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Grant Guidelines

The Grant Process

The Foundation provides its support mainly through financial grants. Some limited technical assistance in the form of consulting services to the board, staff and volunteers of recipient organizations is available. The technical assistance is provided to assist the recipient group in organizational management and strategic planning.

The Foundation makes grants only to nonprofit organizations that have been determined by the IRS to be charitable, scientific or educational and have been recognized under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code to be tax exempt and not a private foundation.

Tollgate woodlotNonprofit organizations that are located or operate within the state of Michigan are a priority of the Foundation. The Foundation does not make grants to private individuals nor does it buy tables, advertising for fund raising events, or generally provide scholarship support. Grants may not be used for political purposes.


The Foundation has a grant application that follows the guidelines listed below (download the grant application as a PDF file). Proposals should be brief and submitted by the 10th of January, April, July and October.

Concept letter:

An email to the executive director (kabuckner@americanafoundation.org) with a concept letter can help determine if a project may fit the program areas of the Foundation. Concept letters are accepted on a rolling basis. This should include:

  • Brief description of basic need and program specific objectives
  • Amount requested
  • Brief history of the organization submitting the request

Full request

The following items must be included with a full grant request:

  • Cover letter, including signatures
  • Specific amount requested
  • Qualifications
  • Goals and Objectives of the project
  • Timeline for implementation
  • Evaluation Plan-projected outcomes
  • Line item budget
  • Latest financial statements
  • List of other funding sources
  • IRS Determination Letter with FEI

Grant Review Process

As a general policy, meetings and site visits are arranged only if there is no previous relationship with the Foundation or the type or size of the request requires it before final determinations are made.

With limited resources and large numbers of proposals, the Foundation is able to fund a limited number of worthwhile requests. Those same constraints limit the size of grants and may limit the number of years support can be given to any one organization.

Grant Reporting 

Grantees are required to provide reporting/evaluation of a grant at the mid-point and end of the project.  This includes information on results, lessons learned, future plans, and public relations, along with financials.  Click below for more details.

Reporting requirements