The foundation gives first consideration to projects in the following areas:
- Business, professional, and career/employment training and re-training.
- Educational programs designed to optimize learning at any stage of the learning lifecycle from preschool to post-secondary. The scale of the effort can be large or small, work within existing learning environments or create new access/outreach portals. Initiatives should show promise in approaching and addressing emerging needs and challenges.
- Initiatives designed to catalyze and diversify local and regional economies.
- Projects and practices that encourage ongoing development, stability, and sustainability of localized business corridors and micro-districts.
- Support in this area involves a specific interpretation of "environment" that emphasizes the responsible blending, sharing, and stewardship of both the built and natural environments. Ideally, initiatives seeking to combine and coordinate economic viability with environmental sensitivity through organizational practices, planning & policy, and land/resource management.
Although we do not pursue specific "field of interest" grants, the foundation does support individual human services programs which can demonstrate connection to the above areas. We also strive for an equitable distribution of supported areas every year.
AREAS WE DO NOT FUND:
Unless by special circumstance, or at the discretion of the Foundation board of directors, the foundation does not support:
- Health & sciences, medical research, or delivery of health services
- Parks and recreation
- Arts (unless connected closely to a specific educational purpose)
Under no circumstances does the foundation fund:
- Programs intended primarily to advance specific religious or political affiliations or agendas
- Direct support to individuals, including individual scholarships or small business loans
- Debt retirement or budget deficit remediation
PRIMARY REGIONAL FOCUS: the Grand Rapids metropolitan area; Western lower Michigan; the central Upper Peninsula. Requests originating outside this area are considered only by referral or through an existing relationship.