The Campaign for Michigan 4-H's Future

$13.3 million raised for Michigan 4-H to prepare youth for the future

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The Campaign for Michigan 4-H's FutureThe Michigan 4-H Foundation Campaign for Michigan 4-H’s Future concluded Dec. 31 with $13.3 million raised during the past seven years, making it the largest campaign in the foundation’s history, said Sara Stuby, Michigan 4-H Foundation president.

Leadership donors at the March 14 Campaign Celebration:

The Michigan 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees hosted a campaign celebration event March 14 to celebrate the conclusion of the campaign and exceeding the campaign goal. Pictured are Leadership 10 members (back row) Sally and Dale Stuby, Julie and Larry Chapin, and (front row) Noel and Sandy Stuckman.

In the previous campaign, which concluded in 2007, the Michigan 4-H Foundation raised $10.3 million.

This campaign, publicly launched in 2014 in conjunction with Michigan State University’s Empower Extraordinary campaign, set a $12.5 million goal to prepare Michigan 4-H youth to step up to the challenges of a complex and changing world. As a result, more youth in every Michigan county have learned to make healthy life choices, are active citizens and engaged in leadership and service, are critical thinkers and problem solvers, and are college-bound, work-ready and financially smart.

“Thanks to investments from those who care about young people in our communities, Michigan 4-H is well-positioned to prepare youth for the future,” said Jacob DeDecker, state leader for Michigan 4-H Youth Development, Michigan State University Extension.

With more than 4,175 total donors to Michigan 4-H, the campaign finished with over $1 million raised in just the last few months of the campaign.

“This accomplishment would not have been possible without great leadership and support,” said Jeffrey Dwyer, MSU Extension director. “A very important group of people who provided critical leadership to this campaign is the Leadership 10. This is a group of individuals who formed the core group of donors and who made significant financial commitments to this campaign early on. We have turned to this group time and again for their support, and they always say yes and always lead the way.”

The Michigan 4-H Foundation Board of Trustees hosted a campaign celebration event March 14 to celebrate the conclusion of the campaign and exceeding the campaign goal.


  1. The creation of 27 new programs, expanding MSU Extension 4-H Youth Development in the areas of:
  • STEM – Science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Healthy lifestyles.
  • Leadership and civic engagement.
  • Workforce readiness and financial literacy.
  1. The creation of 43 new endowment funds, doubling the endowment investment to serve 4-H for the future. This includes 31 county endowments created in communities around the state for county 4-H program delivery.
  1. Significant 4-H facility improvements at the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens on the MSU campus and at Kettunen Center, the Michigan 4-H conference center. At the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens, contributions funded the construction of outdoor restrooms. At Kettunen Center, gifts funded two new shooting sports ranges and the renovation of the waterfront.

Historic Results

  • The single largest gift to Michigan 4-H was received during this campaign in December 2013. The $3.85 million estate gift comprised a $1.85 million cash and a $2 million property distribution from the Mary (Sally) and Donovan (Pete) Smith trusts to the Michigan 4-H Foundation. The gift primarily provides support for the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens.
  • For the first time, the foundation offered a 1:1 county 4-H endowment match opportunity for the creation of local 4-H endowments. This resulted in 31 county 4-H endowments being established or grown through the Make the Match County 4-H Endowment Campaign. The match was built by private investments in a $1 million match pool.
  • During the campaign period, the Michigan 4-H Foundation’s total endowed assets nearly doubled, growing from $2.78 million to $5.5 million.