Grand Rapids Community Foundation establishes partnerships, allocates resources and implements initiatives that seek to eliminate inequities in Kent County. Together with our nonprofit and community partners, we strive to bring people together to solve complicated community problems by addressing the root causes.​

Our Approach to Unrestricted Grantmaking​

Our goal of leveraging our unrestricted resources through our Fund for Community Good and Field of Interest funds to invest in racial, social and economic justice is designed to help create access, develop networks and change the conditions of communities of color in Kent County across many different areas. Taking into account the historical erasure of the voices of communities of color in the design of many systems, our strategy is to disrupt these power structures.

We do this by investing in systems-level work that addresses the root causes of why communities of color are marginalized. We believe the people closest to the pain are also closest to the solution. We listen to community members in a variety of ways to inform our investments and aim to invest in projects that are community-led in voice, scope of work and the iterative process for change. With that, we are committed to continuing to find ways to better resource grassroots movements and organizations.

In 2019 we made a shift in our grantmaking strategy to prioritize organizations that lead with equity and/or are led by people of color.

We define led by people of color as:

People of color are a majority in three or more of the following categories: founder(s), executive director, leadership team, board of directors, volunteers and staff.​​​


in unrestricted resources was raised from the gifts of 510 donor partners to support organizations who share our commitment to becoming actively anti-racist.


grant partners for Fund for Community Good and Field of Interest funds, including 18 new grant partners.


of the $4.3 million in grants awarded from our Fund for Community Good supported the work of people-of- color-led organizations.

Grants + Scholarships​


awarded in grants + scholarships


$7,258,620 awarded from Donor Advised funds


$5,273,214 awarded from unrestricted Fund for Community Good + Field of Interest funds


$5,035,268 awarded from Designated, Agency, Nonprofit + Special Project funds


$1,416,007 awarded in scholarships

Grants Authorized

by Priority Area
$5,295,901 | 28%
$3,808,745 | 20%
$3,503,111 | 18%
$1,857,163 | 10%
Economic Prosperity
$1,706,511 | 9%
$1,296,336 | 7%
$1,416,007 | 7%
$99,335 | 1%

Scholarship Awards​


awarded in scholarships to Kent County students


in scholarship awards for Challenge Scholar students


of all scholarships awarded to first-generation students


scholarships awarded


general scholarship awards


Challenge Scholars awarded scholarship funds during 2021, as of June 30, 2021


general scholarship awards


Challenge Scholars awarded scholarship funds during 2021, as of June 30, 2021

Challenge Scholars

Class of 2021

Challenge Scholars are attending Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Ferris State University, Western Michigan University, Northern Michigan University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, Cornerstone University, Davenport University and more!


seniors were eligible for four-year scholarships.


students benefited from holistic supports made available through Challenge Scholars.