Apply for a Grant

The Community Foundation made adjustments to the 2023 Grantmaking Program. Most notably, we have added a new grant cycle for Arts & Culture, which focuses on supporting arts, music, history, and cultural programs and projects in Charlevoix County. Requests will be evaluated on the criteria listed in the grant guidelines for the cycle in which the request is made. Grant guidelines can be viewed by using the links in the chart below. More details about the updates to the 2023 Grantmaking Program can be found in the recording below, from our Grant Information Sessions held in January and February. 

Use the links below for more information on each cycle and/or reach out to the appropriate contact person as indicated to get started. The first step in applying for a grant is to have a conversation with one of our staff.

Use this link to schedule a grant call with Ashley.

Use this link to schedule a grant call with Megan - Youth Needs Grants Only

For more general information, visit our About our Grants page. 












This cycle aims to support environmental education, protection, restoration, and sustainability initiatives in Charlevoix County and the Lake Charlevoix Watershed, and the organizations that make that work possible. Grantee interview may be required. Review these grant guidelines for full details. 

January 5

March 1, 2024


Ashley Cousens

Arts & Culture

This cycle aims to support arts, music, history, and cultural projects and programs that serve Charlevoix County, and the organizations that make that work possible. Review these grant guidelines for full details. January 5 March 1, 2024 Closed Ashley Cousens


This cycle responds to all needs in Charlevoix County, plus health needs, and the organizations that make that work possible. All proposals from eligible non-profit partners are welcome. Review these grant guidelines for full details.

March 1 May 1, 2024


Ashley Cousens


This cycle aims to support community needs on Beaver Island, in Boyne City, Charlevoix, and East Jordan, and the organizations who make this work possible. Review these grant guidelines for full details.  August 1 October 1, 2023 Accepting Applications Ashley Cousens


This cycle aims to support top youth needs in Charlevoix County, and the organizations that make this work possible. The Youth Advisory Committee has identified priority areas, based on their Youth Needs Assessment, which inform their grant decisions. Grantee interview may be required. 2023 Grant Guidelines.

September 1 November 1, 2023 Accepting Applications Megan Havrilla DeHoog


"Support Us Now" (SUN) Fund grants aim to improve and enrich the quality of life for residents of Charlevoix County. All eligible nonprofit partners may apply for grants of up to $1,000 at any time of year to fill an unexpected need. Grant guidelines.  January 5 Ongoing Accepting Applications

Ashley Cousens

Urgent Needs


This cycle aims to support Charlevoix County residents' access to food, shelter, safety, healthcare, mental health services, utility assistance, transportation, and more. Eligible nonprofit organizations can apply any time of year. Grant guidelines. January 5 Ongoing Accepting Applications Ashley Cousens

Housing Solutions

This cycle aims to increase the supply of housing units in Charlevoix County across a variety of price points. The Fund works to achieve this purpose by being committed to mixed-income neighborhoods and developments, increasing housing choice, and ensuring that development is compatible with local goals and objectives. Grant guidelines

January 5 Ongoing Accepting Applications Ashley Cousens


Return to a Grant Application

Grant Information Sessions

In early 2023, C3F staff hosted two live grant information sessions where nonprofit partners had the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about our grant cycles. C3F staff presented information about the cycles, including any adjustments or changes to our grantmaking philosophy or practice, followed by a period that was open to questions from the partners on the call.

The goal of these sessions was to help organizations understand what funding is available in 2023 from C3F, when that funding is available, and to provide clarification around grant evaluation criteria. 

Another grant info session will likely be scheduled for some time in late August, as a reminder of any changes and to help organizations prepare for the fall grant cycles. More information about that will be found here over the summer. 

Grant information sessions were held on January 10th and February 8th. The recording of the session content is available in the link below.

Click here to view the recorded Grant Info Session. 

Additionally, the following general questions were asked and answered in the two sessions, after the recording was completed. 

How many grants can we apply for? Can we apply in more than one cycle this year?

Generally, we recommend no more than one application per organization, per cycle. One of the reasons we moved to a grant cycle schedule with multiple cycles each year was to create more opportunities for organizations to apply (and for donors to connect to community needs), so organizations can certainly apply in more than one cycle each year. Each cycle is possible because of certain funds, which can do certain things, so talking with C3F staff to vet your idea is the best way to get started. We can help navigate which grant cycle will be the best fit/best chance for funding for your needs. In certain cases, we would allow an organization to ask for more than one project in the same cycle, but we always caution that your organization would then still be competing with itself for grant dollars. Schedule a grant call with Ashley to get into more specific detail and to get started. 

Clarification around asking for what you need: Does that mean we can ask for a grant to pay for salary? 

In short, yes. Organizations can ask for whatever they need this year, including salaries, repeat requests, general support, etc. Historically, we have not always allowed these types of grants because we wanted to avoid donor fatigue or becoming a line item in your organization's budget. A grant is a gamble, not a guarantee. There are many factors that go into selecting what proposals get funded, not the least of which is how competitive the grant cycle is (i.e. how many other requests come in and how your proposal ranks against them.) A compelling request to pay for salary could include factors such as if the position is new or expanding, if the funds are being used as a stopgap until more sustainable funding can be obtained, or if the position is overseeing a program that is new or expanding. The Community Foundation is interested in funding salaries as a contribution toward strong, impactful local organizations.

Can you offer tips for successful applications? 

In our grant guidelines, in the chart above, we share the specific criteria on which your grant proposal will be evaluated in each cycle. Staff can also provide more specific guidance during the grant intake phone call. Schedule a call with Ashley to get started

What is the range of money available in the grant cycles? 

This varies from cycle to cycle. Staff can provide an approximate amount available during the grant intake phone call. As a reminder, we do not restrict the size or scope of your grant request because we know you are doing the research and work to determine what you need most and to ask us for what you need. We do provide context of how much is available in the cycle in which you'll be applying, so that you can determine how much of your need you'd like to ask us for. Remember, you can't ask us for the total project cost; your organization must have some contribution to your project or program. 

Do you have restrictions for partnering with other organizations? 

No! We love to see partnerships and collaboration amongst nonprofits! In fact, having partners on your project is one of the factors for a strong and compelling proposal. It's also great if you have other sources of funding for your project. You can't ask us to fund the entire project cost, so we expect that you will need some way to come up with your organization's contribution. 

How many recipients will you fund in each cycle? 

We don't specify how many grants we will make in any given cycle. What gets funded depends on many factors - how many proposals come in, how each proposal scores on the evaluation criteria listed in the grant guidelines for each cycle, how the pool of proposals for that cycle stack up against each other in scoring, how much money is available to allocate, and how the review committee determines the available funds will make the most impact based on the criteria for that cycle and what proposals are in front of them. We focus less on how many grants we will make, and more on the overall impact we can make with the dollars available. 

Don't forget, Donor Advisors (people, families, businesses who have funds with C3F that they direct for grantmaking) will also have an opportunity to weigh in on proposals submitted during each cycle. 

Do you fund start-up nonprofits?

We have funded start-ups in the past. We have to do our due diligence to make sure that we are being responsible stewards of the dollars that donors have provided for us over the years, so we will ask a lot of questions of start-up and newer organizations. We need to know that certain structures are in place, such as having a board largely free from conflicts, a budget that makes sense and is separate from anyone's personal finances, that by-laws and governance procedures are in place, etc. In some cases we have funded start-up organizations to great success! It just depends on the organization. We handle these requests on a case-by-case basis and often we can provide connection to resources to help organizations be successful. 




501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, educational institutions (preschool through college), and all units of government serving Charlevoix County residents. Additionally, organizations listed above that do not discriminate in hiring of staff or the provision of services. See chart above for who can apply for which specific grant cycles. Also, feel free to contact the person listed if you have more questions about your eligibility to apply. Fundable organizations must be current with follow up reports for all previous grant awards and be in good standing with the IRS.



Arts and culture, education, environment and land use initiatives, community and economic development, civic improvement, human services, health and wellness projects, recreation, and youth projects. Proposed programs/projects must benefit Charlevoix County residents.



Political campaigns, sectarian projects, loan payments or deficit spending, services normally supported by tax dollars, annual fundraisers, or grants to individuals.



Applications for all grant cycles are due by 11:59 PM on the due date. Due dates for each grant cycle are listed in the chart above.  



To get started on any of the grant cycles, contact Community Foundation staff to discuss eligibility with Ashley Cousens or Megan Havrilla DeHoog. See chart above to determine which staff member to contact for a particular cycle. If you are approved to apply, you will receive an access code for the online grant application and account logon page. You can log back into a grant application you started by clicking here. Once you click "submit" on your application, you will no longer be able to access the application. Contact Ashley for assistance and guidance. 



If you receive a grant from the Community Foundation, you will be provided with more information about what to do next. However, you can prepare yourself by checking out our page about Grant Follow-Up