Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Inc. is a 501(c)3 Michigan nonprofit organization established in 1995.

We strive for transparency with our financials. Our funding is provided by private foundation grants and individual donors. Below find audited financial statements and Board-approved policies for document retention, data privacy and whistleblower protection.

audited financial statements

990 Forms

board policies

Document Retention Policy

Groundwork Document Retention & Destruction Policy In the course of doing its work as a non-profit, Groundwork generates and receives financial, legal, grant-related, donor-related, human resources and board-level documents. These documents may be emails, word processing documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, other electronic formats, or they may be on paper.

For example, as a reporting nonprofit obligated to make both federal and state filings, Groundwork is bound to retain documents for specific periods of time. As a grant recipient, Groundwork must meet certain reporting and compliance requirements. As an employer, Groundwork is required to retain certain employee records. As a corporate entity governed by a Board, Groundwork must retain records of all Board actions and deliberations.

Because of the different character and purpose of each of these types of documents, Groundwork management and staff will need time to develop effective document retention strategies that will ensure compliance with the policy adopted by the Board.

Accordingly, the Board adopts the following document retention principles as a policy, to give management and staff the guidance, time and opportunity necessary to design and test effective document retention processes.

1. Groundwork will retain documents only so long as said documents are required to be retained by law or Groundwork’s auditors. See attached article for suggested time limits.

2. At Groundwork, electronic storage is the preferred method for retaining documents.

3. When necessary, access to retained documents will be limited by Groundwork management to specific job functions.

4. Documents and other information generated by Groundwork in the course of doing its work are (i) confidential, and (ii) the property and work product of Groundwork. Said documents or other such information may not be taken or retained by Groundwork employees, contractors, Board or Advisory Council members for their personal or nonGroundwork use.

5. Records retained pursuant to this policy will be reviewed annually to identify any and all documents no longer required to be retained. Documents no longer required to be retained shall be destroyed within 30 days of such determination.

Approved by the Board of Directors June 30, 2021

Groundwork Privacy Policy

Groundwork is committed to the privacy of our donors and website users.

Individuals that sign up to receive Groundwork communications voluntarily provide us with contact information (such as name and e-mail address). Groundwork will only use this information for the specific, limited purpose of communicating with you. You may always "opt out," at any time, if you do not wish to receive our messages.

Groundwork does not provide, sell, or rent email addresses or any other contact information it receives to anyone outside the organization.

Groundwork does not and will not sell, share or trade our donors' names or personal information with any other entity. To the extent any donations are processed through a thirdparty service provider, our donors’ information will only be used for purposes necessary to process the donation.

This policy applies to all information received by Groundwork, both online and offline, on any platform, as well as through any electronic, written, or oral communications.

Approved by the Board of Directors, June 30, 2021

Groundwork Whistleblower Policy

Purpose Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities (“Groundwork”) is committed to promoting and ensuring that its employees and board members are held to the highest ethical, personal and legal standards in the operation of the organization. In support of this goal, and in compliance with the law, Groundwork encourages and supports its employees in the disclosure of suspected instances of “unethical or improper conduct,” as defined below, and provides a clear procedure for reporting such conduct. A “whistleblower” is an employee of Groundwork who reports, to persons specified below, an activity considered to be unethical or improper conduct. The whistleblower is not responsible for determining whether the suspected unethical or improper conduct is in violation of this policy. Rather, the whistleblower will report the suspected activity to trained members of the management team who will oversee an investigation and make the decisions regarding fault and remediation, in accordance with the law. Any employee who makes such a “protected disclosure” in good faith shall be protected from retaliation in accordance with this policy.

Unethical and Improper Conduct

Unethical and improper conduct includes but is not limited to suspected or alleged illegal, false, misleading, dishonest, deceptive, unethical, corrupt or unconscionable conduct which Groundwork encourages to be reported. Unethical and improper conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • irregularities in financial reporting,
  • unprofessional conduct or business practices,
  • fraudulent or corrupt practices,
  • abuse of power or authority for any unauthorized purposes,
  • unfair discrimination in the course of employment or provision of services,
  • questionable practices in contravention of Groundwork’s policies and procedures,
  • breach of any state or federal laws or regulations, and
  • any unlawful civil or criminal act.

The above list of unethical and improper conduct is not exclusive and may include other similar or related types of conduct.

Reporting a Complaint

If an employee has knowledge of or suspects that unethical or improper conduct, as defined above, is occurring or has occurred, employee is strongly encouraged to make a protected disclosure by reporting it to any member of Groundwork’s management team or any member of Groundwork’s Board of Directors. That member of management or of the Board must immediately thereafter and directly inform, in a verbal or written communication, either the Operations Director or the Chair of Groundwork’s Governance Committee (“Investigation Officer”) of the protected disclosure. When an employee makes a protected disclosure, employee’s confidentiality as a whistleblower shall be maintained to the extent possible but cannot be guaranteed, as it may be necessary to identify the whistleblower in order to conduct a thorough investigation, including allowing the accused to respond to allegations made in the complaint. Groundwork will not retaliate against a whistleblower who makes a complaint in good faith and will protect whistleblowers from adverse employment actions. Groundwork shall also protect any employees who are asked to serve as witnesses in the whistleblower investigation from retaliation. Any whistleblower or witness in a whistleblower investigation who believes they are being retaliated against should immediately report their concerns to the Investigation Officer.

Investigation of Complaint

Upon receipt of a whistleblower complaint, the Investigation Officer shall consider the nature of the unethical and improper conduct alleged, the relationship of the whistleblower to the accused, and the necessary scope of the investigation when determining whether the investigation shall proceed internally or whether it will be necessary to consult with or appoint an independent investigator. The decided-upon investigator will determine whether the allegation made against the accused constitutes unethical or improper conduct, and if so, what remediation measures will be taken. Upon completion of the investigation, the accused will be advised as to whether unethical or improper conduct was found, and if so, the remedial measures that will be taken. Following conclusion of the investigation, the whistleblower will be advised generally as to the outcome of the investigation, subject to confidentiality concerns. Groundwork will continue to protect the whistleblower and any employee witnesses participating in the whistleblower investigation from retaliation.

Employee Questions or Concerns

Employees who have any questions or concerns about Groundworks’ Whistleblower policy or making a report pursuant to the policy are encouraged to contact the Operations Director or the Chair of Groundwork’s Governance Committee.

Approved by the Board of Directors, September 24, 2021

Questions? Please contact us 231.941.6584 or

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and our Tax ID is
38-2314954. Groundwork respects the privacy of its donors and is committed to the highest standards of integrity and ethics in all fundraising efforts. Read more about our donor privacy policy.