Frequently Asked Questions

Grants FAQS

What can I request?

Program and project-specific requests, as well as organizational mission requests, are considered.

The Steelcase Foundation does not fund:

  • Grants to individuals or for religious purposes
  • Grants to non-qualified organizations
  • Grants to organizations outside the mission and geographic focuses of the Steelcase Foundation (Grand Rapids, MI and Athens, Alabama)
  • Conferences, seminars, or events
  • Endowments
  • Grants for projects that duplicate, or significantly overlap, the work of federal, state, or local governmental agencies
  • Requests for office, education, or healthcare furniture. The Foundation also cannot assist with the purchase of or grant funding for Steelcase, Inc. products.

If my organization is invited to submit a proposal, what type of information will I need to submit?

Our proposals include the following sections:

  • Organization information: recent accomplishments, community partners, and demographics of staff, board, and program participants
  • Project information: goals, timelines, strategies, and outcomes
  • Evaluation: how the organization defines success, how the project will be evaluated, and how evaluation results will be incorporated in future work
  • Impact: how the project addresses systemic change and the long-term effect on the broader community
  • Budget: detailed project budget

We ask organizations to upload the following attachments as part of their proposal:

  • IRS determination letter indicating 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status
  • Most recent audit or IRS Form 990
  • List of board of directors with names, professional affiliations, and zip code of residence
  • Most recent strategic plan
  • Most recent fund development plan, showing sources and amounts for commitments and pending requests
  • Project budget showing total project revenues and expenses
  • Comprehensive organization budget
  • Organization chart, listing names and titles of key leadership and staff
  • Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity plan for organization
  • Copy of feasibility study (if applicable)
  • Plans to achieve LEED certification and meet visitability standards (if applicable)
  • Photos and videos (if applicable)
  • Signature of CEO or Board President and date

What is the Foundation looking for when making funding decisions?

Grant applications are evaluated against multiple factors:

  • Alignment with the Steelcase Foundation mission, particularly a social justice lens
  • Implementation capacity
  • Board and management leadership
  • Inclusion and equity practices
  • Feasibility and financial sustainability
  • Measurable community benefit and broad opportunities

The Steelcase Foundation encourages grant-seekers to use design thought, innovation, and systems thinking.

We value projects that have a long-term impact beyond specific project activities. For example, a project that can demonstrate improved third-grade reading scores will be evaluated more favorably than a project that provides books to third graders, with the only measure of success being number of books distributed.

Because of our emphasis on outcomes, we pay attention to evaluation. Keep what you want to learn and evaluate in mind as you develop the project, as well as the assessment tools you will use to determine success (e.g., records, surveys, interviews, pre- and post-tests).

What is the word limit?

We encourage quality over quantity in application responses. Emphasize what your organization will do, and spend more time describing your solution than the issue. Avoid repetition and be concise – “less is more” is generally a good strategy!

How much can I request?

Steelcase Foundation is not typically the sole supporter of a project. We encourage grant seekers to pursue multiple avenues of support.

Steelcase Foundation grants generally range from $20,000 to $250,000. Most of our grants span one-to-three years. We encourage multi-year requests when applicable.

If awarded a grant, what will my responsibilities be?

Organizations will receive a grant contract that needs to be signed and returned to the Steelcase Foundation for payment to be sent.

We require one or more annual grant reports for all grant payments, and a final report at the end of the project. We view our grantees as community partners, and look forward to collectively sharing our learnings. We ask organizations to communicate with Steelcase Foundation staff about any significant changes to the project, such as unanticipated challenges or adjustments to the project timeline. We encourage organizations to share successes, news articles, social media outcomes, or key learnings as the project progresses.

What organizations has Steelcase Foundation funded previously?

You can find a list of all our grantees in our annual reports, which are available on the Reports page.