Applying for a Grant

We give grants to 501(c)(3) organizations, churches, schools, agencies, and governmental units serving the greater Muskegon County area.

  • Community Empowerment Small Grants (CESGs) are tools provided by the Community Foundation to build a vibrant community with great opportunities for all. These grants are designed to empower organizations that may not yet have a 501(c)(3) status but seek support to foster change across our county. CESG grantees are strengthening community partnerships, building relationships, and providing hope and opportunity to many people throughout Muskegon County.

    Here are a few examples of recent grantees making a difference in our community:

    • Life Align – Peer Recovery Support
    • HBCU Club – College readiness support for students interested in attending historically black colleges and universities
    • Muskegon County Oral Health Coalition – Oral Health Discovery Packs

    To learn more about the Community Empowerment Small Grants program, click here.
    To view an infographic exploring the impact of CESGs from 2022, click here.
    For a complete list of 2022 grantees, please click here.

    Click Here to Apply


  • Faith Partner grants support churches* that are collaborating with other churches or nonprofit organizations. Funding is available to support programs related to life-long literacy and educational equity. Grants will go directly to the church, however collaboration with schools and other nonprofits doing similar work is strongly encouraged.

    Some examples of recent church partner grantees that have integrated literacy into their church programs:

    • St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church – Book Pantry (integrated into food pantry)
    • Fellowship Church – Read. Sing. Play in the park (summer program)
    • Holy Trinity COGIC Center – Reading is Fun! (outreach event)

    The application will be reviewed at the end of each month, and grants will be awarded the following month. All grants will be reviewed after the deadline. Awards will be paid directly to the church and a final grant report will be required.

    *Church is defined as congregations, houses of worship, communities of faith, etc. that are established and organized as such by the IRS. 

    For more information about Faith Partner grants click here.

    Click Here to Apply

  • Strategic Grants support the focus areas of: education; community and economic development; and diversity, equity, and inclusion (read more about here.

    Strategic Grants are available annually in the spring – check back in early 2024 for updated application dates!


  • The Community Foundation for Muskegon County believes civic engagement is essential to a healthy democracy. Engaging Muskegon County residents in voting strengthens our community’s voice. Nonprofits often have connections to communities that may be underrepresented at the polls and are trusted sources of information. Contrary to popular belief, nonprofits are welcome to engage in nonpartisan efforts to get out the vote! Grants are available in the two month prior to primary and general elections.

    There are many fantastic (and FREE) resources to help you formulate your plan – a great place to start is
    All grant application entries become the property of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County.
    Please share the work you’re doing with your network, using the hashtag #WatchMuskegonVote on social media. Communicate your ideas and projects with us at – we want to share your great ideas!

  • On January 17, 2023, we asked community members to join us in celebrating the National Day of Racial Healing. This day, launched by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, encourages community members to reflect on and create solutions to combat inequities in our community. This day is observed the Tuesday after Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

    One of the Community Foundation’s strategic goals is to enhance community trust and promote prosperity for all. This day is a great way to commemorate the work the Community Foundation is trying to accomplish by creating a vibrant community for all.

    While National Day of Racial Healing mini-grants are now closed, we encourage you to continue the work of racial healing by exploring the action kits and taking action in your community. If you have any questions, please reach out to or 231-722-4538. For more information and access to the action kits, visit

  • Committee Grants will open again in early 2024!

    Grants will be available from the following Committees:

    Environmental – supports programs that promote, strengthen, and advance environmental interests. This committee also oversees the James Hanna and Mary H. Murphy Land Fund, which supports acquiring, conserving, or enhancing public accessibility to green space, open lands natural parks, or undeveloped land its natural state West of US 31.

    Muskegon County Lions Club – supports hearing and vision services for Muskegon County residents.

    Muskegon County Medical Society – supports medical training and STEM education related to the medical field.

    White Lake Community – supports programs and projects that benefit residents of the White Lake Area.

    Greater Muskegon Service League’s Women and Children’s Fund – supports programs for Muskegon County women and children. Priority for innovative program or projects, rather than general operating support. Priority to programs that support low income or marginalized populations.

    The Youth Advisory Council – supports programs related to mental health, substance abuse prevention, and race discrimination. These priorities were chosen based upon results of the youth empowerment survey performed in 2021.

    Fall 2023 – Application Deadlines:

    Application of Intent – September 7

    Full grant application: September 21


    On August 3, the Community Investment Team presented a workshop on Committee Grants. Access the recorded presentation here. Passcode: T1szMr0+

    To learn more about Committee grantmaking, click here.

    Click Here to Apply

  • Our Youth Advisory Council (YAC) invites school district employees to apply for mini-grants to help them out in the classroom. Whether it’s a new idea or that little extra you need to make your lesson plans great, you can brighten your classroom with help from the YAC. Grants can be up to $500 for specific projects or programs including: program enhancement that meets curriculum guidelines, expanding an already existing unit, student awards, special events, professional development, artists in residence and parent involvement programs.

    Teacher Mini Grants will open in the fall of 2024.

    Mini-grant application or award questions contact Janelle Mair

  • The Muskegon LEAD (Leading Efforts Against Discrimination) Giving Circle was organized to collectively fund initiatives in Muskegon County specifically and intentionally focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. The circle is comprised of 40 young community members with a shared vision of creating a vibrant community with great opportunities for all. This fall, the Muskegon LEAD Giving Circle will highlight, support, and encourage further action for an organization in our community doing exemplary work around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI).

    What is the process? Organizations should submit a compelling, one-page summary that makes the case for investment in your organization as a LEADer. An excellent summary would include the following:

        • Mission and vision of the organization and how that mission and vision compel your organization to work and lead towards JEDI.
        • Existing programs and activities that highlight work related to JEDI, including how your target community has been engaged in the planning and implementation of that programming
        • Future plans and dreams for work that will create a just, diverse, inclusive, and equitable community, including how a grant of $5,000 – $7,000 would move that work forward.

    Muskegon LEAD Grants will open in the fall of 2024.

    Click Here to Apply




    Questions? Contact us at or 231-722-4538.

For more information about Community Foundation grants, contact:

Janelle Mair, 231.332.4116 or

Other Application Resources

Helpful Links:

Grant Application Overview
Grant Application Guide
Final Grant Report Evaluation Sheet
Grantee Media Kit

Submittable is the online application portal used for grants submitted prior to April, 2022.  Use the link below to access previous applications and final grant reports.  Beginning April 2022, all applications will be submitted in the Grant Lifecycle Manager (GLM) – the link is provided in each application description.



Past Grant Awards

View a complete listing of our previous grant awards, including the organization, project, amount, and grant fund.

Learn More

Grant Guidelines

If you're wondering how to make your grant proposal better, or what organizations submit the strongest proposals, we can help.

Learn More

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