Marquette Agency Part of Starbucks Contest

Marquette, MI – March 26, 2012 – Northern Initiatives along with 123 other organizations across the country have been identified to participate in the Starbucks Community Card Vote.Give.Grow. Program.

Two years in the making, Starbucks will launch its Community Vote.Give.Grow. Program to the public on April 1, 2012. Vote.Give.Grow. is a national program where Starbucks customers will select organizations to receive support from the Starbucks Foundation. The voting will run through April 30, 2012.

The program will generate community directed donations from Starbucks through an online voting process. Each unique geography (50 states and 11 metropolitan areas) has organizations for which voters will be able to choose. Northern Initiatives is one of the four organizations selected to represent Michigan. A weekly voting process throughout the month of April will allow the selected organizations to receive anywhere from $10,000 up to $35,000 to support their work, depending on how many votes from Starbucks’ customers that they gain.

According to program representatives, “Starbucks collected a list of 1700 non-profit organizations with a community focus and vetted internally to ensure that we selected organizations that were taking a holistic approach to building sustainable, whole-community impact on complex issues or problems by using a combination of strategies or services that resulted in meaningful engagement with their community.” 

Northern Initiatives is a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution, Microloan Development Organization and affiliate of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Centers that was founded by Northern Michigan University. It helps small and family owned businesses to launch, grow, and prosper in 51 rural counties (46 in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, and five border counties of Wisconsin). NI works to build more diverse and resilient economies through loans to new and emerging businesses, technical assistance, training and consulting, and building community based regional strategies.  Through its history, Northern Initiatives has made over 600 loans that have brought $36,000,000 of loan capital to small businesses. Coming out of the recession in the last two years, NI loan customers have created 197 jobs and retained 399.

To vote for “Northern Initiatives” to win first place in Michigan and $35,000 in the Starbucks Vote.Give.Grow. Program, go to and turn your Starbucks Card into a Community Card by signing in. If you don’t have a Starbucks Card, you can get one on the site to participate. Vote for Northern Initiatives.

Northern Initiatives is located in Marquette, MI on the campus of Northern Michigan University. Visit the website or call (800) 254-2156 for more information about NI products and services.