Impact Opportunities for Donor Advisors


Spring Grant Requests - Environment, Arts & Culture, Housing


The Advisory Committees met this week for both the Environment & Land Use grant cycle and the Arts & Culture grant cycle. Both committees had their work cut out for them, with lots of great proposals submitted, and as usual, not enough money to go around for everything. Tough decisions were made, especially at the Arts & Culture committee meeting. All of the proposals were very good, but they only had so much funding to allocate. This is where you could come in!

We are pleased to share the remaining needs with you from both cycles. I hope that you will review the summaries below and if you are inspired to give to any project, please contact Ashley Cousens by March 27th. For the grant cycles, like this, please email with your grant recommendations. The Fund Advisor Portal isn't used for this co-funding opportunity, (though it might be helpful to check your grantmaking balance!).

Additionally, we still have remaining need on the special Housing request we shared with you earlier this month. 

This page will continue to provide the most up-to-date information about the requests and any remaining needs as you all weigh in with any contributions. You can also call or email Ashley with any questions.

Please make any recommendations by emailing Ashley by Wednesday, March 27, 2024.




Housing North  - Housing Ready Coordinator                    Request: $25,000                 Remaining Need: $14,000                                         

This community development liaison serves Charlevoix County by connecting local governments, non-profit organizations, developers, local businesses, and philanthropic and state funding to generate innovative housing solutions. Housing Needs data, engagement and representation in the Regional Housing Plan, and support for local organizations connecting to available funding are moving forward because of this dedicated staff person. The first 3-year term was funded collaboratively by our City partners, the County, the Community Foundation, and the Frey Foundation. We think there is value in continuing to work in this critical area, so the Community Foundation is committing $25,000 in 2024 to keep a Housing North staff person in Charlevoix County. That's a large grant for your Community Foundation, but it won't meet the total need. Please consider using your donor advised fund to help match this grant to ensure continued services for our communities.


Environment & Land Use


Antrim Cons. Dist., DBA CAKE CISMA     Request: $8,460                          Remaining Need: $0

Invasive species present an enormous threat to Michigan’s biodiversity - second only to outright habitat destruction. CAKE CISMA, through the Antrim Conservation District, plans to use grant funds to jump-start a Native Plant Restoration Program to complement their existing Invasive Species Management Program. CAKE will promote revegetation with native plants as a strategy to improve the long-term effectiveness of invasive plant control efforts while also supporting pollinators/wildlife with ecologically beneficial species. Most invasive plant seeds love disturbed bare ground. Removal of invasive plants causes soil disturbance, so without native revegetation, the return of invasives is likely. During its inaugural year, the Native Plant Restoration Program will function as a pilot initiative accessible to residents, conservation groups, and schools within Charlevoix and Antrim Counties. The program will include a revegetation guide for landowners, a seed library, and staff time for additional events and educational efforts in Charlevoix County.


Camp Daggett                                                Request: $8,000                         Remaining Need: $0

There are areas of the Camp Daggett campus where the invasive species, autumn olive, is overtaking the vegetation and needs to be removed. The plant is difficult to eradicate, but Camp Daggett will partner with Habitat Landscaping to accomplish the task. Once the autumn olive is gone, they will install native, sustainable landscaping, including a diverse selection of native woody and perennial species. The new biodiversity will provide habitat for pollinators and birds as well as an education opportunity for campers. The renovated gardens will be used by the summer camp “nature” area director for camper curriculum as well as year-round as part of an upcoming campus-wide STEAM curriculum. Grant funds will support removal of invasive species and installation of sustainable, native landscaping.


Little Traverse Conservancy                        Request: $9,000                        Remaining Need: $2,000

The Elizabeth B Hoffman Nature Preserve, a Little Traverse Conservancy (LTC) preserve in Charlevoix, currently has over 50 acres of agricultural land leased to a local farmer. The long-term plan for this preserve is to gradually transition these fields into native plant meadows that will provide habitat and beneficial relationships for wildlife and people. This fall, LTC plans to start this transition by planting native grasses in an 11.4 acre field after this year’s corn harvest. Many of Michigan’s grassland birds are declining due to a lack of habitat. This field will become a source of food and shelter for native insects and birds in the coming years. Grant funds will help start the work, by providing support for seeds and planting efforts.


St. James Township                                      Request: $7,500                           Remaining Need: $500

To accomplish their natural resources/recreation goals, St. James Township is working to protect, educate, and improve access at the Gull Harbor Natural Area (GHNA) on Beaver Island. High water, winds, and ice during the winter of 2021/2022 destroyed the interpretive signs and damaged the benches located along one of the hiking trails. With grant funds, they plan to replace the signage explaining the GHNA story, how to safely access the area, and to help people understand and enjoy the unique ecosystems on this property. Additionally, they will relocate the trail head to higher ground, protecting the two trail heads from motor vehicle traffic to allow better access.


Tara's Meadow Edu. & Retreat Center      Request: $4,985                        Remaining Need: $1,485

Tara’s Meadow Education & Retreat Center (TM) engages communities who are environmentally concerned, and creates educational opportunities for those with less environmental knowledge. This year Tara’s Meadow is focusing on local foods and ecological resilience on Beaver Island. With grant funds, they plan to bring Islanders together with expert presenters on soil regeneration, organic waste management, and local foods production. They will also spotlight ecological resilience by hosting “Team Monarch” during the BI Sustainability Week this June. They will bring in a Monarch Butterfly expert from Walloon Lake who will lead the planting of native forbs and collection of Monarch butterfly eggs and caterpillars to protect, raise, and release as butterflies in Charlevoix County.


Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council            Request: $30,000                     Remaining Need: $5,000

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council is planning the removal of Stover Creek dam, located near the mouth of the stream as it meets Lake Charlevoix near Ferry Road in Charlevoix. The dam is an old concrete structure that impounds a significant quantity of sediment, serves as a barrier to the migration of fish and other aquatic organisms, affects hydraulics, and may affect stream temperatures. Debris frequently builds up on the dam’s upstream face, causing flooding during high flows. If the dam fails and sediment is released, it will smother the benthic organisms and fish downstream and could lead to algal blooms at the mouth. Grant funds will help with removing the dam, restoring the stream channel profile, and creating instream habitat, such as step-pool-riffles and woody structure, along with streambank restoration, which will greatly benefit the overall connection between the stream and lake. Restoring the stream's hydrology will provide aquatic organism passage between the lake and stream, discharge cooler and better oxygenated water to the lake, and return normal sediment transport processes. The burden of flooding on adjoining properties will diminish and nearby infrastructure will be better protected as a result.


Walloon Lake Assn and Conservancy        Request: $15,000                    Remaining Need: $10,000

The Walloon Lake Association and Conservancy (WLAC) seeks funding to support the acquisition of an organizational truck, essential for advancing their mission and vision of conserving Walloon Lake and its surrounding natural habitats. Staff currently rely on personal vehicles to maintain over 2,300 acres of land in numerous locations around Walloon Lake. This causes inefficiencies in their ability to maintain preserves, as not everyone's vehicle is equipped to transport equipment or handle uneven terrain, and comes at a cost to the organization in the form of mileage reimbursements. Using personal vehicles for preserve maintenance has confused preserve users when they see unbranded vehicles in places they shouldn't be e.g. active-use trails, field areas, etc. Grant funds will help purchase an organizational vehicle, which will greatly improve WLAC's efficiency and ability to complete necessary initiatives in environmental restoration and preservation.


Arts & Culture



Beaver Island Cultural Arts Association                 Request: $3,500        Remaining Need: $2,000

Live theater on Beaver Island has generally been the purview of community productions. While amateur productions serve important communal purposes, the Beaver Island Performing Arts Alliance aims to bring professional performers to the Island for the enjoyment and enrichment of the entire community. Mounting a play with professional direction and actors reflects the organization's commitment to elevate, extend, and diversify the performing arts on Beaver Island to meet the cultural needs and interests of an ever widening audience of residents and visitors. Grant funds will support production of the play and costs associated with bringing performers to the Island.


Charlevoix Circle of Arts                             Request: $10,000                      Remaining Need: $8,365

Charlevoix Circle of Arts (CCA) is requesting funding to support core arts programming, which provides children and adults in Charlevoix and surrounding communities with opportunities for expression, connection and creating through a variety of arts experiences, including fine art exhibits, art workshops, dance classes, youth programs, artist lectures, and other events. From 2019-2023, CCA experienced significant growth in the number of people using the organization’s exhibits, educational programs, workshops, and classes. Programs are effective and highly rated, with 98% of participants developing or improving a skill or technique as a result of CCA programming. Feedback from constituents consistently requests new and continued program offerings. Grant support would help CCA in developing new programs and continuing to provide existing, high-quality programs.


NW MI Arts and Culture Network            Request: $7,500                        Remaining Need: $6,500

Northwest Michigan Arts & Culture Network seeks funding to build capacity specifically in Charlevoix County for the Network’s backbone services, technology and programming benefitting local artists/culture bearers, arts and cultural organizations, creative businesses, and related community projects. While the Network serves and connects regionally, the creative work and those they serve are at the local level. A key strategic goal is for the organization to extend their branches and deepen their roots in Charlevoix County. Grant funding will help bring focused efforts in marketing, relationship building, and convening of local artists, arts organizations, culture bearers, and community members in Charlevoix County.


Raven Hill Discovery Center                       Request: $5,000                        Remaining Need: $0

Raven Hill Discovery Center (RHDC) actively connects history, art, & science in Charlevoix County for everyone. Deer Creek runs under Fuller Rd and through the north end of Raven Hill’s property. Conservation Resource Alliance (CRA) is working on a large-scale project, which includes restoring the natural river flow of Deer Creek and the Jordan River at certain road crossings. The project will improve Deer Creek by replacing the current aging infrastructure with a timber bridge, restoring the creek to its original state. Raven Hill is proud to collaborate with CRA on this work, but it also means that RHDC may be less easily accessible during the busy summer season while the CRA construction is taking place. To make lemonade out of lemons, RHDC plans to staff a pop-up museum in a tent at the corner of Fuller, Pearsall, and BC/EJ Roads, just down the hill from RHDC's main campus. This will allow patrons the choice of making a longer detour on a seasonal road to access RHDC's main campus, or to enjoy the more easily accessible pop-up museum on the main road. Grant funds will be used to help RHDC purchase large inflatable tents to house the pop-up museum.


Traverse City Dance Project                        Request: $8,000                        Remaining Need: $5,600

The mission of the Traverse City Dance Project (TCDP) is to produce and present professional dance in Northern Michigan, promoting collaboration among artists and actively engaging with the community, expanding audience reach and ensuring inclusivity for all, and recognizing the transformative power of the arts to unite, empower, and inspire communities. In Charlevoix County, they are impacting the local arts, music, and cultural scene by returning to downtown Charlevoix for the second year this summer, with a live dance performance in East Park, as part of their 2024 Community Tour. Grant funds will support the Charlevoix show.




Beaver Island District Library                      Request: $3,500                        Remaining Need: $3,500

As a part of their mission, the Beaver Island District Library addresses the cultural, informational, educational, recreational, and technological needs of the community. They are planning cultural programming highlighting Indigenous peoples (Native Americans and other Indigenous peoples from Asia, Hawaii, and Pacific Islands), including crafts like pottery, basketry, beadwork, art, music and dance, writing and storytelling, and cultural foods. Indigenous families reside on the island and attend school, but as a small minority, not much is offered for them to learn about their culture outside of the family unit. It is important that non-Natives also learn about the culture of those who resided in North America prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Grant funds will help bring presenters to the Island and will support program supply costs.


Beaver Island Historical Society                  Request: $4,500                       Remaining Need: $2,500

The Beaver Island Historical Society (BIHS) is requesting funding to bring unique arts & culture programming opportunities to the Beaver Island Community in 2024. The BIHS budgets thoughtfully for programs, so when certain programs became available without much notice, they had to get creative on how to fund and bring these unique experiences to the Island. "Paleo Joe" is a big hit with kids, teaching them about fossils and paleontology. The Stapleton's Harp and Guitar: Inner Seas Shanty's Show will feature storytelling and music about the Great Lakes, told through historic working songs called sea shanties. Anna Marck will share stories of female lighthouse keepers in the Great Lakes. The MSU Irish Dance Group will perform at several island venues during the Irish Feile in September. Each of these programs, and  a few others, will highlight the unique history and culture of Beaver Island and the Great Lakes. Grant funding will help to make 6 unique historical and cultural programs available to the BI community in 2024.


Charlevoix Historical Society                      Request: $6,500                        Remaining Need: $3,250

In 2006 the Charlevoix Historical Society (CHS) was offered the Charlevoix Courier's extensive archive of photos, slides, negatives, and proof sheets, which is now estimated to be comprised of 45,000 items that date from the 1940s to 2007, including a collection from long-time Courier photographer Fran Martin (1909-1989). In 2021, CHS began working to digitize, catalog, and archive these historic materials. The goal is for these to be accessible and searchable by anyone who wishes to do so, at the museum under supervision of museum staff, and eventually online. Grant funds will help staff to progress with digitizing materials from the Charlevoix Courier's collection.




City of Boyne City                                         Request: $2,250                         Remaining Need: $1,500

The Boyne City Farmers Market is looking to expand their Wednesday Market Music series this summer and to increase the pay for musicians. Last season they hosted music during eight Wednesday markets and noticed a decrease in patron traffic on market days without music. They partner with Blissfest Music Organization to showcase local musicians from around the region, which provides a more enriching experience to farmers market patrons while providing an avenue for artists to gain exposure and a wage. The pay increase will help to build a wider range of artists and bring in new musicians to the series. Music at the market creates an infectious energy that draws people in and keeps patrons at the market. Grant funds will help pay for musicians to perform during the summer music series at the BC Farmers Market.


City of East Jordan                                       Request: $9,500                        Remaining Need: $0

The City of East Jordan's Southern Bandshell was constructed in 2004 and has hosted an increasing number of concerts, festivals and ceremonies since its inception. The Music in the Park series takes place each Friday in June and July, welcoming concerts to the Memorial Park/downtown area. In the past, the city has provided a single loudspeaker and microphone for events and has collaborated with Jordan River Arts Council to provide a sound system for bands. Both of these have been helpful but are underpowered for the size of Memorial Park, are becoming outdated, and are lacking in professional quality. Grant funds will help the City to purchase an appropriate PA system as well as a sound system to attract more and better bands and entertainment to downtown East Jordan.


Great Lakes Center for the Arts                  Request: $10,000                      Remaining Need: $6,000

The Great Lakes Center for the Arts' Dorothy Gerber Strings Program (DGSP) is in need of instrument repairs and replacements, new sheet music, and operational support for programming in Charlevoix County. The program provides string music instruction to students in our region, about half of whom reside and take classes in Charlevoix County. Studies repeatedly show that students involved in art achieve better academic outcomes. They are more likely to earn better grades, score higher on standardized tests, graduate from high school, and enroll in college. Grant funds will help to support Charlevoix County students learning music through the DGSP.


Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra                 Request: $24,000                  Remaining Need: $24,000

The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra is seeking support for 2 concerts scheduled for April 20 and July 18. Both concerts are dedicated to raising awareness of cultural diversity and promoting respect for values of other cultures. The concerts will present music inspired by diverse ethnic cultures, feature international soloists presenting characteristic pieces from various regions, and include pre-concert lectures by Maestro Libor Ondras discussing the influence of other cultures on music and the world around us.


Tunes Music Makers                                    Request: $3,500                         Remaining Need: $1,500

The mission of Tunes Music Makers is to cultivate a vibrant and inclusive musical community on Beaver Island, providing access to quality music education, fostering creativity, and promoting social cohesion. They provide music instruction, in person and virtually, as well as instrument lending, to the residents of Beaver Island. Two local instructors teach piano and acoustic, electric, and bass guitar in person. There are also virtual lessons for vocal, mandolin, and ukulele, and a monthly, virtual fiddle lesson with the Donegal Fiddlers group from Ireland. It has been a few years since any music program was offered for the youth of Beaver Island and there has never been one that was also open to adults, nor one that has offered such a wide variety of instruments and genres. The lessons are individual and private and each student is able to learn at their own pace. There has been more interest in the program than they initially projected, so grant funds will help to provide more students interested in music education the opportunity to participate without financial barriers.


Zion Lutheran Church                                  Request: $2,000                        Remaining Need: $2,000

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five American adults live with a mental illness, and for many military members, veterans, public safety officers, and their families, the numbers are even higher. While there are many ways to address these issues, providing community members the opportunity to engage in events and activities around shared interests and experiences is an easy way to improve mental health. Recognizing this, Zion Lutheran Church in Petoskey has been working to forge stronger community connections both among their members and with the broader Northern Michigan community, particularly with veterans, active service, and public safety officials. They plan to host a concert and honor banquet for veterans and the public in November.