Finding Life’s Purpose, Caldwell Modeling the Way for National Philanthropy Day

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151112_caldwell_kyle-8147 (2)One of life’s biggest complexities is figuring out one’s purpose. For some, their life’s purpose is inherent from the beginning and their actions have been leading up to a sense of fulfillment. For others, it is a journey to figure out their place in the world and where their skills fit in.

In the case of Kyle Caldwell, Executive Director of the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, it was a journey to discover his calling.  Originally a photography student at Lansing Community College, a community engagement project led Caldwell to ride along a midnight ambulance shift.

During this time, he saw the emergency crew come to aid victims suffering from a myriad of causes ranging from domestic violence to homelessness. Following this experience, Caldwell became inspired to change his career path to better his community.  Joining the Dorothy A. Johnson Center of Philanthropy team in August, Caldwell has since been an advocate in the nonprofit sector for nearly two decades.

He cites that the most fulfilling part of his work is being in an industry focused on improving communities, doing good, and personal growth. “Those in philanthropy get to see the better side of people in our community. I have the opportunity to help people grow the love of human kind,” says Caldwell.

Established in 1992, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy is an academic center within Grand Valley State University. The center offers original research on the latest theories in the philanthropic field and puts its research to work by mentoring philanthropies across the country to strengthen their communities. The center helps organizations develop best practices to make the biggest impact on limited resources.

The Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations across Michigan to recognize outstanding volunteerism by Consumers Energy employees and retirees. In the last 10 years, the foundation contributed more than $3.3 million to 6,450 Michigan nonprofits on behalf of employees and retirees through our volunteer grant programs and Matching Gifts program.

“The neat thing about a workplace volunteer program is that companies don’t dictate what causes their employees and retirees should care about. They provide financial assistance to organizations their workers already support,” says Caldwell.

To see how Consumers Energy employees are giving back to the community, follow #CEVolunteers on Twitter and Facebook. To learn more about the Dorothy A. Johnson Center of Philanthropy at To find a nonprofit organization in your community, visit

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