The ACWL-Nuveen and numerous arts and charitable organizations in West Michigan lost a huge supporter and advocate last month. Jon Blyth was an active member of the ACWL-Nuveen and while he wasn't officially a member of the Endowment Committee, he was an invaluable resource, cheerleader, and donor, as we worked to raise $500,000 to ensure the future of our small community arts nonprofit. Jon was a connector and when it came to raising funds for a cause he cared about, he knew who to talk to and how best to approach them. He even once fostered a 'donation exchange', donating to a friend's cause in exchange for a donation to the ACWL-Nuveen. Could he have just donated his funds to the ACWL-Nuveen? Sure, but doing it this way connected us to other donors – often new donors - and helped spread the impact of those funds throughout the West Michigan region.
We are so thankful to Jon for being a champion for the arts and feel immense privilege to have been included among the organizations he and his wife Jane have supported.
ACWL-Nuveen Board member Cindy Francis shared this fond remembrance of Jon, an indicator of his community-minded spirit, "I had a chat with Jon in the grocery store once about fundraising. He said, 'get your friends and people together that care about what you are fundraising for and make it fun!!' The making it FUN really stuck with me!" Great advice from a man who genuinely embodied the spirit of altruism. The ACWL-Nuveen staff, board, and volunteers extend our deepest condolences to Jon's family - he will be greatly missed.