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Oceana Community Foundation partners awards $59,000 in its Spring Community Grant Round!

“Each grant round, we learn more about the pressing needs facing Oceana County,” Foundation CEO Tammy Carey said. “Our focus is to both uplift Oceana County residents’ wellbeing and access to resources. Last year, mental health was the most requested area of support in our spring grantmaking round. While mental health is an ongoing issue for families, there is a growing need to support families’ basic needs – whether it be access to healthy foods, places free from domestic violence, or essential care items for young kids.” To see a complete list of grant awards, visit

One organization that received funding this round is Catholic Charities West Michigan. Catholic Charities West Michigan has taken a unique approach to ensuring essential baby and toddler supplies are accessible, even in our more rural parts of Oceana County with their new Mobile Baby Pantry. Supplies available to parents are diapers, wipes, formula, and clothes. Allowing for this point of contact with struggling parents will open the door to connecting them with other resources and agencies in the area that could help their family.

This spring, 22 organizations applied for a grant award with a majority (64%) receiving full funding for their request! An additional quarter (23%) of applicants received partial funding.  The Foundation’s Community Grant Program continues to thrive because of synergy between donors and local nonprofits, school districts, and government agencies. A major area of support for the Foundation’s grantmaking are its donor-advised fundholders, who support grant requests aligned with their philanthropic interests. In Spring 2023, seven fundholders and one anonymous donor contributed a total of $32,885 in grants! The Foundation would like to celebrate these donor partners who co-invested in this spring’s grantmaking, including the Gail Paulus Family Fund, the Gary and Mary Ann Peterson “Grandpa and Grandma Pete” Memorial Fund, the Little Point Sable Arts Fund, the Henry and Dorothy V. Fischer Family Fund, the Sparks/Ryan Memorial Fund, the William R. Lathers Foundation Fund and the Joe Foster Jr Golf Fund.

The Foundation’s Grant Committee and Youth Advisory Council awarded an additional $26,040 from eight unrestricted, designated, and field-of-interest funds. Established by donors and nourished through community support, these funds are charitable vehicles to help donors collectively make an impact in Oceana County forever. Field-of-interest and designated funds support broad interest areas, like education, the environment, and specific geographic areas. The Foundation’s Grant Committees recommend grants from these funds to address ever-changing needs and causes. The Foundation’s largest field of interest fund is its Oceana Youth Fund, overseen and stewarded by the Youth Advisory Council. These high-school volunteers work together to understand and address the needs and opportunities affecting local students.

The Community Investment Fund, the Foundation’s main unrestricted fund, contributed $6,500 to the Spring Community Grant Round. The Community Investment Fund is a critical source of support for Oceana County as an endowed fund dedicated to addressing local unmet needs as they arise. It is the Foundation’s most flexible tool to meet its mission, existing forever to uplift residents’ wellbeing. The Foundation board currently has a goal to increase this endowment fund to one million to expand overall grantmaking capacity.  People can support the Community Investment Fund directly or establish their own Community impact fund like the Julie and John Stivers Fund and the Robert and Rose Haase Fund.

The Foundation’s Fall Community Grant Round opens September 1st and all interested school districts, nonprofits, and government agencies are invited to submit their Letter of Intent by September 16th. The Foundation recognizes that multiple organizational funding needs may arise, therefore we allow for more than one submission in a calendar year.  Proposals of up to $5,000 are accepted and longer-term commitments may be considered for initiatives that show exceptional promise for community impact. To learn more about grantmaking priorities and application process, click here. For more information about making a gift, now or through an estate plan, creating a named fund at the Foundation, or to learn more about community needs, call Tammy Carey or grant application questions can be directed to Hannah Naples at 231-869-3377.