Neighborhood Match Fund

Are you a Grand Rapids resident planning a community-focused project? You may be eligible for funding through the Neighborhood Match Fund (NMF)!

The NMF awards contracts, up to $2,500 through a competitive process, to Grand Rapids residents for projects that intentionally advance these objectives:

  • Build stronger connections (relationships) between neighbors
  • Lift up resident leadership in the development and implementation of the project
  • Promote social justice and inclusion
  • Benefit the public

If awarded an NMF contract, the contractor must spend and match the NMF dollars and complete the NMF funded portion of the project during the three-month contract period.

How to Apply

We will be accepting applications for the next round of contracts March 1 - 31, 2019. Check back March 1 for a link on this page where you can submit your idea. 

Who can apply?

  • Grand Rapids residents
  • Informal resident groups (e.g. block clubs) in Grand Rapids
  • Community-based organizations located in and serving Grand Rapids

You can only have one active NMF contract at a time. All reports and paperwork are due before you can apply for a new NMF contract.

NMF funded projects must be led by Grand Rapids residents from the community of project impact.  NMF contracts are between $200 and $2,500. The amount we award depends on the amount requested, project scope, alignment with NMF objectives and NMF balance. Our committee reviews applications quarterly.

NMF Funds

When you're awarded NMF funds, you're contracted to match the amount awarded. This means for every dollar we award, you must match that amount with any combination of:

  • Volunteer labor (valued at $20/hour)
  • In-kind goods and services
  • Cash donations

For example, a NMF contract for $500 could be matched with:

  • $100 worth of volunteer labor
  • $300 of in-kind/donated materials (e.g. food, supplies)
  • $100 cash donation from a local business or from a grant

our Idea

NMF projects are reviewed on a quarterly basis.

If you missed the most recent deadline, you can submit your idea on this page during the month of March 2019.

Looking for some guidance? Want additional information and tips for a successful submission and project? We've put together a few guides to make sure you have everything you need to succeed:

NMF Idea Submission Guide(PDF, 226KB)

NMF Applicant Guide(PDF, 922KB)

Successful Projects

We want to make sure that you have everything you need to make your project successful. That's why we've put together a few completed projects.

Check back often. We'll rotate the projects that we highlight here!

De-Escalation and Self Defense Workshops

photo of self defense lesson

De-escalation and Defense workshops uses Chinese Martial Arts to teaches community members how to defend and protect themselves in the face of a dangerous situation.

Oakdale Little Free Library

Photo of Oakdale Neighbor's

The "Little Free Library" intentionally provides books that reflect the diversity and languages of neighbors in the community.

Martin Luther King High School Summer League


The Martin Luther King High School Summer League is a summer program for high school athletes. 

Second Annual Mujer en Resistencia Conference

second annual mujer en resistencia.jpg

The Second Annual Mujer en Resistencia Conference empowers Latino immigrant woman with a safe place for dialogue about how to deal and heal with all the issues they're facing in the community. These issues includes immigration laws, labor rights, and domestic violence.



ShovelWorks brings community members together to help elderly and disabled residents with snow and yard waste removal.

Threads Sewing Class at Baxter Community Center


Threads Sewing Class at Baxter Community Center teaches participants the basic rules of sewing while allowing them to tell their own story through quilting. 

Thursdays on the Green

Photo of a family in super hero costumes for

Thursdays on the Green is a summertime event series hosted by the Midtown Neighborhood Association. This summer event series include live music, sports, ice cream, games, and more. 


WestSide Collaborative's Resident Empowerment Community Tools


The WestSide Collaborative's Resident Empowerment allows neighbors to borrow tools from their community tool box. The use of these tools will help keep the neighborhood safe and clean. Tools include snowblowers, shovels, and lawnmowers.

Project Lead

The Grand Rapids resident leading the project and submitting the project idea. This individual must be from the community that the project impacts. They're the main contact with NMF staff. They're responsible for completing the project and submitting the closing report.


An individual, informal group or nonprofit organization proposing the project. The applicant may also be the project lead/contract.


An individual or nonprofit organization located in Grand Rapids. The fiduciary helps with financial bookkeeping and reporting. The NMF check is written and sent to the fiduciary. Applying as a non-profit? The Contractor is generally also the fiduciary.

What You Have to Do

  • Take place in Grand Rapids city limits
  • Align with the NMF purpose and objectives
  • Abide by City ordinances and policies

What You Can't Do

You can't use NMF fund for any of the following:

  • Anything that financially benefits City of Grand Rapids staff, City Commissioners or Appointed/Elected Officials
  • Staff salary/wage expenses
  • Lobbying efforts
  • Buying alcohol
  • Increasing the cost to the City for the maintenance of the project or for any other reason
  • Events and programs that charge admission to participate

Need Help Finding a Fiduciary?

We've partnered with local nonprofits to serve as a fiduciary free of charge. If your idea is approved and you need a fiduciary, we'll setup your fiduciary services.

What is a Fiduciary?

A fiduciary is the project finance manager that

  • Manages the dollars
  • Makes sure expenses align to the project
  • Confirms the minimum match contributions were made
  • Documents and reports back on how the NMF dollars were used

We write and send the check to the fiduciary. The fiduciary tracks NMF contract expenses and match contributions. We'll ask you to report on these in the NMF Closing Report form.

Fiduciary Requirements

NMF contracts $300 or higher

The fiduciary must be a non-profit organization located in the City of Grand Rapids. This organization needs to be registered with the City as a vendor before we write or send the check. Registering as City vendor may take time. Start the registration process as soon as you submit your NMF idea.

Register as a Vendor

NMF contracts under $300

The fiduciary can be a non-profit or the individual applying for the NMF contract. Are you an individual serving as a fiduciary? Make sure you submit a completed W9 form if we approve your NMF project idea.

Track Volunteer Hours and Match Contributions

Throughout the project, track the number of volunteer hours donated by Grand Rapids residents and the number of volunteer hours donated by those that live outside of the city limits. Each volunteer hour will count as $20 of match. Also, track the amount and location of other match contributions such as cash and in-kind donations.

Track Expenses 

The Project Lead needs to track where they spend NMF contract dollars. Below is the worksheet for the Project Lead to fill out and the Fiduciary to verify before it is uploaded to the Closing Report. As you will see, we need to know the dollar amount spent within the city limits and how much of the NMF contract dollars were spent outside of the city limits. 

NMF Expense & Match Summary Sheet(XLSX, 23KB)

Start taking photos early!

We'll ask you to submit at least 5 photos at the end of your project. This is a crucial part of documenting your journey! Your photos will be used to show what NMF projects look like. These can be photos of event activities, project before and after photos, group photos, etc.

Closing Report

When you are done with your project, you will need to submit a closing report to let us know who your project went. We will ask you for:

  • Project narrative and reflection
  • Expense and Match Summary sheet
  • Volunteer Sign-In Sheets
  • At least five project photos
  • Any additional links, documents, information

Before you start your NMF project, we recommend you look at the Closing Report Guide below. It will help you know exactly what information and documents are needed so you can be prepared. 

NMF Closing Report Guide(PDF, 1MB)