The Otsego Community Foundation manages over 90 charitable funds established by generous individuals, businesses and families that want to give back to Otsego County. From each fund, grants are distributed back to the community based on the charitable intention of the fund. Some funds are designated for a specific cause or organization such as the Otsego County Historical Society or Little League, others known as Field of Interest Funds, target a specific area of the community such as youth, educators, homelessness or cancer. The Community Fund and the Dr. Patrick J. McNamara Fund are undesignated funds designed to support multiple local charities. In order to effectively distribute grants from field of interest funds and undesignated funds an application is required. See community grant program to learn more.

General Grant Application

We realize that a need or opportunity may arise for your organization outside of the Community Grant Program.  If you find yourself in this situation, please give us a call and discuss with our team.  With years of experience connecting people who care to the causes that matter the OCF staff may be able to assist.  Each year grant dollars go unused and although we can’t guarantee funding we can assure you it is worth a call. 

Community Grant Program

The Otsego Community Foundation is proud to administer the Community Grant Program a unique collaborative effort made possible by local funders to increase the effectiveness of grantmaking; growing the capacity of local nonprofits. Each spring applicants complete one online application, which is reviewed by multiple funders. Additionally, each applicant has the opportunity to do a brief presentation to share their story and answer funders’ questions.

Tornado Response Grant

We have had great support from the community and the Tornado Response Fund is ready to assist nonprofits with immediate relief, short-term recovery, and long-term rebuilding. As the recovery and rebuilding continue, it is important to recognize that disaster rebuilding can last for years, and OCF is here to offer support.


Please contact Karin Beyer at [email protected] is you have any questions.


How To Apply For A Grant  


1. Review Grant Making Guidelines

Funding partners are particularly interested in supporting: 

  • Proposals that solve critical local problems and address critical local needs. 
  • Proposals for programs or projects not adequately being served by existing community resources. 
  • Proposals which provide leverage for generating other funds and community resources. 
  • Proposals which facilitate cooperation and collaboration between organizations. 
  • Proposals that increase the capacity of local organizations. 

Eligible organizations 

  • Schools 
  • Government Units 
  • Charitable Organizations with their 501 C3 status. 

2. Register or Login as a grant admin

Whether you have experience with our online application or this is your first time, our staff is here to help you along the way. We want to hear what matters to you.

New representative 

If this is your first time completing a grant application please register by clicking HERE. If you have any questions please feel free to email Karin Beyer, at [email protected]. Please allow 48 hours for a response during regular business hours. 

Returning representative 

If you have applied on behalf of the same organization in the past and know your login information, log in now. 

Forgotten login information 

If you have forgotten your login information, please contact Karin at [email protected]. Please allow 48 hours for a response during regular business hours. 

Returning representative with different organization 

If you have completed an online application in the past but are now representing a different organization, please email Karin at [email protected] and include the name of the new organization as well as the name of the organization you originally represented. 


3. Start an Application

Now that you have registered and are related to an organization you can log in at any time to start and complete the application process. Past applicants have reported that the average time to complete the application is two hours. The application has five sections including: 

  1. Organization Information* 
  2. Organization Background* 
  3. Proposal Background 
  4. Grant Proposal
  5. Personnel 

Note: Please don’t copy and paste any information into the application.

*Generated from your organization snapshot which you can log in and update at any time of the year. If you are with an organization, school, or government that has multiple divisions or units:

  1. Please don’t change your organization snapshot without approval
  2.  Put your information in the Unit area.

Once you complete all five sections you will be asked to upload the program/project budget before you can submit the application. You will also be able to upload supplemental documents that could include pictures, bids, and letters of recommendation.  Those applying for a school program or project please submit a letter of approval from the administration.

4. Upload Supplemental

Before the application process is complete please upload the following documents.

  • Program/Project Budget (Mandatory)
  • Bids for your project (if applicable)
  • Letters of support for your proposal (if applicable). This is a great opportunity to highlight collaboration. 
  • Any other support documents that will further explain your proposel to funding partners. If you would like to submit a 1-2 minute video that explains your proposal please email the completed video to Karin Beyer, [email protected]

Grant Requirements

                                           Congratulations on your recent grant award!

The award letter you received outlines the dollar amount granted, the fund(s) from which those dollars came, as well as the conditions of the grant, including:


Publicize your grant

You may prepare and submit a press release to local media regarding your project and the grant; if you have a newsletter that could be a good outlet as well. Please continue to credit “the fund of the OCF” in printed materials and news stories as a supporter of the project. In order to assist both the experienced and first-time grant recipient, we have produced some suggestions in Tips for Publicizing Your Grant.

Use the grant for the purpose stated in your grant application

Our expectations of your project start with the grant proposal that you submitted. What we read about in your grant proposal is what we are expecting to happen unless we hear otherwise from you. We do understand that things can change and some flexibility is important. However, we ask that you please talk to us prior to making any major changes to a project we have funded. In many cases it takes just a simple phone call.

Maintain your status as a tax exempt organization

We serve the community through nonprofit organizations. If your tax exempt status changes or is revoked during the course of our grant, please let us know.

Invite us to see it in action

Whether your project is complete or in process members of our team including staff, volunteers and donors would love to see your good work in action.  Please contact Karin to schedule this. 


Submit a Final Report form

The Final report form available here will provide guidance and if you have any questions please email  [email protected] .Your feedback is essential to our work.

Thank you for your partnership!

Our Partners

Kiwanis Club of Gaylord

Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital

Otsego County United Way

Otsego Wildlife Legacy Society

Rotary Club of Gaylord

The Drzewiecki Agency-Meemic Insurance Agent

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation

“One of the things I like about the Community Granting Program is that it allows all of us to be more efficient with our time so we can spend more time “doing” in our community, instead of sitting in multiple meetings. I also like that I’m able to learn about so many of the resources and programs available in our county that I wouldn’t normally hear about!”

Alison Sklarczyk

Board Member, Otsego Wildlife Legacy Society


2022 Giving Together Report

The Community Grant Program is a collaborative effort made possible by local funding partners including the Kiwanis Club of Gaylord, Otsego Community Foundation, Otsego Wildlife Legacy Society, Munson Healthcare Otsego Memorial Hospital, Otsego County United Way, Drzewiecki Agency, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, and Rotary Club of Gaylord.

This unique program, administered by the Otsego Community Foundation allows nonprofits to compete one grant application which then is reviewed and considered by all funding partners.

If you would like to view the 2022 Giving Together Report please click here.

Important Dates for Community Grant Program



Grant Seekers Info Session

4:00 pm via Zoom and in person upstairs at the Otsego County Library



Community Grant Program application live online



Community Grant Program application deadline

1 & 2






Giving Together Celebration

Place and Time TBA



Grants Awarded


Current Assets

Get In Touch

Location: 316 W Main Street, Gaylord, MI 49735

Mailing Address: PO Box 344, Gaylord, MI 49734

Telephone: (989) 731-0597

Email: [email protected]

Hours: T-TH: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. (M & F by appt.)

What matters to your organization?
We want to hear your ideas. Call us and we will help guide your request.