Lowell Community Foundation

Benefiting the Lowell area since 1997

The Lowell Area Community Foundation gives grants to organizations that assist in fulfilling its mission to assure community cooperation and participation that supports a healthy, dynamic community. The Lowell area is currently defined as the City of Lowell, the Township of Lowell, and the Township of Vergennes. Read what we've been up to this year by downloading our annual report. 

The fund places an emphasis on broad educational initiatives, but also supports initiatives in the areas of arts & culture, community development, environment, health, human service, and recreation in the Lowell area. 

It gives priority to projects that:

  • Encourage and promote community involvement
  • Represent an innovative startup effort
  • Obtain the necessary additional funding to implement and maintain the project
  • Yield substantial community benefit
  • Are managed by nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status
  • Serve a broad segment of the community
  • Promote cooperation among agencies
  • Address needs of the Lowell area
  • Address quality of life issues
  • Promote civic and community pride
  • Strengthen or improve agency self-sufficiency or efficiency 

While the Lowell Area Community Fund encourages creative and innovative projects, it generally does not support:

  • Political projects, or those that are primarily cause-related
  • Individuals
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Profit-making activities 

Please direct questions about grantmaking guidelines to Janean Couch, program officer for Grand Rapids Community Foundation, at (616) 454-1751 or jcouch@grfoundation.org.


Apply for a Grant

More than $600,000 is available each year for nonprofits benefiting the Lowell Area. Grants are reviewed by the Advisory Committee three times/year, with application deadlines on the third Friday of April, August and December.

Apply Now

Our Origins

History of the Fund

In May of 1996, Harold J. Englehardt set into motion a legacy that will benefit the Lowell area community in perpetuity. Known as a low-key, humble man who lived his life simply and without fanfare, Mr. Englehardt was a self-made millionaire who chose to give back to the community he loved so well. Upon his death, the Lowell Area Community Fund (LACF) was created through a $12.7 million philanthropic bequest from Mr. Englehardt. He hoped the LACF would promote and stimulate a strong sense of community and make the Lowell area a better place for all. 

Of particular concern to Mr. Englehardt and his wife, Mildred, was quality education. Although education was named as a definite priority, he listed other causes as well. His overall vision for this fund was to encourage a healthy community by supporting educational and scholarship programs, the arts and culture, economic development, the natural environment, health, human services and recreation.

Although the seed money for the fund originated from a private source, the Advisory Committee of the Lowell Area Community Fund is charged through Mr. Englehardt's fund agreement to act upon grant applications with the good of the community in mind. 

A Few of our Grants

We're Proud to Support These Great Nonprofits

  • Camp Fire USA
  • Christ the King School
  • Christian Caregiver Relief (CCR) – Lowell Chapter
  • Fallasburg Historical Society
  • First Congregational Church
  • Flat River Outreach Ministries
  • Gilda's Club Grand Rapids Lowell Program
  • Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association
  • Grand Valley American Indian Lodge
  • Greater Lowell Chamber Foundation
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Impact Church
  • Kent County Agricultural Preservation Board
  • Kent County Parks Department
  • Kent County Youth Agricultural Association (Youth Fair)
  • Kent MSU Extension
  • Land Conservancy of West Michigan
  • Lowell Amateur Radio Club
  • Lowell Area Arts Council
  • Lowell Area Historical Society
  • Lowell Area Recreation Authority
  • Lowell Area Schools
  • Lowell Area Schools Education Foundation
  • Lowell Charter Township
  • Lowell Community Wellness
  • Lowell Friends of the Library
  • City of Lowell
  • Lowell-Alto 4-H Friends Club
  • North Country Trail Association
  • Rockford Ambulance
  • Senior Neighbors
  • St. Mary Catholic Church
  • Vergennes Township
  • West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition
  • YMCA