Grant Application Information
The submission deadline for the annual grant cycle is March 15.
For additional information and grant application form, visit:
The Greater South Haven Area 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 of 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 applications, the Grants Committee makes recommendations to the Foundation’s Board, which makes all final funding decisions.
In evaluating grant applications 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
The Foundation generally does not make grants for the following:
- Ongoing operating expenses
- Equipment purchased prior to grant application
- Debt reduction
- Annual appeals or membership contributions
- Projects benefiting a limited number of persons
- Religious purposes or programs requiring religious participation
- Political purposes
- Endowment building
Conflicts of Interest
A conflict of interest is defined as any activity or interest that may cause bias for or against a particular grant application being considered. Members of the Board of Directors are active in the greater South Haven community and as a result, conflicts of interest may arise from time to time. Board members are required to disclose in writing and discuss actual and potential conflicts. Once a conflict is disclosed, members may, if appropriate, abstain from further consideration of a particular grant proposal.