Grant Application Information
The deadline for Spring grant submission is April 15, 2017.
For additional information and grant application form, visit:
The South Haven Community Foundation is governed by a volunteer board of directors broadly representative of the South Haven community. Our mission is to benefit our community; to provide responsible stewardship of gifts donated; to promote leadership in addressing community issues; to make grants that support the strategic plan. Priorities according to the current strategic plan are projects that seek to enhance the quality of life in the South Haven area (within a 10 mile radius of downtown South Haven) through education, economic development, arts and culture.
These grant guidelines and policies apply only to the unrestricted philanthropic funds in the Community Foundation and not to those funds for which donors have directed the use of a particular fund to a specific charitable purpose. Those funds are administered separately.
The Foundation makes grants only to organizations that are recognized by the Internal Revenue Code as nonprofit, tax-exempt, charitable organizations; or to qualified governmental agencies.
Decision-making Process & Evaluation
A committee made up of community volunteers and members of the Foundation’s board of directors evaluates each application. Members are selected to represent the broad geographic and professional diversity of the South Haven community. The Board of Directors makes every effort to appoint committee members who will be unbiased and fair in evaluating proposals.
After a thorough review of the proposals, the Committee makes recommendations to Board of Directors, which makes all funding decisions. Occasionally the Grants committee may suggest that a decision on an application be postponed.
In evaluating grant proposals the Foundation gives consideration to:
- Project Quality: Established community need, expected benefits, planning, similarity to other programs, reasonableness of budget and grant request, other expected funding sources, potential to leverage other grants.
- Community Impact: Number of people affected, potential impact, demonstrated community need/desire for the project, collaboration with other organizations, volunteer commitment to the project.
- Project Management: Staff and board experience, organizational ability to carry out the project, mission-appropriate, long-range plan for the project and the organization, future of the organization.
- The Foundation also takes into account whether the Foundation has adequate resources to effectively respond to the request.
Guidelines & Policies
Preference will be given to proposals that:
- Address priority community concerns
- Are change-oriented and problem-solving in nature
- Will have the greatest benefit per dollar granted
- Have the potential of leveraging additional grants from other sources such as government and other foundations
- Assist grant recipients to achieve certain objectives
- Grants will be made only to non-profit charitable organizations.
- Grants will be made only to organizations that provide for a responsible nonprofit fiscal agent and adequate accounting procedures
- Grants will be made only for projects/programs that are certified in writing by the chair of the organization’s government body.
- Grantees must submit final grant evaluations reports in a timely manner. If reports are delinquent from a previous grant current applications will not be considered
The Foundation generally does not make grants for the following:
- Ongoing operating expenses except on a short-term basis when support is critical to the survival of a key agency or program
- Programs/equipment that were committed to prior to the grant application period
- Debt reduction
- Annual appeals or membership contributions
- To or for projects/organizations benefiting individuals or a few persons
- Travel expense for individuals or groups
- Support of public or private educational institutions or government agencies except in special situations where support is essential to projects/programs that meet critical community needs
- Religious purposes or programs requiring religious participation
- Political purposes
- Endowment building
Conflicts of Interest
Because board and committee members are active in the community, potential conflicts of interest may arise from time to time. It is the Foundation’s policy to deal with any conflicts of interest as openly as possible. A conflict of interest is defined as any activity or interest that may cause bias for or against a particular grant being considered. Committee and board members will disclose in writing and discuss potential conflicts and answer relevant questions. Once a conflict is disclosed, members may, if appropriate (as determined by the Board or Committee), abstain from further consideration of a particular grant.