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Heart of Cook Grant Program

Grants to Michigan and Indiana Nonprofits and Public Agencies
for Programs in Education, Human Services, and the Environment

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Berrien Community Foundation (BCF) - Heart of Cook Foundation Fund

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $10,000 to Michigan and Indiana nonprofit organizations, government units, and schools in eligible regions for projects in the areas of education, human services, and the environment. The purpose of funding is to build the workforce, support strong families, and protect the environment. This grant's coverage area includes La Porte, St. Joseph, and Elkhart Counties in Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan.

There are two tiers of grants. Mini-grants are for small projects requesting $100 - $500. The standard grant program is for grants of $501 - $10,000. Organizations can apply for only one grant.

The Foundation's three primary funding areas are:

Furthering Education: To promote economic development and provide for a well-trained and available workforce in the area, the Foundation will provide grants to programs that build work skills and to educational organizations and projects that supplement professional development for educators and volunteers. Projects that specifically target science and mathematical disciplines, as well as development in impoverished communities are given priority. 

Supporting Human Services: Strong families are the building blocks for successful communities and businesses. The Foundation will provide grants to programs and organizations that nurture children and youth, help foster independence for those in need, ensure safety and support of older individuals, and teach parenting skills. 

Protecting the Environment: As an energy provider located in a particularly beautiful and unique ecosystem, the Foundation recognizes the importance of protecting, restoring and enhancing the Foundation's natural surroundings. The Foundation provides grants to organizations and projects supporting these types of environmental activities. 

The Foundation is particularly interested in proposals that:

  • Identify specific measurable outcomes with program evaluation methods
  • Address emerging needs or provide innovative solutions to existing needs
  • Focus on prevention

The Foundation takes special pride in supporting organizations and projects in which their employees participate or take a leadership role. The partnership of corporate contributions and employee initiatives typically results in improved outcomes.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 151273

Estimated Size of Grant:

Mini-grants are for small projects requesting $100 - $500. The standard grant program is for grants of $501 - $10,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

A nonprofit organization may submit only one application during this cycle.
- 501(c)(3)
- Units of government
- Religious organizations
- Schools

Priority will be given to organizations not already funded by United Way.

The Foundation does not provide grants to:
- Support salaries and related costs (i.e., fringes,taxes);
- Nonqualified organizations (e.g., for profit businesses, service clubs without nonprofit status (i.e., 501(c)(4)s, 501(c)(19)s, etc.—see four types that do qualify above);
- Individuals, tickets for contests, raffles, or other activities with prizes;
- Religious organizations (unless the request is for a non-religious activity that supports the overall community);
- Fraternal organizations;
- Capital campaigns, endowment funds, academic chairs or fellowships;
- Debt-reduction campaigns;
- Political or partisan organizations or events;
- Sports tournaments or teams;
- Tours for individuals or groups;
- Talent or beauty contests
- High school robotics teams

The Foundation is also interested in whether or not an applicant has applied and/or received funding from an AEP and/or I&M affiliate other than the Heart of Cook in the last 14 months.

Organizations that have received grant dollars for three consecutive years are ineligible to apply for one year.

Pre-Application Information:

Heart of Cook Grant Applications will open in early January, 2020. Applications are due February 10, 2020.

Applying organizations will be notified of the decisions by mail in early April. For those organizations receiving grants, these will be provided at a May reception.

All grant submissions must be completed online. Applicants should receive an email notifying them that the grant was submitted to the system. If an applicant does not receive a verification email, please contact BCF.

Organizations can apply for either a mini-grant or a larger grant. Organizations cannot apply for both types in a single year.

Mini Grant Application Information:

Standard Grant Application Information;

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application:

Susan Matheny
(269) 983-3304 x 4

Berrien Community Foundation
2900 S. State Suite 2E (Main Office)
St. Joseph, MI 49085

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Indiana: Northwest Indiana - La Porte, St. Joseph, and Elkhart Counties;   Michigan: Southwest Michigan

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