Community assets that are available to everyone are the building blocks of a fair, thriving and resilient region. Our Assets for Thriving Community grants support the infrastructure & initiatives our neighbors need.

We envision a region where citizens from Kalkaska to Leelanau are able to access what they need to be healthy, engaged and connected to nature. Please refer to the 2017-2018 Grant Guidance Document for all guidelines and a full list of required attachments. Click here to view the 2017-2018 Assets for Thriving Communities Grant application questions. Updated versions of these documents will be available soon.


We support programs and projects that develop, strengthen or build community assets that are available to all, or make an existing asset more widely available. This category is intended for projects that have done significant groundwork prior to application to engage the community, establish working relationships with stakeholders, and execute research to inform strategy. Citizen voice is essential in determining what’s best for our communities. We prioritize assets that have been identified by citizens as important to improve the quality of life in their community. We recommend applicants demonstrate a robust community engagement strategy and decision making process.


Including but not limited to what’s listed here.

  • Multi-modal transportation
  • Affordable housing
  • Accessible recreation
  • Arts & culture
  • Energy (efficiency, conservation, renewable)
  • Child welfare
  • Land preservation
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Education


We’ve learned from our grantees over the years that projects most likely to achieve long-lasting results involve deep collaboration, resourcefulness and the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. We support changemakers who can demonstrate some experience and/or interest in building their capacity in these areas. We do not expect applicants to excel in all criteria. These are aspirational goals and we 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.

Inclusive: “Nothing about me without me.”
Those closest to an issue or opportunity have strong solutions for a way forward. Involve those most affected by an issue or opportunity as well as those who have the most ability to affect change.

Collaborative: “Do what you do best, partner for the rest.”
We are stronger and smarter together. Collaboration can take a variety of forms, from an advisory team to a joint venture where ownership and decision-making are shared.

Resourceful: “Make the most of what the community has”
Creatively leveraging the knowledge, capital and infrastructure that is already available makes for sustainable, relevant initiatives.

Reflective: “Learn from looking out, around and in”
Learning does not take time away from work, weaving learning into the everyday IS the work. We must learn from what is happening globally and nationally; in our local contexts and ecosystem; and within the culture, mindsets and practices of our organizations, teams and ourselves.

Adaptive: “Take action on what you learn”
Building flexibility into strategies helps us use what we are learning to adapt to what’s needed, when it’s needed. Principles of Prototyping and Adaptive Leadership can help.

Aligned: “See & situate your work in relation to others”
Our systems are interconnected and demand interconnected, not piecemeal, solutions – including changemaking and community asset building. Get to know others who are working toward a similar vision. What part of the problem are they most familiar with? Work in ways that complement each other.


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.


August 26, 2019


Up to $100,000 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.