Mini-Grant Process

Purpose of Mini-Grants 
The CSMCS believes when the community comes together with a common interest they can put their efforts into something greater. Therefore, an event was established combining car enthusiasts and a nonprofit organization to make an impact by doing what they love while being able to redistribute funds back into the community. This mini-grant process allows the CSMCS to give to projects that share in that same philanthropic spirit. 
Mini-grants are given to projects that will benefit organizations or residents in Branch County. In distributing funds, the CSMCS attempts to understand both the specific objectives of each request and the long-term benefits that the community will receive from the initiative. All eligible mini-grant applications are carefully considered by the Board and the fund distribution committee.

Successful applications will be for projects which

  • promote development or strengthening of community assets,
  • will have a positive long-term impact on program participants and/or the community,
  • lead to prevention of recurring need,
  • promote cooperation among area organizations with related or supportive missions.

An expression of interest or the provision of an application should not be considered a guarantee of funding. All mini-grant requests go through a complete review process before any funding decision is made.

Baseline Eligibility Requirements

Grant proposals must meet these basic eligibility requirements:

  • Tax Exempt Status: The organization submitting a proposal is current exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.
  • State Filings: The organization’s Michigan License to Solicit and Michigan Nonprofit Corporation filings are current.
  • Community Status: The organization has credibility in the community and with the CSMCS. This refers to qualities such as the organization meets its financial obligations, e.g. pays bills to local businesses on time or that the organization has used prior CSMCS mini-grant funds appropriately.
  • Service Area: Grants from community funds will be made to projects that will benefit Branch County, Michigan.

Non-Discrimination Policy 
The CSMCS promotes diversity in employment, volunteer recruitment, and in 
grantmaking. Organizations that receive funding from the CSMCS will agree that any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available by the CSMCS, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the CSMCS will be inclusive of all persons regardless of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, marital or parental status, political affiliation, military service, physical or mental ability, or any other criterion protected by law.

Submission of an Application

  • Acceptance of an application or a fund distribution committee interview should not be considered a guarantee of funding.
  • Upon submission, your application becomes the property of the CSMCS and will be used as deemed appropriate by the CSMCS.
  • The CSMCS reserves the right to request additional information from the applicant.

Electronic Submission 
Please email your completed submission to The complete application and supporting documents must reach us by the March 1.

Review Process 
All applications undergo a baseline eligibility review, and if qualified, a review by the fund distribution committee appointed by the CSMCS Board. The committee will select projects that best fit the CSMCS’s mini-grant mission, the specific funds criteria, funding priorities, and the dollar amount available for distribution as this varies each year.

Funding Interviews 
If selected for funding consideration, you may be asked to meet for an interview with the fund distribution committee or the CSMCS Board.

Everyone submitting a proposal will receive notification as to whether or not CSMCS was able to fund the proposal. If you have not received notification within 45-days of the completion of the car show, please contact a member of the board. A volunteer recognition meeting is called after the ending of the show where award recipients are invited to attend and collect their award.

Funding Awards 
CSMCS is not always able to fund all proposals submitted, and some proposals may go without receiving any funding. In addition, CSMCS may award an amount less than the amount requested.

Grant Agreement / Publicity / Volunteering
By accepting a mini-grant by the CSMCS, you are agreeing to acknowledge the Coldwater Swap Meet Car Show on any media announcements, written materials, and other materials produced in concurrence with the project that the mini-grant helped fund. Also, you are requested to volunteer in some capacity for CSMCS during preparation of or during the event in the following year.

Use of Grant Funds 
These and other conditions become part of every grant agreement:

  • Mini-grant funds must be used for the purpose cited in your original grant proposal/application.
  • A mini-grant award does not obligate the CSMCS to provide an organization with any additional support. 

Grant Proposal/Application Instructions

Grant Application Cover Page 
Please complete the cover page by providing the indicated information.

  1. Applicant Information

    Date of Application 
    Date you are submitting the application/proposal
    Name of Organization 
    Please give us the legal name of the organization that will be providing programming or services under the mini-grant, be responsible for providing accounting for the grant funding, and communicating with the CSMCS.
    Organization Address 
    Enter the legal address of the organization that is applying for mini-grant funding.
    Website Address 
    Please enter your website address. If you don’t have a website, but have a Facebook page, please give the searchable name or address of your page. If you do not have website or Facebook page, put “None”.
    Organization EIN 
    Employer identification numbers are issued by the Internal Revenue Service. This number is also the number we use to verify the organization’s tax status, e.g. 501(c)(3)
    Michigan Corporate ID# 
    If you are incorporated in Michigan you will have a corporate ID number. The identification number is located on your nonprofit corporation annual report or other annual corporate report.
    Michigan Charitable Solicitation Registration # 
    This number will show on the annual letter from the Attorney General’s office that verifies your license to solicit donations in Michigan for the most recent year. If you do not have a license to solicit, please contact our office for further information
  2. Project Information


    Project Title 
    Choose a title that will be used for the project for all permanent records, publicity, and other communications. 
    Example: Grandma’s Kitchen 
    Project Purpose 
    MAXIMUM OF 75 WORDS: Please provide a very brief summary of what your project or program is about, why you’re doing it. 
    Example: To help feed kids in need in Branch County because there are 25 children without evening meals. 
    Project Start Date 
    Enter the date the project/program is scheduled to begin. 
    Project End Date 
    Enter the date the project/program is scheduled to be completed. If the project/program will continue, put “ongoing”. 
    Amount Requested from CSMCS 
    Enter the amount you are requesting from the CSMCS. Mini-grant awards start out at $250, however, most mini-grant awards are $500-$1,000 or more. 
    Total Cost of Project 
    Enter the organization’s total cost to complete the project (or operate the program). This includes the organization’s money and any other funding the organization will allocate toward the program/project.
  3. Narrative

    Organization Profile 
    Enter a brief description of your organization’s prior experience with the program or project you are proposing; in other words, tell the reviewers why you will be able to implement the program or project. 
    This information can include information about successful implementation of other new programs/projects, collaborations with experienced organization or people on this project, related services, related experience of the primary staff persons, etc. 
    Project Description 
    Briefly describe how grant funds will be used for your project/program, including if possible the target population and how many people it will benefit. If you will be collaborating with other organizations, please explain how. 
    Example: Funds will help purchase food to make evening meals for children and we will be working with the Branch County Food Bank to receive some food items. 
    Project Outcome(s) 
    What you want to accomplish using CSMCS funding with this project/program? List up to three expected outcomes/results. 
    Example: Providing meals will help kids focus on other important things like homework, instead of being hungry. 
    Organization’s Current Funding Sources 
    Enter the resources the organization is allocating toward the program or project. This can include money, staff and/or volunteer time, equipment, supplies, space, etc. 
    What will happen if CSMCS is not able to fund this program? 
    Please let us know what role CSMCS funding will play in your ability to initiate, implement, and/or complete the project/program.

  4. Financial Statements
    You are able to send your organization’s financial statement electronically to CSMCS through the email address provided above.

    Acceptable forms of financial statements are either an annual financial report from your organization’s accountant or a year-end report showing all income and expenses signed by your organization’s treasurer.

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