Now Accepting Youth-focused Grant and Service Project Proposals

Imagine being 17 years old and teaming up with 32 of your peers to give away $50,000. This is what members of Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Youth Grant Committee do each spring. Kicking off the annual grantmaking process, the Youth Grant Committee is pleased to announce that this week they will begin accepting applications for 2008 youth grants.

Any Kent County nonprofit organization seeking funding for a program that benefits youth can apply for a youth grant. Ranging from $500 to $15,000, grants have been awarded to programs to help teens deal with issues ranging from stress to teen pregnancy to academic achievement and more.

New this year, the Youth Grant Committee will also provide funds for teens to carry out youth-focused community service projects. The Kids Engaging Youth in Service, or KEYS, program will provide grants for creative community improvement projects planned and implemented by local teens, for local teens. An example of a KEYS project may be an after school group making blankets for homeless children or painting a mural with a positive youth message. Any youth ages 13-18 in Kent County may apply for a KEYS grant.

Applications for youth and KEYS grants are due February 11, 2008. Grant applications are available online at

Each year, the Youth Grant Committee, which includes students from local public, private and home schools, undergoes an intensive grant review process to award grants to youth-focused programs. The money available for grants comes from income generated by a $1.6 million Youth Fund, which is held in permanent endowment by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. The Youth Fund was established in 1991 with $1 million in matching funds from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

For more information about the Youth Grant Committee, please contact Cris Kooyer, youth program officer with the Grand Rapids Community Foundation at 616.454.1751 x118.