Great Lakes Energy members help to enhance the quality of life for people in our communities through the People Fund. Bills of participating members are “rounded up” to the next dollar amount and grants are awarded to non-profit organizations and charitable activities throughout our service area. Grants are awarded by three independent Boards of Directors representing three geographical regions – south, central and north. There are no overhead costs – 100 percent of the money collected is returned to our communities.
How are People Fund grants invested?
In order to have the greatest impact on people within the Great Lakes Energy service area, the People Fund will generally invest funds in project or activities that:
- Are one-time in nature rather than ongoing or continuous
- Benefit a large number of people
- Leverage funds from other sources
- Distribute funds to individuals or families in crisis
- Help programs increase their capacity to deliver services
- What communities does the People Fund serve?
The GLE People Fund will make every effort to award grants in a manner that is representative of and sensitive to the diversity of needs in 26 counties served in western and northern Michigan, from Kalamazoo to the Mackinac Straits. Funds will be invested in the areas from which they were collected.
View our recent Annual Report for more details.
Who is eligible?
Funds are generally awarded to non-profit organizations or groups for specific humanitarian, educational and community development purposes. A portion of the funds may be awarded to organizations that have the capacity to use the funds for individuals or families in crisis. Grants are not given to individuals.
To use its funds most effectively, the People Fund will generally not award grants for: normal operating expenses of established programs; annual fundraising campaigns; political campaigns; loans; religious activities; endowment funds; or deficit spending.
The Great Lakes Energy People Fund, regardless of the region, will not fund continuing school projects.
Faith-based organizations may receive funding for projects only if the organization provides services to all community members, regardless of the community member’s religious affiliation or participation.
When are grants awarded?
There are three grant cycles each year. Grants are typically awarded six weeks after the grant cycle deadline. The grant application deadlines are:
- February 1
- June 1
- October 1
How do I apply for a grant?
Be sure to review the Annual Report to ensure your organization serves one of our grant regions. The annual report is also helpful in determining the average grant amounts that are given to organizations. Also review the grant guidelines to ensure you are applying for a grant that qualifies. All grant applications must be returned by mail, read the instructions on the application for more information.