annual, transdisciplinary design competition to give teams of five students a chance to use design to win the Wege Prize of $30,000. [15]

Leadership

Jonathan Wege is the chairman of the nine-member board of trustees of the Wege Foundation. [16]

Mark Van Putten is the chief executive officer of the Wege Foundation. [17]

Katy Furtado is the director of grants and operations of the Wege Foundation. [18]

Alemán-McAlpine is the program director of the Wege Foundation. [19]

References

  1. History. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/how-it-all-began/ ^
  2. Program Areas We Fund. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/areas-of-interest/ ^
  3. Wege Foundation. Foundation Directory Online. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://fconline.foundationcenter.org/fdo-grantmaker-profile?key=WEGE002 ^
  4. Wege Foundation. Good For Michigan. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://goodfor.org/partners/wege-foundation ^
  5. Wege Foundation. Foundation Directory Online. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://fconline.foundationcenter.org/fdo-grantmaker-profile?key=WEGE002 ^
  6. History. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/how-it-all-began/ ^
  7. Wege Foundation. Foundation Directory Online. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://fconline.foundationcenter.org/fdo-grantmaker-profile?key=WEGE002 ^
  8. Wege Foundation. Good For Michigan. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://goodfor.org/partners/wege-foundation ^
  9. Program Areas We Fund. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/areas-of-interest/ ^
  10. Vision and Mission. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/vision-and-mission/ ^
  11. Wege Foundation Natural Area. Land Conservancy of West Michigan. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://naturenearby.org/portfolio_page/explore/wege-foundation-natural-area/ ^
  12. Program Areas We Fund. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/areas-of-interest/ ^
  13. Program Areas We Fund. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/areas-of-interest/ ^
  14. Watson, Rachel. “NCTF receives $1M investment from Wege Foundation.” Grand Rapids Business Journal. December 28, 2021. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://grbj.com/news/nonprofits/nctf-receives-1m-investment-from-wege-foundation/ ^
  15. “KCAD and Wedge Foundation Seek Participants for First Wege Prize.” Ferris State University. November 2013. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/archive/2013/november/wege.htm ^
  16. Board of Trustees. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/trustees/ ^
  17. Staff. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/staff/ ^
  18. Staff. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/staff/ ^
  19. Staff. Wege Foundation. Accessed June 10, 2022. https://wegefoundation.com/staff/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1967

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form PF $23,139,359 $23,047,557 $286,190,867 $22,896,760 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2015 Dec Form PF $40,075,197 $19,933,533 $252,070,623 $21,107,100 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form PF $29,019,148 $18,137,051 $232,610,499 $29,294,391 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form PF $168,994,601 $15,576,827 $222,588,580 $31,226,318 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form PF $3,431,129 $12,971,072 $69,200,489 $22,865,300 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form PF $2,143,269 $13,650,935 $78,723,509 $27,510,380 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Wege Foundation

    99 Monroe Ave NW, Suite 902
    Grand Rapids, MI