We give back by investing in programs that help our community thrive. By partnering with regional nonprofit organizations, our resources—YOUR resources—enable us to do good things in Northwest Ottawa County.

Our grantmaking focuses on six priority areas:

Arts & Culture

We believe that a community that embraces culture and the arts enriches all lives. We give priority to projects that:

  • Bring regional and national art and cultural experiences and opportunities to the community
  • Supports programs that deliver arts and cultural experiences to under-served populations of the community
  • Support the collaboration and growth of local arts and cultural organizations within the community.

Example: Lakeshore Visual Arts Collective’s All Member Show

Diversity & Inclusion

We believe that a community’s effectiveness is enhanced when individuals with diverse backgrounds and perspectives are engaged throughout the community.

We give priority to projects that:

  • Address equity, diversity, and inclusion within the community
  • Involve and empower the inherent worth and dignity of all people
  • Promote and sustain a sense of belonging within the community

Example: Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance’s Summit on Race and Inclusion

Economic & Community Betterment

We believe that energetic, vibrant communities are vitally important to the livelihood of all residents of Northwest Ottawa County. We encourage projects that:

  • Support cooperation among municipalities, especially in the areas of recreation, transportation, as well as consolidated planning.
  • Support the revitalization and beautification of areas of commerce in our region.

Example: The lakeshore expansion of GROW (Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women) 


We believe that the youth of Northwest Ottawa County are our future. It’s important to us that we are serving all students of the community. Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Address the barriers preventing students from pursuing post-secondary education opportunities.
  • Improve student access to the necessary academic, social, and emotional resources required to reach their full potential.
  • Support access to and participation in quality preschool programs, particularly those in under-served populations.

Example: Ottawa Area Intermediate School District World-Class Classroom Libraries


We believe that effective outreach should extend not only to our social community, but to our physical community as well. Priority will be given to environmentally focused projects that:

  • Center on the preservation of natural green space and “smart land use” planning.
  • Address critical water quality issues, including: near shore health, sustainability of wetlands, and non-source pollutants. Lake Michigan, the Grand River Watershed, Spring Lake, and local creeks and streams are of special concern.
  • Promote environmental sustainability through alternative energy initiatives and recycling projects.

Example: Ottawa County Parks Foundation’s Grand River Explorers Trail – Sterns Bayou Connector

Health & Human Services

We believe that a successful, inclusive, and collaborative community should provide opportunities for people to live healthy and fulfilling lives. We give priority to projects that:

  • Support access to physical and mental health services
  • Promote healthy lifestyles and relationships for all
  • Address priorities based on data gathered through Community Needs Assessments and Community Health Improvement Plans
  • Support local health initiatives that are endorsed by multi-sector collaboration
  • Address human needs for underserved populations

Example: Extended Grace’s Momentum Center

If you would like to learn more about our grantmaking priorities or the grant application process, visit our Grants page, or contact our Director of Grants & Program Holly Cole at hcole@ghacf.org.