Building Vibrant Communities Grant Program
Midwest Energy & Communications’ Building Vibrant Communities (BVC) grant program provides support to organizations, groups, and societies with nonprofit status as recognized by the IRS. Grants up to $5,000 are available to fund eligible projects and initiatives of high need and impact located within MEC’s electric service territory. MEC’s sponsorship dollars are made possible through our power supplier, Wolverine Power Cooperative.
Applications are accepted on a rolling timeline. We review applications three times during the calendar year, with $10,000 distributed per grant cycle among all funded projects. Deadlines for grant submissions are April 30, Aug. 31, and Dec. 31.
Applicants will be notified of the status of their application within a month following these dates. Projects not funded are eligible to reapply. Funded projects must be completed within six months of receiving a grant.
The MEC service territory includes portions of Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, and Van Buren Counties in southwest Michigan, and St. Joseph, Elkhart, and LaGrange Counties in northern Indiana. Also, Lenawee County in southeast Michigan and Williams and Fulton Counties in northern Ohio. Here is a full list of townships served by county. Because BVC grants are highly competitive, we try to distribute funds to the projects that will affect the largest concentration of our customers.
Organizations applying must be one of the following:
- An organization holding a current tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3), or (19) of the Internal Revenue Code
- A recognized government entity at the state, county, or city level, including law enforcement or fire departments, requesting funds exclusively for public purposes
Not Eligible for Funding
The following requests are ineligible for grant funding:
- Grants for completed projects
- Grants for operating expenses
- Contributions to individuals
- Projects that benefit members of the organization, but not the public at large
- Projects that fall within the responsibility of the organization
- Grants for endowment funds
- Grants for political organizations, campaigns, candidates, or causes
- Grant requests that facilitate a religious mission or doctrine, or that pertain to the congregation and not the public at large
- Grant requests with other IRS nonprofit designations, for example, 501(c)(4), (c)(7), etc. are generally not eligible unless they benefit the public at large
- Grants for public schools*
*School grants are available through MEC’s Strengthening Schools Grant Program
Information Needed When Applying
- Tax Exempt ID Number
- IRS affirmation letter that verifies nonprofit status (uploaded copy to accompany application)
- A detailed listing of the total project budget (uploaded copy to accompany application)
- Sources and amounts of additional funding being sought out for this project (uploaded copy to accompany application)
Previous BVC Recipients