The Steelcase Foundation awarded grants to five organizations at its fourth quarter 2018 meeting:
Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation (SAF) was awarded $25,000 to create an Athletic Tracking System for its GR8 Sports, Great Kids programming, which provides after-school athletics to students in Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) free of charge. While we know participation in sports has a generally positive impact on students, the new data system will quantify the impact of GR8 Sports, Great Kids programming on students’ grade point averages, attendance, disciplinary actions, and graduation rates. The data tracking system also will link to GRPS’ Early Warning System, which identifies students not on track for graduation, providing an extra layer of support for those in need. Upon successful implementation of the Athletic Tracking System, SAF hopes to expand the tracking to other after-school programs.
STEM Greenhouse was awarded $20,000 over two years to continue its after-school programming at GRPS to engage students in science, technology, and engineering activities, with the goal of promoting confidence and proficiency in STEM learning and encouraging diverse students to explore STEM professions.
United Methodist Community House received $125,000 to expand and renovate its Child Development Center (CDC), providing 40 additional licensed childcare slots for infants in October, and serving 200 infants by 2021, The expansion helps meet an existing childcare need in the neighborhood and will create 52 jobs by 2021 through additional teacher and administrative support.
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum received $177,474 over three years to create an Accessibility and Inclusion Coordinator position to increase the museum’s cultural competency and provide a more welcoming and inclusive experience for all visitors. Efforts to improve access and diversity at the museum will include community listening sessions, equity and diversity training for all staff, new human resource practices to attract and retain diverse talent and board members, and intentional efforts to recognize and celebrate what childhood looks like for all children, taking special consideration to racial, ethnic and neurodiversity, as well as cognitive abilities.
Michigan Nonprofit Association received $75,000 over three years to support its Michigan Nonprofits Count campaign, which mobilizes nonprofits across the state, and specifically in Kent County to encourage participation in the 2020 Census, especially for those individuals traditionally hardest-to-count. MNA will provide mini-grants to trusted nonprofits in areas with historically low participation to act as hubs, providing information, and canvassing neighborhoods to facilitate census participation. As the 2020 Census will be the first conducted through an internet-first collection effort, Michigan has much to lose if a complete count is not achieved.
The Steelcase Foundation also match $56,518 in gifts to education, $23,505 in gifts to arts and culture, $10,372 in environmental and conversation, and $60 to crisis organizations. To date, the Steelcase Foundation has matched $535,890 in employee and retiree gifts, and provided nearly $5.5 million in grants for its 2018 fiscal year.