Rotary Charities believes that the citizen voice is an important factor in determining what’s best for their own communities. In the Assets for Thriving Communities category, we are looking for projects that have been identified by citizens as important to improve the quality of life in their community. The best projects will demonstrate a robust community engagement strategy and process for decision making. This category is not generally intended to fund the engagement process; if you are interested in that, please consider applying for a Seed Grant instead.

Please refer to the Grant Guidance Document for all guidelines and a full list of required attachments. Click here to view the Assets for Thriving Communities Grant application questions.


Support for community assets that help create prosperity that is broadly experienced.


Assets for Thriving Communities funding can be used for projects that strengthen community assets (and the people that it takes to implement them) including, but not limited to, those leading to:

  • Multi-modal transportation
  • Affordable housing
  • Accessible recreation
  • Arts & culture
  • Energy (efficiency, conservation, renewable)
  • Childcare development
  • Land preservation


Rotary Charities is interested in initiatives that are:

Aligned: Proposed work is aligned with the purpose of the grant category, and it is likely to produce intended results. Work is aligned with other work in the larger system to maximize impact.

Inclusive: Key stakeholders have been meaningfully engaged, including those most affected by the problem and those who have the most ability to affect change.

Collaborative: Key stakeholders will continue to be involved at the level that is best for the initiative – anywhere from an advisory capacity to a joint venture where ownership and decision-making is shared.

Resourceful: Existing resources and assets are used creatively to make the most out of what the system already has. (e.g. Opportunities that leverage other funding and resources; opportunities that put underutilized community assets into more productive use.)

Reflective: Strategies and actions are based on insights from regularly learning from three directions: looking outward at global and national trends; around at the local ecosystem around the issue; and inward at the culture, mindsets and practices of self, staff, board, volunteers and members.

Adaptive: New insights are regularly turned into actions that quickly prototype and test upstream solutions to downstream problems.

We do not expect applicants to excel in all criteria. We certainly do not. We do believe that these are important aspirational goals and we are hoping to encourage changemakers to grow into these criteria over time. If an applicant is weaker in an area, it would be viewed favorably if they are honest about that in an application and genuinely want to grow in that area.


Eligible applicants for funding include all 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, units of government and local school districts serving Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska or Leelanau Counties. Partnerships and networks are encouraged to apply using an eligible organization as a fiduciary.


September 14, 2018


Up to $150,000 total disbursed over 1 to 3 years. Request must not exceed 50% of the total project cost.


First, contact Becky Ewing to set up a time to discuss your project: or (231) 941-4010 ext. 203.

You can view grant application portal instructions here. Access the online application HERE.