While making grants to nonprofits is core to our work, there's something else we do that sets us apart—we call it Community Leadership. When we see an issue that needs addressing, we gather other leaders and work to find a solution. Read about our efforts here.
Our Black Legacy Fund, led by community volunteers, builds on the legacy of giving in Black communities in greater Grand Rapids. This endowed Field of Interest fund has traditionally focused on providing education and job opportunities for Black youth. Today, the Black Legacy Fund is building on that legacy and broadening the scope of the fund’s impact.
Challenge Scholars bridges the education gap by guaranteeing students a last-dollar scholarship and surrounding them with extra academic and college readiness supports beginning in 6th grade. Students in the graduating classes of 2020 - 2028 at Harrison Park School and Westwood Middle School, Union High School are enrolled as Challenge Scholars. To be eligible for the two or four year scholarship they must graduate from Union High School.
Post-secondary education and training open doors for students' careers and lives. The Community Foundation creates opportunities through scholarships, grantmaking and our Challenge Scholars program. Our goal is to create a region where race, ethnicity or first-generation status are not predictive of student success.
Our LGBTQ Fund was established in 2014 to provide a safe, welcoming and healthy environment for LGBTQ+ communities in West Michigan by increasing wellness and prosperity levels, visibility, acceptance, support and access to resources.
Somos Comunidad Fund, led by community volunteers, was established to support Latinx focused and driven initiatives. Informed by Latinx communities in Kent County, the advisory committee strives to create an adaptable approach to balance support for immediate needs while addressing root causes of inequity.
Students from public, private and home-school high schools throughout greater Grand Rapids make up Grand Rapids Community Foundation's Youth Grant Committee. During the school year, Youth Grant Committee members meet and assess youth issues, develop a request for proposals process to address those needs, follow up with previous grantees, conduct interviews and site visits and award grants.