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Steelcase Foundation Grant

Grants to Grand Rapids, Michigan and Athens, Alabama Nonprofits
for Arts and Culture, Human Services, and Education

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Steelcase Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Grants starting at $20,000 to Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Athens, Alabama nonprofit organizations for innovative programs that benefit local residents. A Letter of Inquiry must be submitted prior to the full proposal. Funding is intended to support projects with long-term impact in the fields of human services, education, and arts and culture.

Program and project-specific requests, as well as organizational mission requests, are considered.

Grant applications are evaluated against multiple factors:

- Alignment with the Steelcase Foundation mission, particularly a social justice lens
- Implementation capacity
- Board and management leadership
- Inclusion and equity practices
- Feasibility and financial sustainability
- Measurable community benefit and broad opportunities

The Steelcase Foundation encourages grant-seekers to use design thinking, innovation, and system thinking.

The Foundation values projects that have a long-term impact beyond specific project activities. For example, a project that can demonstrate improved third-grade reading scores will be evaluated more favorably than a project that provides books to third graders, with the only measure of success being number of books distributed.

Because of the Foundation's emphasis on outcomes, they pay attention to evaluation. Applicants are advised to keep what they want to learn and evaluate in mind as they develop the project, as well as the assessment tools to be used to determine success (e.g., records, surveys, interviews, pre- and post-tests).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184636

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants generally range from $20,000 to $250,000.

Term of Contract:

Most grants span one-to-three years. Multi-year requests are encouraged when applicable.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Steelcase Foundation awards grants to nonprofit projects in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Kent County) and Athens, Alabama (Limestone County).

The Steelcase Foundation does not fund:

- Grants to individuals or for religious purposes
- Grants to non-qualified organizations
- Grants to organizations outside the mission and geographic focuses of the Steelcase Foundation (Grand Rapids, MI and Athens, Alabama)
- Conferences, seminars or events
- Endowments
- Grants for projects that duplicate, or significantly overlap the work of federal, state or local government agencies
- Requests for office, education, or healthcare furniture.

The Foundation also cannot assist with the purchase of or grant funding for Steelcase, Inc. products.

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Schedule:

Applications due: 1/21/19
Follow up questions sent: 2/11/19
Responses to questions due: 2/18/19
Interviews at Steelcase Foundation: Week of February 25
Board decision date: 4/8/19

Applications due: 4/22/19
Follow up questions sent: 5/13/19
Responses to questions due: 5/20/19
Interviews at Steelcase Foundation: Week of May 27
Board decision date; 7/8/19

Applications due: 7/22/19
Follow up questions sent: 8/12/19
Responses to questions due: 8/19/19
Interviews at Steelcase Foundation: Week of August 26
Board decision date: 10/7/19

Grant Application Process:

- Letter of Inquiry: To start the application process, interested applicants should send an online Letter of Inquiry.
- Online Application: Those applicants whose Letter of Inquiry is accepted will be invited to submit an online Grant Application.
- Follow-Up Questions: After reviewing the application, the Foundation will have follow-up questions and may request more detailed information about aspects of the proposal.
- In-Person Meeting: The Steelcase Foundation will schedule a one-hour in-person meeting (or phone call for organizations in Athens, Alabama) to discuss your proposal.
- Board of Trustee Meeting: The Board of Trustees will discuss each proposal and may vote to approve or decline the request.
- Communication to Organization: Grant contracts with the Trustees’ decision are mailed about two to three weeks after the meeting. However, organizations are invited to contact Steelcase Foundation staff the day after the Board Meeting to learn about the Board’s decision.

The Foundation encourages prospective grant seekers to pursue multiple avenues for support, and typically will not support a project on their own.

For questions about your application or the online portal, please contact Leslie Schoen.

Applicant Bill of Rights:


Contact Information:

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

To submit the online Letter of Inquiry:

Julie Ridenour, President

For questions about the application or the online portal, please contact:

Leslie Schoen

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama: Athens;   Michigan: Grand Rapids