Grin City Micro-Grant Program


We can only give out as much money as we're able to raise. If you too care about the cultural vibrancy of rural Iowa, please make a gift to this new program and watch your support spread and multiply!  [GIVE NOW]

2017-2018 Guidelines

To support creative activities that strengthen a sense of belonging and interconnectedness in our local communities and to further the work that Grin City Collective has dedicated itself to for the last twelve years. This micro-grant will support initiatives by self-described artists, community builders, craftspeople and entrepreneurs that are not already under the umbrella of a nonprofit organization.

Financial Support:
Micro-grants in amounts up to $1,000 will be dispensed on a biannual basis. Funding can be used for almost anything project-related including, but not limited to materials, advertising, facility rental, artist fees, local travel, or shipping costs. It can even be used to pay for your own time working on the project. In fact, we encourage paying yourself! Funds cannot be used for: personal expenses not related to the project; general overhead costs of an organization or business; debt reduction; political activities or lobbying; and capital, construction or fundraising projects. The number of projects we support depends on the size of the funded projects and the number of community gifts supporting the micro-grant program.

Professional Support:
The micro-grant program can also support a project through professional enrichment, because sometimes folks need more than cash to make it all happen; they need advice or training or best practices from someone who has done similar work. Using its network of over 200 national creatives and community organizers, Grin City will connect you with someone who can guide you through your specific question, hurdle or process, should you need it.

On a case-by-case basis, Grin City may also be able to act as a fiscal sponsor, if your project requires larger financial support.

Making a Strong Application:
Grantees are selected based on how well they fulfill Grin City’s own work and vision. Visit our About page to learn more about what matters most to us.

The best projects will answer yes to the following questions:

  1. Does it involve the art of making?
  2. Does it introduce people to new stories, information or skills?
  3. Does it provide opportunities for conversation?
  4. Is it collaborative or involve the input/stories of more than one person?
  5. Does the project engage with or relate to a specific community?
  6. Is it integrative rather than expositive? (Is the project designed in an integrative way to support the community’s needs rather than being imposed on a community)
  7. Does it have a solid financial strategy?

Examples of possible projects include: community meals, public art, skill shares, an outdoor concert, local history archive, and public events, as well as more traditional art forms created with heavy community involvement. There is no perfect project, and we hope you’ll push the boundaries to convince us of how your project matches our work.


  1. Activities must occur in a community within a 40-mile radius of Grinnell, Iowa (see map)
  2. Open to individuals or groups only. 501(c)(3)s or businesses are not eligible.
  3. The project leader(s) must have a direct connection to the community in which they are working either as a resident, personal history or direct invitation from that community.
  4. All paid individuals must be able to legally work in the U.S.

Preference is given to:

  1. Activities in communities of fewer than 10,000 people.
  2. Collaborative projects or projects that involve the input of more than one person.

Grin City will not provide:

  1. Staffing or volunteers for your activity, event or project
  2. Liability or other insurance
  3. Ongoing financial or professional support

Funding Timeline:
Round 1:
Applications Accepted: Oct 1 - Nov 1, 2017
Notification By: Dec 1, 2017
Funding Window: Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2018

Round 2:
Applications Accepted: Mar 1 - Apr 1, 2018
Notification By: May 1, 2018
Funding Window: June 1, 2018 - May 31, 2019

Round 3:
TBD - check back for updates or join our mailing list for the latest information.

To Apply:
Using our JotForm submission tool below, please fill out an application and attach:

  1. A summary of the project for which you are applying for funds. Please include the reason for the project (why this, why now), its timeline, who the various players are, and where the activities will take place. Maximum one-page, single spaced.
  2. A budget, if applying for funds, and/or a description of the need, if applying for professional mentorship/support.
  3. Demonstration of past work. This may include documentation of past projects, website links, media/article links or a letter of support from a past community collaborator attesting to the quality of the work you do. Uploads are limited to 1 MB each. If sharing larger files, please upload to a file sharing site (Dropbox, Vimeo, YouTube, Google Drive, Flickr etc.) and upload a list of associated URLs. If uploading images, also include a file describing what we are looking at.


*Grant link not currently active. See funding timeline.