Our Priorities

As part of our 2016 Strategic Plan, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County’s Board of Trustees charted a bold course that is now guiding our community engagement, leadership and grantmaking priorities. Three new goals provide the infrastructure for our work and we look for grant requests that are built around one or more of them:

Hope and opportunity for youth
Empowering our youth to have aspirations for a bright future and creating opportunities for them to realize their dreams.

Collaborative community goals and decision making
Supporting active partnerships that are working together sharing power, resources, and decision-making for the common good.

An inclusive community
Building a welcoming, accepting community that respects difference and actively promotes full participation by all people; a place where everyone has the opportunity to share their voice, to participate in decisions that affect their lives, and to have access to all the community has to offer.

Additional Grant Priorities


  • Preserve and support the Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts as a significant community arts resource
  • Encourage quality arts programming benefiting a diverse audience
  • Improve access to cultural programs, especially for children and youth
  • Promote financial stability and organizational development for arts organizations

Community Development / Urban Revitalization

  • Support community development projects which improve quality of life for all Muskegon County residents
  • Support capital projects with county-wide impact and benefit
  • Support capital renovation projects only if they provide new and expanded programming
  • Support programs that will enhance the perception and image of the community


  • Provide a countywide focus (to be considered, individual pilot projects must be accompanied by a plan for scaling it countywide)
  • Increase the number of career- and college-ready high school graduates
  • Improve student access to high quality extended learning programs after school and during the summer


  • Provide environmental education for all ages
  • Promote comprehensive community planning, priorities and strategies
  • Support balanced and innovative land use
  • Support protection and restoration of green spaces, shorelines, dune areas and wildlife habitat, and water and air quality

Health and Human Services

  • Promote healthy lifestyles
  • Encourage families to become self-sufficient

Meeting the Needs of Children Ages 0 – 5

  • Promote responsible parenting through outreach services and education programs, including the special needs of at-risk parents and teen pregnancy prevention
  • Promote high quality child care choices for young children
  • Promote early literacy

Emerging Community Needs

Most community needs fall within our standard grant categories, however, additional important or emerging community issues sometimes arise. These are addressed by our distribution committee and dedicated grant committees, as necessary.

Grant Guidelines

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

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Applying for a Grant

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

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