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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Neighborhood Match Fund


    The purpose of the Neighborhood Match Fund (NMF) is to invest strategically in resident

    and neighborhood leadership, with an emphasis on communities with the greatest need

    to leverage these small financial contracts to achieve the following NMF objectives:

    1. Identify, develop and network resident leaders
    2. Build stronger connections among residents and in their neighborhoods
    3. Address and promote equitable outcomes

    “Equitable outcomes” means the NMF project is intentionally designed and implemented

    to lift up the power and leadership of historically marginalized communities.

    The target NMF contract recipients are Grand Rapids resident volunteers and small

    community-based grassroots organizations and informal groups comprised of Grand Rapids

    residents (i.e. Block Clubs). NMF funded projects must be led by Grand Rapids residents from

    the community of project impact.  NMF contracts are between $200 and $2,500,

    depending on the requested amount, scope of the project, alignment with NMF objectives,

    and balance of funds. Applications are reviewed by committee on a quarterly basis.

    The maximum contract is $2,500.

    If awarded NMFs, the contractor must “match” the contract dollar for dollar. Match

    contributions can be any combination of volunteer labor, in-kind goods and services,

    and cash donations. For example, a NMF contract for $500 could be matched with

    $100 worth of volunteer labor (valued at $20/hour), $300 of in-kind/donated materials

    (Eg. Food, Supplies), and $100 cash donation from a local business or from a grant.


    Important NMF Dates:

    Proposal Submission Due Date

    Decision Notification

    Earliest Project Start Date*

    Estimated Check Arrival*

    March 30, 2017

    April 14, 2017

    April 20, 2017

    April 28, 2017

    June 28, 2017

    July 14, 2017

    July 20, 2017

    July 28, 2017

    September 28, 2017

    October 13, 2017

    October 19, 2017

    October 27, 2017

    December 28, 2017

    January 12, 2018

    January 18, 2018

    January 26, 2018

    *Dates may change and are based on timely completion and submission of all required paperwork (NMF Contract, W9, etc.).  Expenses & match contributions made prior to completed paperwork are ineligible.


    NMF Grant Eligibility Criteria:

    To be considered for funding, the proposed project must:

    •  be Grand Rapids resident led and have a clear public benefit.
    •  take place in the City of Grand Rapids.
    •  clearly and intentionally align to the purpose and objectives of the NMF program listed above.
    •  bide with all City ordinances and polices. Visit the Office of Special Events website for
        information on event related permits, fees and ordinances.
    •  not financially benefit City of Grand Rapids staff, City Commissioners or Appointed/Elected Officials.
    •  not use NMF funds to pay for staff salary/wage expenses.
    •  not include lobbying.
    •  not use City of Grand Rapids funds, including NMF funds, to purchase alcohol.
    •  not increase cost to the City for the maintenance of the project or for any other reason.
    •  not charge admission and/or fees for community to attend/participate in the proposed project.
    •  due their diligence to spend NMF funds with vendors located within the City of Grand Rapids.
       Contractors will be asked to indicate the location (City of Grand Rapids or Outside the City) of each
       expense on the closing report that will be due within 30 days of project completion to monitor the
       amount of NMF funds used within and outside the City. We strongly encourage contractors to spend
        locally in Grand Rapids.

    Additional Criteria:
    •  There can only be one (1) active NMF contract per Applicant and Project Lead at a time. NMF contractors must
        successfully submit all reports and paperwork of previous NMF contract before applying for a new NMF contract.
        A 3rd party fiduciary agent may provide fiscal sponsorship to multiple NMF projects at one time depending
        on their capacity to serve in this role.
    •  All NMF projects must provide documentation of at least a one-to-one (1:1) match with cash, volunteer labor,
        donated services and/or donated materials. If the contractor exceeds the minimum 1:1 match requirement,
        it is encouraged to document and submit the actual match upon completion of the project. This will help
        document the actual contribution leveraged by the contractor.

    Project Roles:

    Project Lead = Grand Rapids Resident helping lead the project and who is from the community impacted.
         This is the person the NMF staff will communicate with for the project.
    Applicant/Contractor = Person, informal group or nonprofit organization located within the City responsible
         for completion of proposed project activities and closing report.
    Fiduciary = Nonprofit organization located within the City that will help with the financial bookkeeping and
         reporting (copies of receipts, etc.) The check will be written and sent to the Fiduciary.

    Required Online Process:
    Before you apply:

             Who is on your Leadership Team?
    1.     Leadership Team must include the Project Lead and at least 2 other members. The Team should reflect the
    diversity of the community that will benefit from the project. If the project is a youth-focused project, the
    leadership team must include youth representation. You can enter up to 10 people for the Leadership Team.
    You will need the following information for each Leadership Team member:

    a.     First Name
    b.     Last Name
    c.     Role in Project
    d.     If they are Grand Rapids Resident or not
    e.     Email Address
    f.      Phone Number
    g.     Optional demographic questions on how they identify racially, ethnically, their gender.
    2.     Fiduciary – if $300 or more is requested, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located within
    the City of Grand Rapids must be designated as “Fiduciary.” This organization will receive the funds. If the Applicant
    is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that organization may act as “Fiduciary.” The Applicant is responsible
    to verify the designated Fiduciary organization is willing to serve in this role. The Fiduciary organization must register
    with the City of Grand Rapids as a “vendor” in order to be eligible to receive payments from the City.
    If the request is less than $300, the Project Lead (an individual) can be both the Applicant and the Fiduciary.
    The Project Lead would need to submit a completed IRS Form W9  (certification of Taxpayer ID Number) if they
    are serving as the Fiduciary.
    a.     A 3rd party Fiduciary (separate from the Applicant) can only charge up to 5% of the NMF project costs to
    cover the additional cost of fiduciary services.  If the NMF portion of the project is $1000, the fiduciary fee
    cannot exceed $50, for a total NMF request of $1050. The total request cannot exceed $2,500.

    b.     Documentation of NMF expenses (receipts, invoices, bank statements, etc.) must be submitted with the
    Closing Report due within 30 days of the project end date. Expenses without documentation are ineligible.
    If there is a balance of NMF contract funds at the end of the project due to funds not being spent or expenses are
    found to be ineligible, that balance must be paid back to the City of Grand Rapids.
    Failure to do so may result in legal action. Please keep accurate records and documentation.

    c.     Documentation of NMF match contributions (volunteer sign in sheets, donation letters, zero balance
    invoices, etc.) must be submitted with the Closing Report as well. 

    d.     The following Grand Rapids non-profits are available to serve as free fiduciaries for individuals and informal
    groups from their service area. They have a right to refuse fiduciary services for projects that fall outside their
    service areas, are not aligned to their missions, or if they are currently at capacity serving other NMF projects:

    Westside Collaborative


    Habitat for Humanity of Kent County

    Access of West Michigan

    YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids

    Isabel García

    (se habla español)

    Jackie Hernandez (se habla español)

    Ben Johnson

    Christina Swiney

    Kimberly Craycraft

    (616) 451-4215, x103

    (616) 451-9140

    (616) 588-5237

    (616) 774-2175, x7

    (616) 855-9669

          What project are you proposing? Be prepared to answer the following questions:

    1.     Describe the proposed project and outline any major activities or milestones (3,000 character maximum)

    2.     Describe how this project will help achieve one or more of the NMF objectives. The NMF objectives are

                 1) Identify, develop and network resident leaders,

                 2) Build stronger connections among residents and in their neighborhoods, and

                 3) Address and promote equitable outcomes.

                     (2,000 character maximum)

    3.     Who will be impacted by this project? How have those who will be impacted been involved in the planning

                  and how will they be involved in the implementation of the project? (2,000 character maximum)

         What is your estimated budget (expenses/revenue)?

    1.     On what will you spend NMF funds? Identify the projected types of goods and/or service expenses and the estimated

                 dollar amount of each expense that will be purchased with NMFs.

         Example Expense Budget

    Expense Category (Fiduciary Fee, Service Expense, Supplies or Materials Expense, Other Expense)

    Expense Item

    Expense Description or Calculation

    Expense Amount

    Supplies or Materials Expense


    10 rakes x $15/rake


    Service Expense

    Delivery of Mulch

    Flat-fee of $50




    2.     How will you “match” the NMF contract amount? The match contribution can be any combination of labor,
            goods and/or services donated to the project. Volunteer hours are valued at $20 per hour.

    a.     Often applicants exceed the one-to-one match requirement. It is important to document the entire
            match so the City of Grand Rapids can quantify the complete amount leveraged with NMF contracts.

    b.     The “match” contribution must be equal or greater than the NMF contract amount.

    Example Match Contribution Budget

    Match Category

    (Cash Match, Donated/In-Kind Service, Donated/In-Kind Supplies and Materials, Volunteer Labor)

    Match Description or Calculation

    Match Status

    (Confirmed, Pending)

    Match Amount

    Volunteer Labor

    25 Volunteers x 4 hours/volunteer x $20/hour



    Donated/In-Kind Materials

    100 heavy duty garbage bags x $0.50/bag




           When do you plan to do the project? Identify the intended start and finish dates

    1.     Note the start date should be on or after the date listed in the “Important NMF Dates” table above.


          What area will the project directly impact? (Specific location - street address, block(s), neighborhood(s), City Ward).

           Click Here for a neighborhood map – click “Grand Rapids Neighborhoods” after following the link.


         Prepare documents you may want to upload with your proposal. These attachments are optional.


         SUBMIT PROPOSAL  Create an online account (unless you already have one)

    2.  Complete an online application - choose "NEIGHBORHOOD MATCH" category

           a.  To save an in-process application, click “Save and resume later” at the bottom-left corner of any page

    For help with the application process, call 616-456-3319

    or e-mail

    Please note that City staff currently does not have the capacity to vet or help applicants develop proposals.

    Support Documents:

    NMF Proposal Worksheet:

    NMF Proposal Worksheet.pdfNMF Proposal Worksheet.pdf

    Volunteer Match Contribution Forms:

    Volunteer Match Contribution Documentation Form.pdf

    Volunteer Match Contribution Documentation Form - Day.pdf


    Additional tips:
    1.       “Like” and follow the Grand Rapids Neighborhood Summit at

              to stay connected for the latest news on the NMF, Summit and other strategies and resources to help

              lift up resident and neighborhood leadership.

    2.       For a block party application ($20 fee), CLICK HERE.

    3.       The City’s Office of Special Events’ website,, has a wealth of information on

              “special” events that require permits, City equipment and/or services, etc. You can also find the

              Special Events application on the side menu on the left.

    Here are a few fun articles to spark NMF project ideas:
    1. National Neighborhood Day (great site with ideas and tools)
    2. Community Service Project Ideas
    3. 31 Ways to Build Community In Your Neighborhood
    4. 40 Simple Ways to Build Community in Your Neighborhood
    5. Pinterest Board  (For great ideas search: “ New Neighbor”, “Neighborhood Association Ideas”, etc.)