Grants & Programs
The Fetzer Fund supports spiritually-sourced solutions to social problems and challenges in Kalamazoo County.
The Fetzer Fund, a component fund at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, was created to support work that applies the wisdom contained in the faith-based and spiritual traditions towards the challenges currently confronting our community, such as, but not limited to, the environment, justice, inclusion and health.
Through a Request For Proposal (RFP) process, the Fetzer Institute Team will identify and support work by 501(c)3 organizations occurring in Kalamazoo County that is aligned with the vision of spiritually sourced solutions to social problems and challenges. This includes but is not limited to the work of religious and faith communities and organizations. In addition to providing support, the Fetzer Institute Team’s goals are to:
- Learn from and with those conducting this work, and
- Help those working in this space to connect with each other and create mutually supportive networks.
Request For Proposal Process
- Normalize faith and spiritually-based interventions as crucial and necessary components for addressing social challenges within the Kalamazoo community,
- Learn from current practices and efforts to more fully understand what is effective and where barriers may exist to advancing faith-based and spiritual solutions, and
- Create a Learning Community through which participants will be supported personally and organizationally in deepening their relationships with themselves, with each other and with the community more broadly. Learning Community participants will be either the project director or the senior executive of each organization.
The categories below will be used by the Fetzer Institute Team to seek evidence of alignment. Even though applicants might not meet every criterion below, applicants are encouraged to apply if they are able to demonstrate some or all of the following:
- Has an articulated, faith-based or spiritually relevant mission and infuses this into its work.
- May be grounded in one particular religious, faith-based or spiritual tradition but demonstrates respect for others’ and/or actively engages other traditions/paths.
- Reflects faith-based or spiritual values in the organizational culture and applies this spiritual grounding to the life of its employees and organizational culture.
- Commitment to a vision for comprehensive flourishing for all people and the planet.
- Approach includes a focus on systemic change.
- Looks beyond the organization’s own work, sector, field or community.
- Connects and coordinates goals, actions or ideas across organizations, groups and sectors.
- Creates actionable solutions that enrich a larger network.
- Brings visibility around systemic challenges and/or opportunities into the forefront of public awareness.
Priority will be given to organizations and projects that are partnerships and/or collaborations. Additional evidence of collaborative efforts includes:
- Commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Energy for and/or evidence of networking.
- Collaborates well and sets aside self-interest.
- Sufficient organizational capacity to successfully implement the proposed work, including staffing and administrative capacity.
- Commitment and capacity for one executive or program lead to participate in the Learning Community.
Grant Award & Eligibility:
Grant awards are for up to $30,000 plus an additional $5,000 stipend to support participation in the Learning Community. An additional communications and storytelling capacity building toolkit and training will also be included. Grants are for one year.
Grant support is for programmatic work and the administrative and staffing functions to accomplish programmatic work. Eligible applicants must be:
- 501(c)3 nonprofits or eligible to operate under the oversight of a fiscal agent
- Based in Kalamazoo County
Capital and general operating expenses are outside the scope of this RFP. Proselytizing in any form is beyond the scope of this RFP.
- Proposals must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 15, 2023
- Awards will be announced by Friday, January 19, 2024
Click below to submit a grant application.
Additional RFP Information
For the purposes of this RFP, spiritual is defined as that which the world’s religious, faith and spiritual traditions understand as the part of life that is unseen. Traditions refer to faith and spirituality as coming from a higher power, source, ground, origin, God, the One, Ik Onkar, Brahman, Wakan Tanka, luminous emptiness, ultimate truth, oneness, or simply as that which is “awake.” All faith and spiritual traditions agree that the term spirituality surpasses our ability to understand it fully, and that we should not try to reduce it to a single uniform concept.
The Learning Community will meet one day per quarter at the Fetzer Institute’s retreat facility, Seasons: A Center for Renewal. Learning Community participants will be either the project director or the senior executive of each organization.
For additional information, contact Terry Cropper.