Grants at the Community Foundation

The Community Foundation is a public charity organized as a collection of permanent endowments.  The income from these endowed funds is awarded through a grant application process to provide charitable funding to nonprofits classified by the IRS as 501(c)(3) organizations and other eligible entities (such as municipalities, schools and faith-based organizations), for projects that predominantly benefit residents of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties, Michigan.

Community Foundation Grant Guidelines

To qualify for a grant from the Community Foundation's competitive grant process, your organization must have one of the following:

1. Federal tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; OR must apply through a fiscal agent that meets this criteria.

2. State of Michigan Charitable Solicitation License (unless your organization raises funds exclusively using volunteers and receives less than $25,000 a year; OR if your organization is designated by the State as an “other qualifying entity.” For information, please visit the Michigan Attorney General website.

These documents are not required to be submitted with your application, but the numbers are required for the application.

Community Foundation Competitive Grant Categories

A nonprofit organization may qualify for more than one grant category per year. However, because funding is limited, organizations should be thoughtful before submitting applications for multiple categories. Only one grant application per category will be accepted from each organization.

  • Impact Grants (Closed for 2019) range from $10,000 to $75,000. Impact grantees are not eligible to apply in consecutive years. Projects must predominantly benefit residents of Ingham, Eaton or Clinton counties. Impact Grants must fulfill or leverage a 1:1 cash match.

  • Capacity Building Grants (Closed for 2019) are up to $40,000. These grants are made to support capacity-building efforts that increase a nonprofit’s sustainability and effectiveness by strengthening management systems and governance. 

  • Mini Grants (Closed for 2019) range from $2,500 to $5,000. Mini-Grant requests are provided to the Foundation’s donor-advised fund holders for consideration. There is no guarantee that these grant requests will be funded. Best suited for programs or projects that are not time-sensitive.

  • Youth Fund (YAC) Grants (Closed for 2019) $500-5,000. The Community Foundation’s Youth Action Committee consists of approximately 30 tri-county teens that focus on the needs of youth in their community. The teens research local organizations to identify which ones meet these needs, and extend them an invitation to apply for a YAC grant. The committee reviews these proposals and makes grants from the Youth Fund. There are YAC branches in Charlotte, St. Johns and Greater Lansing.


    Ovid-Elsie Community Fund:

    This fund was first established in 1996.The purpose of this fund is: “To provide financial support to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and other qualified organizations for charitable and educational purposes within Ovid-Elsie, Michigan.” (Examples of other qualified organizations are municipalities and schools, or faith-based organizations that provide a service to the greater community such as a food pantry, clothes closet etc.)

    Applicants may ask for any amount, but the recommended levels are:

    • Ovid-Elsie Mini-Grants: $250-$500 (ideal for smaller programs, projects, supplies, etc.)
    • Ovid-Elsie Impact Grants $1,000 – $5,000 (ideal for larger projects that will make an impact in the community or school)

    All applications are to be returned by email, or mail/fax by 5 pm on October 15.
    The Grant Selection Committee will meet at the end of October and applicants will be notified in November.

    Download the Ovid-Elsie 2019 fillable PDF application

    OR download the Ovid-Elsie 2019 printable application to hand write

The following areas will not be considered for funding through the Foundation application process:

  • Sectarian or religious programs

  • Individuals

  • International organizations

  • Endowment funds

  • Annual meetings

  • Routine operating expenses

  • Existing obligations, debts or liabilities, incurred before the grant committee decision date

Regarding Capital Campaigns

We will consider leadership gifts at the beginning of capital campaigns, to help leverage other giving. Please contact us for information.

Regarding colleges, universities and schools

For Impact Grants, we will not support routine operating expenses, projects and activities, or equipment which are within the primary instructional and service responsibilities of a college, university or school, or which benefit only the college, university or school faculty, staff and students. Applications for funding of projects and activities sponsored or provided by colleges, universities and schools must: 1) demonstrate benefit to the broader community beyond the academic institution, and 2) include letters of support from community organizations. 

Scholarships - Are you a student looking for a scholarship? We hold many scholarship funds, administered directly by local high schools. Contact your high school for details about available scholarship opportunities.

Inclusion/Non-discrimination Statement

The Community Foundation values projects and agencies that promote inclusiveness and that do not discriminate in hiring staff or providing services on the basis of race, gender, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.

Revised 8/22/2019

Contact Information

330 Marshall St. | Suite 300 | Lansing, MI 48912 | Directions
P: (517) 272-2870 | F: (517) 272-2871 | Email Us

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