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 Foundation’s competitive grant application. All applications, made online through Submittable are general applications that are matched by staff with the best-fitting fund. Our grants are usually one-time awards. However, we do consider multiple-year requests for projects with a large impact.

To be eligible for a grant from the Foundation’s Unrestricted Funds, a potential grantee must address one of the Foundation’s new leadership goals as well as a Foundation funding priority.

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

    CFMC 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 Foundation’s general grant application to recommend grants from their funds.

    Thomas and Geraldine Seyferth Advised Fund
    Grants from this Committee will be targeted at, but not limited to:

    • Projects of permanency/capital expenditures in Muskegon County, with a focus on youth
    • Development of Muskegon County parks, playgrounds, recreation programs and human service programs that show measurable impact

    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: teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and academic stress
    • Teacher Mini-Grants for innovative classroom projects

    Julia E. Hackley Memorial Fund
    This fund was left by Mrs. Hackley with her directive to provide for the support, maintenance, and relief of the poor people in the City of Muskegon, including:

    • Direct service support to low income families
    • Projects that support self-sufficiency of low income families
    • Projects that address child care and transportation issues of low income families

    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 fresh water
    • 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

    Muskegon County Medical Society Endowment Fund
    Grants from this Committee will be targeted at programs and projects relating to health and science education and services.

    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, for beautification projects or to support 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

    HEALTHY Muskegon Endowment Fund
    Healthy Eating and Access – Local Teams Helping Youth
    Grants from this Committee will support programs or projects that sustainably increase access to healthy food, especially among children and seniors living in poverty

  • 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 Foundation’s Distribution Committee and accessed via the general grant application.

    • Muskegon County College Access Fund – College access programs
    • Clita R. Anderson Child Care Center Fund – Child care centers
    • African American Celebration Fund – Celebration of African American culture and heritage
    • West Shore Mental Health Fund – Identification, prevention and treatment of mental health impairments of children and adolescents
    • Douglas A. Rosen Fund – Lung disease, the arts, and United Way agencies
    • Raymond C. Alstrom Memorial Fund – Music programs
    • Beautification Fund – Projects throughout the City of Muskegon such as parks, natural areas, and publically owned properties, including capital projects designed to improve the aesthetics of these areas
    • Nick Pool Performing Arts Fund – Programs and projects that enhance the lives of the elderly through performing arts
    • Next Generation Child Care Fund – Child care for low income children
    • William and Kathleen E. Joy Fund – Education
    • Roy R. Burch Fund – Education
    • Children’s Wish Fund – Terminally ill children in Muskegon County
    • Edith and Jack Lipman Fund – Improved quality of life for ill children in ways other than providing for health care costs
    • 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
    • Muskegon Quadrangle B.P.W. Fund – Advancement and betterment of girls and women
    • William Munroe/Friends of the Disabled – Camperships and recreation for the disabled
    • Healthy Youth-Healthy Seniors Fund – Programs and projects that improve the health of youth and seniors
    • Dietrich Fund for the Prevention of AIDS & Drug Abuse – Prevention of AIDS and drug abuse
    • A.J. Flogge Performing Arts Fund – The performing arts
    • 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
    • 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
    • Jayne Rollin and Leo Williams Trust Fund – Supports classical music concerts and lessons, and the environment.
    • ESCO Company Fund – Environmental issues, safety improvements, economic development.

Applying for a Grant

All applications for grants must be submitted to us electronically, via our online application process, Submittable.

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Past Grant Awards

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

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