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BetterTogether/Kalamazoo

A community is only as strong as the connections among its members, and
we know we can always do more to strengthen those connections. This is why BetterTogether/Kalamazoo was created.

By having candid conversations, motivating individuals to take action, encouraging collaboration and investing in our neighborhoods, we are cultivating productive community members who contribute to the greater Kalamazoo community's unique quality of life.

Through two important grantmaking programs, the Community Foundation invests in ideas for local change that originate in the hearts and minds of the members of the greater Kalamazoo community. They are:

Often the most innovative and effective ideas for change emerge from small and informal groups of people within a community. The Good Neighbor Grant program reaches out to individuals and small, grassroots groups to support their efforts in turning their ideas into projects to benefit our community.

Good Neighbor Grants place resources for change in the hands of those closest to the issues that need to be addressed, which enables and empowers them to be "good neighbors."

Good Neighbor Grants provide up to $1,000 of support to projects that:

  • Enhance bridges between people who are different from each other in some significant way (e.g. race, religion, economic status).
  • Engage people—especially those who haven't participated in community activities before—in projects that make a difference in the lives of all those involved.
  • Embrace youths by involving them in project planning and/or providing leadership opportunities.

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Based on the custom of neighbors gathering on the front porches of their homes to share conversations about family life, community events, and the latest news, Front Porch Grants provide grants of up to $100 to support activities like block parties, get-togethers and town meetings, which build deeper neighbor-to-neighbor connections.

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