Neighborhood Match Fund (NMF)

Are you planning a community focused project? You may be eligible for a small financial match contract through the Neighborhood Match Fund (NMF)!

The NMF awards contracts to community members' neighborhood focused projects. The NMF program seeks to fund projects that achieve these objectives:

  • Identify, develop and network residents
  • Build stronger connections among residents and in their neighborhoods
  • Address and promote social justice
  • Benefit the public

Eligibility

NMF Contract Requirements

  • Grand Rapids residents
  • Informal resident groups (e.g. block clubs)
  • Community-based grassroots organizations

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.

Your Idea

NMF projects are reviewed on a quarterly basis. This round of project ideas can be submitted June 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018 for NMF consideration. Approved projects would take place between August 1, 2018 through October 31, 2018.

Want a printable version of the submission process? We've got you covered with everything you need below.

Idea submission guide - English(PDF, 603KB)

Idea submission guide - Spanish(PDF, 615KB)

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

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.

Here are the NMF project team roles:

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.

Applicant

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

Fiduciary

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 Applicant 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 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 when we approve your NMF project idea.

Throughout the project, the financial manager (fiduciary) will need to track NMF contract expenses and match contributions. We'll ask you to report on these in the NMF Closing Report form.

Match contributions

Use these forms to track match volunteer hours:

To track match contributions, use the NMF Match Contribution Worksheet here.

NMF expenses 

Make sure to keep receipts to reference when reporting expenses. We'll ask for the total expense amount paid to each business/vendor. To track expenses, use the NMF Expense Worksheet here

Each NMF expense should fall into one of these expense types:

  • Fiduciary fee: If you used a non-profit as a fiduciary, the amount you paid for them to manage project finances. This shouldn't exceed 10% of the contract
  • Service: Amount paid to a business/vendor for contracted services (food, permit fees, event activity, etc.)
  • Supplies and materials: Amount paid for items purchased for the project

We'll ask if the business/vendor is located in the city of Grand Rapids. We'll ask for a basic description of each expense. These should show that the expense connects to the project and documentation.

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.