Grant Guidelines

We give grants to 501(c)(3) organizations, churches, schools, agencies and governmental units serving the greater Muskegon County area. Many of our grant committees and funds utilize the Community Foundation’s competitive grant application. All applications, made online through the Grants Portal (GLM), are general applications that are matched by staff with the best-fitting fund. Our grants are usually one-time awards. However, we do consider multiyear requests for projects with a large impact.

Learn more about the priorities of our Grantmaking Committees and Field of Interest Funds below or download a PDF of the information.

  • Qualities of the best grant proposals:

    • Collaborative, comprehensive, and sustainable
    • Designed to prevent problems, rather than simply addressing the effects of problems
    • Provide start-up or seed funding for innovative projects
    • Leverage grant dollars to bring in additional funds; have multiple sources of funding

    The strongest proposals are submitted by organizations who have:

    • Adequate staff/organizational capacity to achieve the proposal goal
    • Sound fiscal policy and responsible financial management
    • Staff and board of directors reflective of the organization’s audience
    • Ability to measure the impact of grant money and report the results
    • Proven record of cooperating with other organizations
    • Capacity to understand and explain how the project will relate to other area services/organizations
    • Broad base of community support

    The Community Foundation does not usually award grants for:

    • Regular operating expenses
    • Equipment, computers, software, and vehicles
    • Conferences, camps, or media
    • Conference speakers
    • Special events and endowment campaigns
    • Individual school buildings or districts
    • Religious programs that serve, or appear to serve, specific religious believers or require participants to practice or adhere to specific religious beliefs
    • Individuals
  • Several grant committees, with their own stated priorities, also utilize the Community Foundation’s general grant application to recommend grants from their funds.

    Environmental Endowment Fund

    • To educate residents about the environment, including social justice issues that relate to current or past environmental practices
    • Improve the quality of the environment through the reduction of pollution and waste
    • Support a balanced and innovative approach to local and regional land use planning that maximizes use of available land and natural resources
    • Promote conservation and restoration of natural areas, air quality, shoreline and dune areas, wildlife habitat, and freshwater ecosystems
    • Support for acquiring, conserving, or enhancing public accessibility to green space, open lands, natural parks, or undeveloped land in its natural state West of US 31 via the James Hanna and Mary Murphy Land Fund

    Greater Muskegon Service League’s Women and Children’s Fund
    Grants from this Committee will address a broad spectrum of programs and projects that address the needs and opportunities of women and children in Muskegon County.

    Muskegon County Lions Club Fund
    Grants from this Committee will benefit organizations working to develop, implement, and support new and innovative programs that assist Muskegon County residents who are suffering from the loss of sight and/or hearing, including the prevention of such loss.

    White Lake Community Fund
    Grants from this Committee support programs and projects that improve the quality of life for residents of the White Lake Area. Additional areas of focus:

    • To improve local library services, provide elderly assistance, support beautification projects or recreational facilities and public parks via the Leonard and Edna K. Blomdahl Fund
    • Support improvements in Covell Park via the Covell Park Fund
    • Support greater cooperation and consolidation between the municipalities via the R. Covell Radcliffe Fund

    Youth Advisory Council Fund
    Grants from this Committee will be targeted at specific youth issues as determined by a youth-executed needs survey:

    • Current focus: mental health, substance abuse, race discrimination
    • Teacher Mini-Grants for innovative classroom projects
  • Field of Interest funds were created by donors to address community priorities that matched their own. As such, they may or may not align with our stated grant priorities. These funds are advised by the Community Foundation’s Distribution Committee and accessed via the general grant application.

    • A. J. Flogge Performing Arts Fund – The performing arts
    • African American Celebration Fund – Celebration of African American culture and heritage
    • Beautification Fund – Projects throughout the City of Muskegon such as parks, natural areas, and publicly owned properties, including capital projects designed to improve the aesthetics of these areas
    • Children’s Wish Fund – Terminally ill children in Muskegon County
    • Clita R. Anderson Child Care Center Fund – Childcare centers
    • Dietrich Fund for the Prevention of AIDS & Drug Abuse – Prevention of AIDS and drug abuse
    • Douglas A. Rosen Fund – Lung disease, the arts, and United Way agencies
    • Edith and Jack Lipman Fund – Improved quality of life for ill children in ways other than providing for healthcare costs
    • ESCO Company Fund – Environmental issues, safety improvements, and economic development
    • Father Jack Foundation Fund – Provide help to those with unmet needs
    • HEALTHY Muskegon Endowment Fund – Sustainably increase access to healthy food, especially among children and seniors living in poverty
    • Healthy Youth-Healthy Seniors Fund – Programs and projects that improve the health of youth and seniors
    • Jayne Rollin and Leo Williams Trust Fund – Supports classical music concerts, music lessons, and the environment
    • John and Christine Schumann Fund – Programs or organizations assisting women in crisis to gain independence by becoming self-supporting and improving the lives of Muskegon County’s children who are disadvantaged, neglected, or abused
    • John and Mary Schumann Fund – Programs or organizations assisting women in crisis to gain independence by becoming self-supporting and improving the lives of Muskegon County’s children who are disadvantaged, neglected, or abused
    • Muskegon County College Access Fund – College access programs
    • Muskegon Quadrangle B.P.W. Fund – Advancement and betterment of girls and women
    • Next Generation Child Care Fund – Childcare for low-income children
    • Nick Pool Performing Arts Fund – Programs and projects that enhance the lives of the elderly through performing arts
    • Raymond C. Alstrom Memorial Fund – Music programs
    • Rhoda R. Rosen Fund – Health-related activities, especially programs that relate to the psychological care of the terminally ill, as well as the prevention and education of cancer
    • Roy R. Burch Fund – Education
    • Sebastian and Frances Kielar Fund – Programs or organizations assisting women in crisis to gain independence by becoming self-supporting and improving the lives of Muskegon County’s children who are disadvantaged, neglected, or abused
    • W. William and Kathleen E. Joy Fund – Education
    • West Shore Mental Health Fund – Identification, prevention, and treatment of mental health impairments of children and adolescents
    • William Munroe/Friends of the Disabled – Camperships and recreation for the disabled

Applying for a Grant

All applications for grants must be submitted to us electronically, via our online Grants Portal (GLM).

Learn More

Past Grant Awards

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

Learn More

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