What types of grants are given?
Our goal is to help initiate change and growth within an organization, and as such the Foundation is willing to provide financial support for programs, facilities, equipment, staffing, professional development, contracted services, or other tools for positive change. In order to carry out our mission and assist a variety of good causes, we cannot provide on-going support to organizations.
Where are grants made?
The Foundation focuses its grant making on Shiawassee County and supports institutions that serve the residents of Shiawassee County. We prefer to fund organizations that are based in our community: at a minimum, applicants should have strong representation of Shiawassee County residents in their governance system, but a much stronger presence is preferred. Grants for environmental purposes are made to protect the natural areas defined by the watershed of the Shiawassee River. The only significant grants made outside of Shiawassee County are to the University of Michigan and the State Y of Michigan.
What size grants are available?
The Foundation typically makes grants between $5,000 and $50,000. Sometimes we have made effective grants for smaller amounts, and on a few occasions we have made larger grants for very promising and significant endeavors. We prefer one-time grants, but have also made multi-year commitments to provide a solid foundation for promising projects. Our local Nonprofit Capacity Building Champions are encouraged to sustain their partnership with the Foundation by inviting us as partners in future grant-funded projects. If your proposal falls outside of our typical grant-making history, please contact in advance of submitting your proposal so we can discuss your organization’s needs.
Are there any areas of interest?
While our first goal is to help community organizations grow and be successful in the mission they have set for themselves, we have currently set goals in five areas. We are interested in projects that help us achieve these objectives.
1. Foster the Shiawassee River as a source of pride for the community
2. Promote the performing arts as a strong cultural cornerstone of the community
3. Build community appreciation for our shared railroad heritage
4. Help care for and protect the most vulnerable members of our community
5. Encourage the highest level of academic success for our community’s young people
Faith-based organizations continue to play a key leadership role in addressing human service needs in local communities. The foundation will consider funding secular programs and activities sponsored by faith-based organizations when participation in those activities is in no way based on religious belief, participation (proselytization) or affiliation. The Trustees of the Cook Family Foundation may request additional documentation and verification on the part of such applicants to ensure this policy is upheld. The Cook Family Foundation does not fund or otherwise support religious activities through our grant making or nonprofit capacity building activities.
The Cook Family Foundation does not give grants for direct lobbying activities, and it upholds the federal law that prohibits the expenditure of nonprofit funds for political campaigns (electioneering). With the exception of scholarships, we do not give grants to individuals.