Five Organizations Receive Community Foundation Grants

Grand Rapids Community Foundation’s Board of Trustees recently approved five major grants totaling $764,500.

The largest grant was awarded to Dwelling Place of Grand Rapids to aid in the support of affordable and quality housing options. The $400,000 grant will be used in the revitalization efforts of an entire city block of Heartside neighborhood, from Division to Commerce between Goodrich and Bartlett, including the preservation of 122 units of affordable housing.

Grand Rapids Public Schools received a $250,000 grant to support year two of a Challenge Scholars Program at Harrison Park School (click to view a video about the program). Through the grant students and teachers will receive academic support and the school will continue to develop its college-going culture.

“We’ve already hired a college path career coordinator, a math coach and a literacy coach,” said the Community Foundation’s Education and Youth Program Officer, Cris Kutzli. “This grant instills those sources to help build students’ skills and abilities for a second year in row.”

Spectrum Health Foundation was awarded $60,000 to support the continuation of the Youth Tobacco Prevention Program. The program provides positive, school-based anti-tobacco messaging and education for students K-12 in an effort to decrease youth tobacco experimentation and use.

“Studies show that about 80% of adult smokers began before the age of 18,” said Kate Luckert Schmid, the Community Foundation’s program director. “This program through Spectrum has proven to decrease the rates of young people experimenting with tobacco and resulted in much lower rates of tobacco related behavior and ongoing use.”

A $29,500 grant was awarded to Creston Neighborhood Association to help leaders organize building and work into 2013 in the North Quarter of Grand Rapids. The area has already been approved as a Corridor Improvement District and is now working to be established as a Business Improvement District.

ArtPrize received a $25,000 grant to help create a micro-donation campaign to strengthen the ArtPrize organization and increase community ownership and public investment. The funds will also help the organization set up a challenge match platform to encourage public investment in ArtPrize.


Grand Rapids Community Foundation leads Kent County in making positive, sustainable change. With its endowment, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation supports local nonprofits, leads significant social change and helps donors achieve their philanthropic goals. For more information, please visit