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Pontiac Community Foundation wins Spirit of Philanthropy Award

Pontiac Community Foundation wins inaugural Spirit of Philanthropy Award from the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising

By Andrea Walker-Leidy, Community Contributor, November 10, 2020

The Pontiac Community Foundation is the proud recipient of the inaugural Spirit of Philanthropy Award from the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

The award was created to honor and celebrate smaller non-profits, because – especially this year – it is key to recognize just how valuable and important philanthropy is and how the Detroit area has come together as a community to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are honored and thrilled to receive this award,” said Dustin McClellan, founder and CEO of the PCF. “Although we don’t do this work for accolades, it is amazing to be recognized for the powerful and impactful work we are doing in the city of Pontiac.”

The Pontiac Community Foundation has dedicated itself to building a brighter future for the city and tackling its most pressing issues. Since it was founded in 2018, PCF has been working to invest in local groups and organizations – seeking to empower others and lead by example.

The AFP’s Detroit Chapter is a membership resource used by fundraising and nonprofit professionals in southeast Michigan.

  • PCF was chosen for this award because of their leadership of COVID-19 response efforts in Pontiac. Since March, PCF has:
  • Created a database with Oakland University to track household needs, agency resources and community volunteers
  • Distributed more than 50,000 meals in April, including 900 fresh meals to seniors and low-income centers in a partnership with Oakland County Executive Offices and Lafayette Market
  • Distributed more than 500,000 shelf-stable meals to families in need
  • Provide comprehensive case management for all participates in
  • Spearheaded a collaborative network of more than 200 community leaders, organizations and partners
  • Mobilized 600 volunteers, while keeping social distancing measures in place
  • Distributed infant care and household goods to families
  • Organized a prayer and grief support group for more than 20 local churches

And in addition to their COVID-19 efforts, PCF has also given mini-grants to support literacy efforts in the elementary schools, restored a baseball field and seating area at a park, expanded a local art experience program for those with disabilities, provided scholarships and grants for students to local schools and programs, hosted cleanups at Mattie McKinney Hatchett Park, hosted events to benefit mental health initiatives, hosted several community forums and developed strategic partnerships with Oakland and Rochester universities, Chief Financial Credit Union, the Pontiac School District, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and more.

“National Philanthropy Day was created to honor our community’s individual, corporate, and foundation philanthropy for the work they have done throughout the year,” said Sarah Dysinger, events manager and National Philanthropy Day manager for the Greater Detroit Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. “Individuals, corporations, and foundations have truly stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic to help keep Detroit afloat. This is why we felt it is more crucial than ever to celebrate National Philanthropy Day.”

Additional Information:

The award presentation will be held on Detroit Public Television on Nov. 22, 2020 from 6:30-8 p.m., hosted by Steven Henderson with special guest Mitch Albom.

For more information on the Greater Detroit Chapter of the AFP, visit

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