Tips for Applicants

How does the Community Foundation decide what to fund?

Our committees make decisions based on our efforts to:

  • Invest Wisely: Consider the strength of the organization and the potential benefits to Emmet County residents; the Community Foundation may fully fund, partially fund or decline to fund a request
  • Prioritize: Determine which programs meet real needs in the community and how Community Foundation funding can be most valuable
  • Be Diligent: Require clear plans for implementation and evaluation of the program or project
  • Think Long-Term: Consider the sustainability of the project
  • Consider Other Funding: Encourage diverse funding, including the organization’s own
  • Use Our Broad Representation: Include diverse opinions on committees for balanced decisions
  • Learn from Our Past Grants: Utilize lessons learned by past grantees in their efforts to impact our community
  • Think Bigger: When possible, we hope grants can have a more transformational impact on your organization or the community.
What are characteristics of a strong grant application?
  • The narrative is written clearly and succinctly.
  • The application explains what the program or project hopes to accomplish, why it is important, and how that outcome will benefit community members.
  • Reviewers will understand how you will achieve the results you propose in the application.
  • The plan for evaluation is explicitly addressed.
  • Based on the explanation of the budget and other funding, grant reviewers will know your priorities and how the project will change depending on changes in funding.
What is included in a complete application?
  • Grant Application, including the Budget Form and all required signatures
  • Organization’s operating budget for its current fiscal year, with actuals to-date (not required for schools or municipalities). Click here to see an example operating budget template (will open an Excel file).
  • Organization’s operating budget for its prior fiscal year, with year-end actuals (not required for schools or municipalities). Click here to see an example operating budget template (will open an Excel file).
  • Organization’s Statement of Financial Position, if readily available. This statement is also known as a ‘balance sheet’ of assets and liabilities (not required for schools or municipalities). Click here for a primer and an example.
  • List of your organization’s board of directors
What is expected if my organization receives a grant?
  • You’ll be expected to maintain your status as a tax-exempt, charitable organization and to use the grant for the purpose stated in your grant application. If there are major changes, please call the Community Foundation.
  • The funds are available when you receive the letter – you’ll need to let us know when you are ready to use the funds.  We cut checks mid-month and at the end of the month.
  • We ask that you credit the contributing funds of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation in news media, printed materials, website, and social media as a supporter of the project.
  • If appropriate, share opportunities for the Community Foundation to attend, participate, or visit to learn more about your program, project, or organization.
  • Submit a final report on or before the end of the grant period, August 31, 2017, using the Final Report Form (which can be found on our website). The Final Report should respond to the goals identified in your proposal and should include an accounting of the grant expenditure, project outcomes, and public relations material.