Spring is the season of sunshine, flowers, and grant applications

March is much more than basketball madness, shamrocks, and St. Patrick’s Day parades. It’s also the season to apply for grants from the United Way of Bay County and the Bay Area Community Foundation.

United Way of Bay County

The United Way of Bay County is now accepting Community Investment Grant applications from local non-profits. Grant proposals must be aligned with one of the United Way of Bay County’s focus areas – education, health, and income stability.

The goal of the United Way grants is to elevate people in our community to be self-sustainable, provide access to a quality education, a healthier lifestyle, and to earn the income needed to support their families.

The agency is looking for 2022-24 programs that serve disadvantaged and underserved populations with a focus on advancing equity in the community. Recipients must provide a plan for measuring through impact through regular reports.

Funding for the grants comes from the annual campaign and fundraising events throughout the year.

The need for these programs is well documented.

Nearly half of Bay County’s population falls into the ALICE threshold, or Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed.

In recent years, the United Way conducted a community assessment program and determined that education, health, and income stability were critical needs in Bay County, says Nicole Luczak, United Way of Bay County President/CEO.

Before releasing the request for the 2022-24 grants, the agency re-assessed the community and prioritized the needs that are most critical now.

“This is to improve school readiness through access to affordable childcare and quality early education programs and initiatives in the education area, to create awareness to resources and services for mental health and substance use disorders as well as domestic violence and child abuse in the health area, and providing individuals and families with the resources needed to achieve financial stability and have the opportunity to improve their socio-economic status in the income stability area,” Luczak says.

To gain an insight to these areas, the UWBC’s community impact committee analyzed data from Kids Count Data, the most recent ALICE report, statistics from the public safety department, community conversations and community health assessments.

Applications are due March 18. More information can be found here, and organizations considering partnering can call (989) 893-7508.

Bay Area Community Foundation

The Bay Area Community Foundation offers several opportunities for grant funding for non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, government entities or schools in Bay and Arenac counties.

The deadline to acquire a password for the online grant application process is March 7.  Contact Joni King, Foundation Program Officer, at (989) 893-4438 or by email, at jonik@bayfoundation.org to begin the application process. Applications will open again in the summer.

Last year, the Bay Area Community Foundation invested $2 million in grants throughout Bay and Arenac counties. These grants provided funding for projects related to arts and culture, education and youth, environment, health and wellness, human services, recreation, and community initiatives.

Grants are awarded at donor recommendation and through a competitive application process. The funding of competitive grants is made possible through a collection of 106 endowment funds administered by BACF. 

 The Foundation is accepting proposals for:
  • Projects addressing needs related to the environment in Bay County and the Saginaw Bay Watershed through the Environment and Saginaw Bay Watershed Restoration funds.
  • Projects that focus on economic growth through community development and improved quality of life in Bay County via the Bay County Growth Alliance Fund.
  • Youth-related needs through the Youth Advisory Endowment Fund.
  • Projects specifically benefiting children or adults with cognitive or physical disabilities in Bay County through the Leslie L. Squires Foundation.
“We recognize that not one agency can do it all alone,” says Luczak of the United Way of Bay County. “But together, we can make lasting change for Bay County.”
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