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Community Foundation Awards $111K in Grants Across Five-County Region

[Photo credit: Generations Ahead // Image description: A young father with his two children sitting at a table and working with crafting stamps.]

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation is awarding $111,000 in grants to seven organizations across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counites to support transformational impact for their mission-driven work. Grants are provided through the Foundation’s community funds, which offer responsive, flexible funding that aims to meet a wide variety of needs and opportunities, in addition to its Wilfred and Joan Larson Endowment.

“Historically, most of our grants have been donor directed and many of our grants will continue to be,” said David Mengebier, President and CEO of the Community Foundation. “In contrast, community fund grants—which come from undesignated gifts to the Foundation—are often larger and provide our board and staff with the flexibility to target funding to support transformational efforts led by our community partners.”

Community fund grants from the Foundation will support the following organizations and programs:

  • Discovery Center Great Lakes ($20,000) to transform Discovery Pier into a barrier-free public park and hub for nonprofit and educational entities to help deliver their programming.
  • Housing North ($20,000) to support the launch of the Housing Ready Program in Leelanau County.
  • Generations Ahead ($15,000) to aid organizational sustainability and equity through a comprehensive evaluation and development of a logic model.
  • Land Information Access Association ($15,000) to gather and improve access to septic system data in northwest lower Michigan.
  • Northern Blooms Montessori Family Center ($15,000) to support start-up costs for the community-centric early childhood program.
  • Thompsonville Area Revitalization Project ($15,000) to support phase two of the Revitalization Project, which will consist of an engineering and construction design study prior to the creation of a visitor's center and trailhead that will meet the Betsie Valley Trail in Thompsonville.
  • Traverse Symphony Orchestra ($11,000) to help develop the TSO’s Community Music School, which will provide a wide variety of music opportunities to young people and adults, including ensembles, group classes, private lessons, and community outreach.

As part of this cycle, grant applications were evaluated through a multi-level process that included community representatives. The process began with an initial staff review and then continued to the Foundation’s Grantmaking Committee for final decision-making. This Committee is made up of several board directors from the Foundation and one non-board member; collectively, they represent a variety of communities across Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties.

“During this grantmaking round, we received 39 applications from many different organizations,” said Steve Wade, Vice President of Community Impact. “We appreciate everyone who applied and hope to continue supporting even more organizations in the future as we grow our community fund assets.”

For those interested in supporting community funds, donations are welcome through the Community Foundation’s website: www.gtrcf.org/give, or by contacting Pam Amundsen, Donor Services Manager, at info@gtrcf.org or 231-935-4066.