Founded in 1922, the Grand Rapids Community Foundation is Michigan's first community foundation. Our mission is to build and manage our community's permanent endowment and lead the community to strengthen the lives of its people. The Community Foundations spends only a portion of the earnings from its endowment so that community needs can be met in perpetuity. The Community Foundation serves Kent County through grantmaking and collaboration. Grants are awarded six times a year in the areas of economic prosperity, vibrant neighborhoods, academic achievement, healthy people, healthy ecosystems, and social enrichment. For fiscal year 2006-2007, the Community Foundation awarded grants totaling over $8.3 million. The Grand Rapids Community Foundation is comprised of both trust and corporate assets. The trust assets are held in perpetuity by trustee banks for the benefit of the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. Because the trustee banks file tax returns on these funds, GRCF's 990 includes corporate funds only.
Grand Rapids Community Foundation awards grants to local nonprofit agencies as well as the following special programs: 1) Kent School Services Network - to offer health and human services to eight pilot schools in an effort to boost student achievement and attendance. 2) Scholarship Program - to provide grade school enrichment and higher education scholarship opportunities to Kent County residents. 3) Creating Community for Lifetime - to provide social and civic engagement opportunities for older adults in greater Grand Rapids. 4) Youth Grant Committee - to teach youth philanthropy. Provides hands-on leadership opportunities for high school students to serve as grantmakers. 5) Meijer Good Schools for Grand Rapids - to reward and recognize high achieving elementary schools in the city of Grand Rapids.