Grant Process


Our Focus When Awarding Grants

Looking for a partner in your work? Each year, the Steelcase Foundation awards grants to nonprofit projects in Grand Rapids, Michigan (Kent County) and Athens, Alabama (Limestone County) that do work related to:

  • Cultivating quality, accessible public education and communities that empower children birth through 12th graduate to realize their full potential through:
    • Accessible, quality early learning experiences
    • Development of highly effective teachers and school leadership
    • Parent/caregiver development, engagement, and advocacy
    • Age-aligned literacy program access, improvement and achievement
    • Removal of learning barriers and impediments for children
    • Development of 21st Century curricula and practices
  • Fostering vibrant cultural experience by supporting artistic and social efforts with a goal of directing 60 percent of our annual budget toward education.

with a goal of directing 60 percent of our annual budget toward education.

We encourage prospective grant seekers to pursue multiple avenues for support, and typically will not support a project on our own. Last year, we awarded over $4 million, with most of our award amounts ranging from $5,000 to $250,000.

We consider program and project-specific requests, as well as organizational mission requests. Single and multi-year requests are welcomed.

We value projects that have a long-term impact beyond specific project activities. All proposals should have robust outcomes that capture how the proposed effort will make a difference in the community. Outcomes should include specific measures and time frames. For example, “school attendance among participants will increase from 75 percent to 85 percent within one year." Outcomes that are vague, such as "attendance will increase,” should be avoided.

Young Adults Meeting at Table

Who is not eligible for a grant?

Some things the Steelcase Foundation does not support, include:

  • Grants to individuals or for religious purposes
  • Grants to non-qualified organizations
  • Grants that fall outside of our funding priorities or geographic focus
  • Conferences, seminars or events
  • Endowments
  • Grants for projects that duplicate, or significantly overlap the work of federal, state or local government agencies
  • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, or national origin.

Grant Application Process

Think your project might be a good fit for the Steelcase Foundation? To start the application process, send us a Letter of Inquiry that includes the following information:

  • a description of your organization and project
  • how much you need and when
  • what you expect to accomplish through the project
  • a copy of your IRS 501(c)(3) certification

Your request should be on your organization’s letterhead and signed by your chief executive officer. Please follow the below link to submit your Letter of Inquiry via our online portal.

Submit Letter

For questions about your application or the online portal, please contact Leslie Schoen at

What to do next?

If your Letter of Inquiry is accepted, you will be invited to submit a Grant Application. To help you best plan your request, below is our Grant Schedule.

Get Grant Schedule

Our Promise to our Applicants

Questions About Applying for a Grant

Have any questions? Answers to common questions about grants from the Steelcase Foundation can be found on the Grant FAQs page.

Frequently Asked Questions