Grant FAQs

As you consider a grant application to the Community Foundation, read through the following which includes eligibility requirements, funding criteria and other helpful resources.


General Grant FAQs

We support a wide variety of organizations, programs and projects throughout Emmet County. We rely on our nonprofit partners to advise us of the needs in their fields through their grant requests so that the Community Foundation may meet those needs. Areas of interest are highlighted below, but we recognize that important or emerging needs require responsiveness and flexibility.

The Board of Directors generally does not consider requests in excess of $15,000, annual fund-raising drives, services which are commonly recognized as government or school obligations, debt reduction, endowments, religious programs that advocate specific religious doctrines or do not serve the broader community, or grants to individuals (other than scholarships).

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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Please call us when you are ready to receive the funds. The funds are available when you receive your grant award notification. We cut checks mid-month and at the end of the month.
  • Use the grant exclusively for the purpose(s) stated in your grant application. If there are major changes, please call the Community Foundation.
  • Maintain your status as a tax-exempt, charitable organization.
  • Credit the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation and any contributing funds in news media, printed materials, website, and social media as a supporter of your work. Log in to the grant portal for a list of contributing funds. 
  • If appropriate, share opportunities for the Community Foundation to attend, participate, or visit to learn more about your program, project, or organization.
  • Log in to our grants portal to submit a final report on or before the deadline listed, generally nine months after the grant award. The final report should detail how grant dollars were spent and include any publicity mentioning the Community Foundation.

How to Apply for Grants

  • Tax-exempt, charitable organizations according to the IRS code, educational institutions, state agencies, or municipalities. Applicants must be current with their tax status and, if applicable, their registration to solicit charitable donations in Michigan;
  • Organizations that serve Emmet County or a significant number of Emmet County residents; and
  • Organizations that do not discriminate in hiring of staff or the provision of services.

Our grant application process starts with an email to our grant team of Sarah Ford and Kassia Perpich at [email protected]. We will talk with you to learn more about your proposed project, your organization, and answer any questions about our grantmaking process.

Our Fall 2022 grant cycle is now closed to inquiries. Grant applications are due October 3, 2022. Other grant deadlines are listed below.

Deadline: February 1
Grant: Little Traverse Bay Protection and Restoration Fund Grants
Notification: March

Deadline: March 1
Grants: Community Grants, YAC Grants
Notification: April

Deadline: October 1
Grants: Community Grants, YAC Grants
Notification: November

Deadline: Rolling Deadlines
Grants: Emmet Housing Solutions Fund Grants, Environmental Education Grants, Impact Investing Fund Grants, Strategic Initiative Fund Grants

Step 1: Check out our eligibility requirements and areas of interest. Determine if your organization is eligible to apply for funding from the Community Foundation. 

Step 2: Please email [email protected] to start the process. We will contact prospective applicants to learn more about your proposed projects and answer questions about our grantmaking process. Our Fall 2022 grant cycle is now closed to new inquiries, and grant applications are due October 3, 2022.

Step 3: You complete your grant application online; include your organization’s current operating budget and last year’s final budget; and a list of your organization’s board of directors. Applications must be submitted through the online grant portal by 11:59 PM on the day of the deadline. 

Step 4: We review your grant application. We will send you acknowledgment within a week of the deadline. If the request will be reviewed by the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC), we’ll ask you to choose a time to present on Grant Interview Day. For applications serving the broader community, staff may follow up to learn more about your project.

Step 5: We make grant decisions. The YAC and the Grant Distribution Committee will make their recommendations to the Board of Directors at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting. This process takes approximately two months. You will be notified by Community Foundation staff as soon as possible following the Board’s decision.

Step 6: You receive the funds and do the work. If you are awarded a grant, you will receive a letter that states the conditions of the grant. 

Step 7: You report on your work. The term of a grant award is nine months. If grant funds are not used within the grant period, the grant is considered cancelled and no longer available to the recipient. At the end of the grant period, or the completion of the project, we ask that you submit a Final Report responding to the goals and activities articulated in the application. The Final Report Form is available by logging into our online grant portal. Extensions may be permitted on a case-by-case basis.

Questions? Please contact either Sarah Ford or Kassia Perpich at [email protected]; call us at 231-348-5820.

We support a wide variety of organizations, programs and projects that serve the people of Emmet County. Areas of interest are highlighted below, but we recognize that important or emerging community needs require responsiveness and flexibility.

  • Arts and Culture
    • Promote financial stability and organizational development for arts organizations
    • Keep arts, cultural, and historical programs accessible, available and affordable
  • Education
    • Support for opportunities beyond provisions of state-mandated curriculum (examples include, but are not limited to: student clubs, athletics, performing arts, after-school and summer programs organized and supervised by school personnel)
    • Support for career and technical education programs
    • Support for minor capital improvements which enhance student experience
    • Support for special initiatives that minimize education costs for low-income students
  • Environment
    • Support for projects to protect and restore green spaces, shorelines, dune areas, water quality and air quality
    • Environmental education for all ages
    • Promotion of comprehensive community planning, priorities and strategies
  • Community and Economic Development
    • Support the enhancement of downtown areas
    • Support thriving, livable, and walkable communities
    • Support sustainable local agriculture
  • Health and Human Services
    • Support for basic needs, including food, shelter, home heating, healthcare and childcare
    • Provide organizational support to keep those agencies addressing vital needs strong
    • Provide support for at-risk populations like seniors, women and children, individuals with disabilities, etc.
  • Recreation
    • Keep recreational activities available and affordable for community individuals and youth
    • Support school or amateur athletics and recreational or sports camps
    • Support community parks, playgrounds, and trails
  • Youth
    • Support public education institutions, especially enrichment programs
    • Support for early childhood care and education
    • Support for youth centers and constructive activities
    • Promote citizenship, leadership, and positive values

What kind of grants does the Community Foundation prefer not to review?

The Board of Directors generally does not consider requests in excess of $15,000, annual fund-raising drives, services which are commonly recognized as government or school obligations, debt reduction, endowments, religious programs that advocate specific religious doctrines or do not serve the broader community, or grants to individuals (other than scholarships).


Congratulations on your recent grant award! Now what?

The grant award notification you received shows the grant purpose, the dollar amount granted, as well as the conditions of the grant, including each of the following frequently asked questions:

Our expectations of your project start with your submitted grant proposal. What we read in your grant proposal is what we are expecting unless we hear otherwise from you. We do understand that things can change and some flexibility is important. However, we ask that you please talk to us prior to making any major changes to a project we have funded. A phone call to our grants team is the best place to start, 231-348-5820.

We serve the community through nonprofit organizations. If your tax-exempt status changes or is revoked during the course of our grant, we need to know about it.

Log in to our grants portal to submit a final report on or before the deadline listed, generally nine months after the grant award. The final report should detail how grant dollars were spent and include any publicity mentioning the Community Foundation.

The grant period may be extended depending on the project. Please contact us regarding extensions by calling 231-348-5820 or by email at [email protected].

The following information is intended to help you meet the publicity condition:

Our name: Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation. For additional mentions feel free to shorten it to the Community Foundation. Please refrain from using the abbreviation unless it is specific to our website, www.phsacf.org.

Named funds: Your grant may include dollars from multiple funds within the Community Foundation. They will be spelled out in your award letter.  Here is an example:  “Our organization received a $5,000 grant from the Fund for the Community and the David M. Smith Charitable Fund of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation.”

Avenues for Publicity:

  • Press Releases – Be sure to focus on the impact expected and the stories resulting from your project, and remember to acknowledge the Community Foundation funding. Ask us about our “Big Check” presentations and we will set up a photo op with you and your organization.
  • Social Media – Share your grant award through your social media channels. On Facebook and Instagram, please tag and mention the Community Foundation. Be sure to like/follow the Community Foundation’s social channels from your organization’s page as well.

    Facebook:  PetoskeyHarborSpringsAreaCommunityFoundation
    Instagram: @phsacf

  • Website – Add your press release as a news piece on your website – feel free to include the Community Foundation’s logo and link to www.phsacf.org!
  • Newsletter – Whether you send your newsletter by email or in print, we know your donors will love to hear about your grant award.  Again, include a photo of your project, program or your people – even a photo of your program director setting up a projector for a community presentation.

When you submit your final report, be sure to include a PDF of the press release, a screen shot of or link to your website and/or social media posts, or a clipping from your newsletter or enews.

Ongoing Acknowledgment: When the Community Foundation has provided significant funding in the past to a program or event (e.g. important start-up funding), we would appreciate that support being acknowledged in stories or literature about that program, such as ten-year anniversaries or other special coverage.

Our Logo: Please include our logo on any printed materials or online communication channels related to your grant award. Our logo is available for download below.

Questions: If you have questions about publicizing your Community Foundation grant, please contact Mary Cummings, Communications Officer, [email protected] or 231-348-5820.

Need our logo? You've come to the right place.

You'll find two file options to download here. Looking for a different file type or need assistance? Contact Mary Cummings, Communications Officer, (231) 348-5820.

PHSACF logo - PNG Grayscale