Community Foundation Announces $188,000 in Grants to Make a Difference in Charlevoix County

The Board of Trustees of the Charlevoix County Community Foundation (C3F) recently approved $188,365 in grants through the March 1, 2018 grant cycle. The grant awards included three capacity building grants to area non-profit organizations to engage their boards/staff in strategic planning and fund development efforts.  The grants will give them the tools and consultant assistance they desire to internally build their organizations to better deliver their respective missions.  “In essence, the plans will help them develop a roadmap to the future to focus work efforts and create financial diversity and stability. It is hard work that will be well worth the effort,” said Maureen Radke, Program Officer with the C3F. 


Meeting urgent needs for those who seek extra help paying bills were a high priority, with six requests receiving full funding for a total of over $22,000. Even though unemployment is low, we continue to field requests to help the working poor, who cannot pay the bills each month. These grants will help cover: fuel and utility payments; patient assistance needs where there are gaps in coverage; add food to pantry shelves; and meet mental health funding gaps. “For some of our friends and neighbors, the winter is not over yet.” Radke added.


Two special cultural events not-to-miss in late summer/early fall also earned support, including a traveling national Smithsonian Museum Exhibit entitled “Water/Ways”. The Beaver Island Historical Society and Raven Hill Discovery Center have been chosen as sites for this unique interactive display. It will highlight the importance of northern Michigan’s water as a natural resource to be treasured.  There will be multiple events centering on our fantastic water resources at both sites as well. Visit these websites for more information: and .


Charlevoix County youth will also feel the positive effects of this grant cycle. The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) reviewed and supported $17,475 in programs that responded to the needs of newborns, middle school-aged students and those with physical limitations.  A STEM-based family program also received YAC support. The YAC are responsive to programs that affect two or more communities in Charlevoix County and that have a youth focus. “The compassion that the YAC exemplify for others in need, and for those that may have different interests than them personally, is truly amazing,” stated Mishelle Shooks, Program Officer at C3F.


In addition to grants to benefit youth, the recent grants support programs in the arts; education; community development; the environment; human services; health and wellness; recreation and more.   Grant proposals from area non-profit organizations keep the Community Foundation informed of community needs and connect the programs and projects with donors who want to help make a difference close to home.