Our History

View the history that illustrates the fulfillment of Dyer-Ives mission.


Our Mission

To build capacity in those grassroots, neighborhood organizations and related efforts that address issues of systemic poverty or diminish a sense of isolation among residents of the central city of Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Our Goals

Focusing on skill development

  • To provide community residents with critical skills that will strengthen their ability to become productive and independent individuals.
  • To strengthen critical skills of staff and administrative infrastructure in organizations engaged in service, development, civic engagement, personal enrichment and community improvement programming.

Photo by Artworks, a non-profit, art-based job training program.


Focusing on strategic planning

  • To enhance organizational governance through the development and implementation of an operational strategic plan defined by goals, objectives, activities, responsibilities, timelines and assessment.
  • To promote and strengthen collaborative, multi-interest approaches to critical issues affecting local quality of life.

Focusing on fund development / marketing

  • To support personal economic growth of central city individuals and households.
  • To enhance organizational sustainability through the establishment and implementation of fund development and/or marketing plans and related activities.
  • To establish and strengthen organizations that recognize and promote focused community involvement in revitalization.

Focusing on data / policy

  • To increase individual knowledge of and access to community data, including neighborhood indicators.
  • To promote the collection, analysis and use of community data to measure quality of life and improve organizational decision-making, resource allocation and evaluation.
  • To support the growth and application of community data systems to influence policy, decision-making and resource allocation toward positive social change.

Focusing on civic engagement

  • To promote education preparing individuals to address key systemic issues affecting their quality of life.
  • To encourage and enhance organizing resident participation in matters affecting their quality of life and/or level of opportunity.
  • To promote the practice of utilizing citizen involvement to benefit the formation of, and implementation of, public policy.

Focusing on economic and housing development

  • To develop, strengthen and support efficient organizations which promote community-based revitalization in the central city of Grand Rapids.
  • To support the development of healthy local economies, including the critical revitalization of neighborhood residential, commercial and mixed-use districts.

Focusing on direct service

  • To provide residents with those services which will add happiness and reduce pain, suffering and dysfunction in their lives.
  • To support successful program initiation or expansion of direct services identified as critical and sustainable.
  • To promote the establishment and maintenance of collaborations which enhance quality of life through united planning, programming, resource development and delivery of critical direct service.

Focusing on cultural enrichment

  • To support the involvement of low- and moderate-income residents in cultural activities.
  • To support organizations related to services and products which enhance community residents’ enjoyment of life.
  • To support services and products which aesthetically enhance the community environment.

Focusing on environmental improvement

  • To support organizations which improve and preserve the natural environment in greater Grand Rapids.
  • To support programs which improve and preserve the natural environment in greater Grand Rapids.