The Pokagon Fund's Annual Reports
Photo Progress Through Partnerships

Annual Report 2016


 Celebrating a decade of “Progress through Partnerships” is the theme of The Pokagon Fund’s 2016 Annual Report, which may be accessed by clicking this link. The report provides a year-end summary of the Fund’s activities in partnership with our grantees, a record of awards and issues supported during the 2015-2016 fiscal year and a description of the positive impact that our collective contributions have had on those served within Harbor Country, Dowagiac, Hartford and South Bend.

 The centerpiece of our report is a reprise and overview of the remarkable improvements in the quality of life of the residents in the communities served by the Fund since the opening of the Four Winds Casino Resort in 2007.  These enhancements have resulted from the generosity of the Pokagon Band, the foresight of the leaders of the City of New Buffalo and New Buffalo Township and the creativity of the many individuals and organizations that have joined in partnership with The Pokagon Fund on projects large and small.

 We celebrate our collaborations with diverse community-based organizations that have accomplished extraordinary feats, including establishing beautiful public parks, feeding the hungry and increasing literacy among our youth. Examples include the development of Galien River County Park and its spectacular viewing tower, the daily provision of hot meals, grocery and personal items to our neighbors in need and construction of New Buffalo Township Library.

 We extend a special note of gratitude to those charities that not only assist families and individuals living in poverty, but also track and provide services to residents who earn more than the poverty line but less than the basic cost of living.  Often hidden from view, but known to these service providers, such low-income families are benefited by unwavering advocacy.

 We know that reducing the overall rate of poverty is a public good that strengthens the middle class, enriches human capital by allowing greater access to higher education and increases family stability.  Such projects are at the core of what The Pokagon Fund has meant to the communities it serves.

 What has been learned from the achievements of the last ten years is that meaningful results are more likely to be attained when The Pokagon Fund partners with those who are embedded in the local community and have an unbridled dedication to the success of their projects. When there is open and honest communication, room around the table for all interested parties and a willingness to compromise to achieve a common goal, such partnerships have flourished.

With the future focus of the Fund’s resources centered on education, poverty reduction and community vitality, we are particularly excited about the recent launch of the Neighbor By Neighbor project, a local effort to connect individuals in need to social services.  Led by the Church of the Mediator in Harbert, but open to all, the service will put local families in contact with the support agencies they need.  

The Pokagon Fund looks forward to the next decade of innovative partnerships. 

Please share your ideas. We want to hear from you.


Janet Cocciarelli

Executive Director

Photo Janet Cocciarelli

Annual Report Full Image

Annual Report 2015

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to share The Pokagon Fund’s 2015 Annual Report, which may be accessed via the following link: Our report provides a year-end summary of the Fund’s activities, a record of grants and issues supported, and a description of our contributions. The 2015 Annual report explores the crucial social value created within communities when individuals and organizations work together to nurture a culture of caring.

This year, we are introducing a digital, interactive format for our Annual Report, which is published in its entirety and configured as a website. We believe the digital format will offer more flexibility, higher levels of engagement and greater distribution. Please share your feedback on our new, online version.

Next year, we celebrate The Pokagon Fund’s 10th anniversary of our work as a grantmaking foundation. For the past 9 years, The Pokagon Fund has supported and enhanced the lives of residents who live in Harbor Country® by carefully stewarding, prudently investing, and mindfully distributing shared revenue received from the Four Winds Casino, New Buffalo, which is owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi citizens. Since inception, the Fund has provided $22 million in grant awards to municipalities, charitable agencies, and service organizations throughout the New Buffalo Region and within Hartford and Dowagiac, Michigan, and South Bend, Indiana.

We are deeply proud of all that we and our partners have achieved so far, and mindful of the significant community challenges that still lie before us.

To meet those challenges, we understand our role to be responsible stewards of the financial resources with which we have been entrusted. Over the next year, our leadership will continue to be actively engaged in identifying the strengths and resources as well as the greatest needs of our community, which will allow us to make strategic investments in our community to enhance the quality of life for all. This report is intended to give you a clear and accurate picture of our ongoing efforts to carry out that stewardship.

The reason this is so important to us is that we know where we want our money to go: caring for those in need, caring for the environment, caring for children and caring for quality of life.  Woven throughout our efforts to safeguard and spend wisely the money given to us, we can ensure it promotes our mission.

It is a privilege to join forces with our outstanding partners in this noble endeavor.

Thank you.

Janet Cocciarelli Executive Director