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 non-profits classified by the IRS as 501(c)(3) organizations and other eligible entities (such as municipalities, schools and faith-based organizations), for projects that primarily benefit residents of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties in Michigan.
PLEASE NOTE: To be considered for funding, your organization MUST have:
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 web page:
These documents do not need to be submitted with your application, but the numbers are required for the application.
A nonprofit may qualify for more than one grant category per year. However, because funding is limited, nonprofits should be thoughtful before submitting applications for multiple categories. Only one grant application per category will be accepted.
- Impact Grants 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 are up to $40,000. 2019 capacity-building grants are available only to capacity building partners who were funded in 2017 and/or 2018.
- Mini Grants range from $2,500 to $5,000. A summary of Mini-Grant requests is provided to the foundation’s Donor Advised fund holders for consideration, with a requested decision date of June 15. (There is no guarantee that your grant request will be funded.)
- Youth Fund (YAC) Grants $500-5,000. The Community Foundation’s Youth Action Committee is made up of approximately twenty high school students from around the tri-county area. This committee participates in service projects, and makes grants from the Foundation’s Youth Fund, focusing on issues that are helpful for youth 12-18 years of age. Based on a needs assessment survey, the 2019 YAC will give priority to programs/projects that address the issues of teen mental health, college preparedness, youth homelessness and drug use prevention.
- Patrons Fund Playground Grants (Application period is February 1 - April 1, 2019) The Patrons Fund will assist in furnishing school playgrounds, playground equipment, athletic fields, athletic field equipment, swimming pools and swimming pool equipment, for K-12 schools in Ingham, Eaton or Clinton counties. The Patrons Playground Fund rotates funding between the three counties each year, and will focus on Eaton county in 2019.
- Patrons Fund Faith-Based Organization Grants (Application period is May 1 - July 1, 2019) The Patrons Fund will provide ten grants of up to $500 each, for churches in Ingham, Clinton or Eaton counties doing charitable work benefiting the community. Projects such as food banks, clothing distribution, after-school programs and assisting the needy will be considered for funding. These funds are not available for church building funds or faith formation programs. Proposals must address community needs; must have a clearly demonstrated public benefit; must be fully accessible to all persons regardless of religious beliefs and lifestyle choices; and must NOT require any church participation in return for services provided.
What we generally will not fund:
The following are areas which will not be considered for funding through the application process at this time:
Sectarian or religious programs
Routine operating expenses
Existing obligations, debts or liabilities, incurred before committee reviews proposal
Regarding Capital Campaigns
We will consider leadership gifts at the beginning of capital campaigns in order to 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 with their applications.
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.
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.