We imagine a Michigan where every community is not only livable, but lovable. That’s why we’re deeply involved in community development efforts across the state. Whether we’re supporting big ideas in small towns through the Put Your Town on the Map Pitch Competition or providing opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses, we’re committed to ensuring that Michigan prospers.
As part of this commitment, the Consumers Energy Foundation—the charitable arm of our company—awards grants to nonprofit organizations working to revitalize neighborhoods, create jobs, grow small businesses, and enrich the lives of Michiganders through arts and culture initiatives. So far this year, we’ve awarded more than $900,000 to support projects and programs that align with our Prosperity priority, and we’re always accepting applications from grantseekers for innovative projects and ideas.
Although we provide grants year-round ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 to support economic and community development efforts, once per year we award our largest grants through a signature program known as the Prosperity Awards. These awards provide as much as $250,000 to two or more Michigan nonprofits or municipalities committed to improving the welfare of whole communities through projects and programs that have long-term benefits.
Since launching the program in 2019, we’ve provided $1.5 million in grants to Prosperity Awards winners. Let’s take a look at some of the previous winning projects:
Metro Community Development (Metro), a Flint-based nonprofit committed to creating economic opportunities in Genesee County, received a $250,000 Prosperity Award in 2019. Visit our blog to read how Metro is transforming blighted houses in Flint into move-in-ready homes for eligible first-time buyers.
Communities First, another nonprofit based in Flint, received a $250,000 Prosperity Award in 2021 to restore the historic Flint Masonic Temple. Once the project is completed, community members will be able to enjoy the restoration and reopening of the 100-year-old building’s restaurant and auditorium spaces as a premier arts and culture venue for the community.
In the northern part of the state, the City of Cadillac is hard at work on its winning initiative, the Community Revitalization Plan. The city is reducing blight through targeted clean-ups, supporting residential façade improvements, and creating safe and clean community gathering spaces through the development of microparks. As part of these efforts, the Residential Façade Matching Grant Program was established to assist homeowners with making exterior improvements to their homes. The program, which is currently in its second year, aims to increase safety, property values, and community pride. The city received triple the applications this year, and has been able to provide support to each one.
Other winning communities include the City of Muskegon Heights and the Village of Oxford. Rowan Park, a central point of downtown Muskegon Heights, will be revitalized through the addition of a splash pad, restrooms, and other improvements. Oxford is utilizing its $250,000 to revitalize its historic downtown corridor by improving the entrances in the district, as well as repurposing underused spaces for the community to gather and feel welcome.
The 2023 Prosperity Awards are well underway, with this year’s winning projects announced in October.
The Prosperity Awards are one of three signature grant allocations – totaling $1.5 million each year. The Foundation also awards the Planet Awards and the People Awards to support nonprofit efforts that protect Michigan’s environment and support basic needs, education, and workforce readiness. Nonprofit organizations throughout Michigan can submit letters of intent for these signature grants and the top projects are invited to submit applications for consideration.
Nonprofits and municipalities can submit requests for smaller amounts year-round for consideration through the Consumers Energy Foundation’s traditional grantmaking program. Learn more at ConsumersEnergy.com/Foundation.