Cycle Opens Interest Area Applications Due Final Notification by
January 1 Youth Centered Projects/Programs January 31 April 1
August 1 Community Good (General) Grants August 31 October 31
December 1 Scholarships (College, Trade schools) March 3 May 30

Spring Grant Cycle

Youth related & Youth Advisory Grants

Grant applications are accepted for the Spring Grant Cycle from January 1 and applications are due by January 31.

Fall Grant Cycle

Community Good (General) Grants

Including: Education, Health, Neighborhoods, Engagement, Environment, Prosperity

Grant applications are accepted for the Fall Grant Cycle from August 1 and applications are due by August 31.

Scholarship Grant Cycle

Scholarships Grants

Scholarships grant applications are opened on December 1 and submission must be received by Friday, March 3, 2017.

In general grants are made to projects that will benefit Branch County and/or Colon, Michigan. In making grants, the Community Foundation attempts to understand both the specific objectives of each grant request and the long-term benefits that the community will receive from the initiative. All eligible grant applications are carefully considered by review committees whose membership includes a broad representation of the community.

Successful applications will be for projects which

  • promote development or strengthening of community assets,
  • will have a positive long-term impact on program participants and/or the community,
  • lead to prevention of recurring need,
  • promote cooperation among area organizations with related or supportive missions, and
  • will be financially sustainable without continuing grant funding.

An expression of interest or the provision of an application should not be considered a guarantee of funding. All grant requests go through a complete review process before any funding decision is made.

Before an application is submitted, grant applicants are asked  to meet with our staff to discuss the project. You may contact our staff by calling 517.278.4517 or by e-mailing

The purpose of the meeting is to gather enough information to assess if there is funding available for the particular project or interest area before asking the applicant to go through the more formal grant application process.

If we don't have funding available, we will let you know.  If there is funding available for the project, staff will let you know the status and send you a grant application to complete. An expression of interest or the provision of an application should not be considered a guarantee of funding. All grant requests go through a complete review process before any funding decision is made.

Staff Assistance
Our staff is always happy to assist applicants. After reviewing our pre-application process, please contact us to go over any questions you may have.

Baseline Eligibility Requirements

  • Tax Exempt Status: The organization submitting a proposal is current exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. If your organization is not tax-exempt, you may be able to submit an application if your project is charitable under the Code. Please contact us if you'd like to submit a grant proposal.
  • Charitable Purpose: The project’s purpose is clearly eligible under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code
  • State Filings: The organization's Michigan License to Solicit and Michigan Nonprofit Corporation filings are current.
  • Prior Grant Evaluations: The organization has submitted appropriate evaluations for prior grants.
  • Status: The organization haCancels credibility in the community and with the Community Foundation. This refers to qualities such as the organization meets its financials obligations, e.g. pays bills to local businesses on time or that the organization has used prior BCCF grant funds appropriately.
  • Service Area: Grants from community funds will be made to projects that will benefit Branch County and/or Colon, Michigan.

Initial Staff Review

Each application goes through a process whereby we make sure the baseline legal requirements are met and the project falls within the overall goals the Community Foundation has set for its grantmaking program. Not all steps are applicable to all applications, but the initial review process at the staff level consists of the following:

  1. Project serves Branch County and/or Colon.
  2. Project fits the Foundation’s grantmaking guidelines (e.g. nondiscrimination, etc.).
  3. If proposal submitted to a specific fund, the project meets the fund’s criteria, interest area, etc. as detailed in the fund agreement. For donor advised funds, this may be determined through a written donor recommendation.
  4. The application is complete.
  5. Staff verifies that the applicant has submitted required evaluations for any prior grants.
  6. Organization is tax-exempt according to Section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code and/or project’s purpose is clearly charitable or educational under the Code. Document is checked to make sure it is current (Guidestar or other independent source). ­ - Request the potential grantee’s IRS tax-exempt letter. ­ - Assure the potential grantee’s exempt status has not be revoked
  7. Determine if the public charity is a supporting organization. If so, there please check Additional Due Diligence and Expenditure Responsibility.
  8. Assure the organization’s Michigan License to Solicit is valid.
  9. Check Michigan nonprofit corporation annual report submission status on LARA.

Grants to Individuals (Scholarships)

The Community Foundation makes grants to individuals in the form of scholarships that qualify as a charitable activity and provided income to scholarship recipients that is non-taxable.

To meet those objectives, scholarships (grants to individuals) may be awarded to those who are candidates for a degree at an eligible educational institution and agree to use the scholarship or fellowship to pay qualified education expenses.

Qualified education expenses include tuition and fees; and course-related expenses such as books, supplies, and equipment. Room and board, travel, research, clerical help, and non-required equipment are not qualified education expenses.

Questions? Email or call 517.278.4517.