With a focus on addressing and promoting equitable outcomes that support resident leaders and build stronger connections between community members and their neighborhoods, Grand Rapids city officials announced the creation of a new Neighborhood Match Fund
. Approved by the City Commission with the 2017 budget, the fund is intentionally designed as a new avenue for lifting up small community-based or grassroots organizations and groups in historically marginalized neighborhoods.
Stacy Stout, assistant to the city manager, says the March 30 deadline for proposal submissions marks the first round of the quarterly award process that will give winning applicants small contracts of between $200-$2,500, factoring in the amount originally requested, project scope, alignment with NMF objectives, and balance of funds.
Once awarded with a NMF contract, contractors must “match” the money dollar for dollar, and match contributions can be made in any combination of volunteer labor, in-kind goods and services, and cash donations.
The first of two scheduled information sessions was held earlier this week at Martin Luther King Elementary School,and community members interested in learning more about the Neighborhood Matching Fund are invited to attend the second session on March 14 at 2 p.m., hosted by GRPS University at 1400 Fuller Ave. NE.
“We encourage neighbors to learn about the fund and collaborate with their neighbors to submit a proposal,” says Stout, adding that projects applying for NMF contracts must be led by Grand Rapids resident that live in the community that the project will impact.
“Through our Neighborhood Match Fund Program, we want to build resident leadership, strengthen relationships between neighbors and increase the overall quality of life in our Grand Rapids neighborhoods,” Stout says.
for more information on the Neighborhood Matching Fund, including application guidelines and eligibility requirements.
For more information on the upcoming March 14 information session, visit the event page on Facebook here
or visit the city of Grand Rapids’ website for the Neighborhood Matching Fund
to learn more information about the fund itself, including application guidelines, eligibility requirements for submission, and quarterly submission deadlines.
Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Artwork courtesy of Micah Bezant