Community Organizations

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The work and partnership of community organizations is essential to the success of Grand Rapids.  This page is designed for organizations that frequently partner with the City to connect local residents to City services, programs and information. The list of City resources and staff below is not exhaustive. It represents information and positions identified as frequently contacted by resident-based organizations in their role as community liaisons. 

Additional information can be found elsewhere on this site or by calling 311 or dialing (616) 456-3000.

The Office of Communications distributes City news and other important information several ways:

Additionally, City Commission meetings are streamed live on Facebook and YouTube as well as broadcast on the Grand Rapids Information Network (Comcast Channel 26). Planning Commission meetings also are streamed live on the City's Facebook page.

Watch Commission Meetings

The Office of Communications sends all press releases and other important news to neighborhood associations via email. This outreach includes a brief overview of the news, a link to the full announcement and a photo, making it easy for neighborhood associations to copy and paste the content into a social media post and/or e-newsletter. This broadens the City's outreach to ensure important information is reaching our neighbors.

All press releases are posted on the City's Facebook and Twitter pages, making it easy for neighborhood associations to share on their social media channels. The Office of Communications also sends out monthly GR Connect e-newsletters that highlight happenings in each of the City's three wards. These e-newsletters are sent to neighborhood associations for distribution and/or to supplement the e-newsletters and other ways in which they keep residents updated. The Office of Communications hopes to be able to provide hard copies of the e-newsletters in the future and distribute them to neighborhood associations, other organizations, and businesses in all three wards.

The Office of Communications fully recognizes that two-way communications with neighborhood associations is critical. To that end, the office is happy to distribute news from neighborhood associations via social media and other ways. Feel free to tag the City on social media and/or send information to Acting Managing Director of Communications Amy Snow-Buckner at asnow@grcity.us. For urgent matters, feel free to call or text Amy at (616) 560-1655.

The Office of Communications is committed to maintaining an updated contact list for neighborhood associations to ensure a timely and efficient flow of information. To accomplish this – and to ensure information is not lost when there are staffing changes at neighborhood associations – neighborhood associations have agreed to create and provide the Office of Communications with a general email address for the organization in addition to the primary contact person's email.

  • Within this form, you will be able to update your neighborhood organization's general contact information, meeting schedule and location, communications platforms or methods, staff member contact information, as well as board member contact information

Contact Info Update Form

This guide includes services and information for your organization, for your residents, about neighborhood events, and about City government. The most common requests are included, but additional services are available through this website or by calling 311 or (616) 456-3000.

Neighborhood Organization Guide

The Neighborhood Summit is an annual conference hosted by the City to help residents and representatives of community organizations be better aware of what’s happening in the community, how to get involved, learn new organizing skills and grow networks to help make lasting change. The Summit’s goal is for stronger neighborhoods and a stronger city.

OurCity Academy is designed to help immigrants and residents new to our city understand city government and the democratic process.  Participants will learn how the city operates, its budget, and ways to become involved.  Resources include key municipal, education, and community services information that every resident should know. The format includes a speaker series, visits to City Hall and other cultural institutions, resource information, and interactive events.  All are welcome.  Participants can sign up for OurCity Academy here.

  • Neighborhood Leadership Academy

This new 8 week (3 hours per week) seminar-style learning opportunity is for Grand Rapids resident-based organizations with the current focus on neighborhood associations, to learn about and increase core organizational capacity around racial equity, resident empowerment, working board governance, facilitative leadership, conflict management, collaborations, communications, fund development and succession planning.  Each participating organization must have 3 representatives at each of the 8 sessions. Space is limited and participation is currently by invite-only.

More than 250 citizens serve on nearly 40 City boards and commissions. They offer citizen input, review City programs, make recommendations to the City Commission, and are a great way for interested citizens to be closely involved with the community.

Looking for more info about boards and commissions? We have a few resources for you:

There is a wealth of information online about upcoming or ongoing road construction and other City-led engineering projects.

To help you navigate and continue business during construction projects around you, we've gathered all the information you need.

For additional questions or concerns Call: 311 or (616) 456-3000

Private development shapes the physical fabric of individual neighborhoods, and of the City as a whole, over time.  Older structures are replaced by newer ones.  The variety of building types and the activities within them increases to meet the diverse needs of the community.  Through the development review process, the City guides private development along the pathways defined in community plans (such as the Master Plan), City Policies, and City Ordinances (laws, such as the Zoning Ordinance). For many projects, community organizations can make a difference by voicing the opinions of their members and stakeholders, including about how a project may affect the neighborhood.

The City has resources, tools, and suggestions to maximize the effectiveness of community organizations as they engage in the development review process.

Private Development Project Guide