Local Community Grants Program, Deadline Sept. 2

The Grand Vision is a citizen-led vision for the future of land use, transportation, economic development, and environmental stewardship in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford Counties.  The ultimate goal of the Grand Vision is to create prosperity by making this region an even better place to live, work and play. In support of the Grand Vision the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments and the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce, with generous support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, is offering the New Designs for Growth Community Growth Grants Program. This program will work to move the Grand Vision into action by providing direct financial support to communities for leadership, planning, collaboration, local decision-making and action-oriented projects that will enhance our communities’ sense of place and build the foundation for a stronger regional economy.

Grants of up to $10,000 (provided as cash or as direct technical assistance) will be made available on a competitive basis to city, village, township, and county governments from the six-county Grand Vision region.

Purpose

The New Designs for Growth Community Growth Grants Program is intended to strengthen our region by removing barriers and creating incentives for greater public and private sector investment in our region.  Successful projects will create a framework for sustainable and efficient growth and development by implementing strategies that are consistent with the Grand Vision (www.thegrandvision.org) and New Designs for Growth (www.newdesignsforgrowth.org) principles.

Project Application and Selection

All city, township, village, and county governments in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Wexford Counties are eligible to apply.  The application can be for direct technical assistance and/or cash assistance.

The NWMCOG is accepting applications in the form of clear and concise proposals of no more than 5 pages.  Proposals must contain all of the following:

• Purpose Statement. Summarize the purpose of the project.

• Background and Need. What has led you to apply for this grant? What is the need for this activity?

• Project Goals and Activities. In a brief statement, please identify the project goals. What do you hope to achieve? What activities will be completed to meet the community’s needs? Who will complete the work?

• Participant Information. Describe your community’s organizational structure, including staff capacity and leadership. Who are the partners and how will they participate in the project?

• Project Area. Please provide a brief description and/or map.

• Project Commitment. The proposal must include a commitment to provide either cash or in-kind match within one month of project start-up, as well as a commitment to participate in the Grand Vision Growth and Investment Working group.

• Innovation. Does your program/project incorporate a new approach, technique or methodology?

• Community impact. What will be different in the community if your project is successful? How will the outcomes of the project have a long-term community benefit?

• Performance Measures and Accountability. How are the impacts of this activity measurable? What is the plan to show accountability in reaching the defined project goals?

An application review committee of the Grand Vision Growth and Investment Working Group will evaluate all applications received. The success of an application will be determined by its completeness and clarity of purpose, the likelihood of project success, and the level of commitment offered by participants.

Please note that grant recipients will be required to provide a representative to participate monthly in the Grand Vision Growth and Investment Area Working Group.  Also, the NWMCOG will provide communication support to all projects selected through the New Designs for Growth Community Growth Grants Program.  Grant recipients will be asked to attend the September 27, 2011 Grand Vision event in Traverse City.

To apply:

Grant applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on September 2, 2011. Please submit applications as Adobe Acrobat .pdf documents (preferred method), to mccauley@nwm.cog.mi.us or mail to:

Northwest Michigan Council of Governments Attn: Matt McCauley, Director of Regional Planning

600 E. Front St., Suite 104

PO Box 506

Traverse City, MI 49685

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Local Community Grants Program, Deadline Sept. 2

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