Large Grants

Grant Cycle Grant Cycle Begins Grant Application Due Date Grant Review Cycle Grant Award Dates
Spring December 15 January 15 February/March April
Fall June 1 July 1 August/September October

Spring 2019 Large Grant Application


Superior Health Foundation hosts fall grants celebration

Health-centered non-profit organization awards record-setting amount in grants

The Superior Health Foundation in Marquette awarded more than $443,000 in health-centered grant funding at its Fall Grants Awards Celebration on Wednesday evening at the Holiday Inn in Marquette.  The event was presented by 44 North.

The Superior Health Foundation awarded $26,818.10 in mini-grants, $99,956 in large grants, $10,000 in Indigent Care grants and $306,523.35 in funding to address substance use issues in the Upper Peninsula. All told, $443,297.45 was dispersed to organizations across the region.

 In its six-year existence, SHF has now provided more than $2 million in grant funding to dozens of non-profit, health-centered organizations across the U.P.

  The substance use initiative is the Foundation’s fourth proactive grant project selected and voted on by its U.P.-wide Board of Directors. Since 2014, SHF has awarded $1,320,778.45 to proactive projects to address oral health for children, mental health wellness, pediatric obesity and substance use. The substance use initiative is a two-year funding project to address a dire concern in the Upper Peninsula.

“The Superior Health Foundation is honored to be in position to provide funding to so many incredible health-centered causes across the region,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “Our U.P.-wide board of directors and team recognizes substance use issues in the Upper Peninsula and their complexities. We feel strongly we have chosen four projects that will ultimately reduce the incidence of drug use and/or provide treatment options in our communities.”

At the awards celebration, the Superior Health Foundation recognized 17 organizations across the Upper Peninsula that received mini grants.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Superior Health Foundation, we’re pleased to award these grants to so many incredible organizations across the U.P.,” said Bruce Seely, PhD, president of the SHF Board of Directors. “To award more than $440,000 in an evening is incredible. We like to feel we’re doing our part in improving the lives of people.”

The Superior Health Foundation awarded large grants to the following organizations:

  • Just Believe(Up to $3,000): Just Believe is a non-profit organization that was created in memory of Jodi Ball, who passed away from melanoma. Their mission is to bring sun safety/skin cancer awareness and prevention presentations for youth through high school. SHF provided $1,500 in funding to purchase three additional sunscreen dispensers across the region. SHF will provide an additional $1,500 if Just Believe can raise $1,500 from other sources.
  • Great Lakes Recovery Centers($6,000): The Mental Health and High School Curriculum project would bring a national trainer to Marquette to train 10-20 teachers in the mental health and high school curriculum. The curriculum has six modules that talk about the stigma associated with mental illnesses, give students a better understanding of mental illnesses, and encourage students to find help/ support the importance of mental health. SHF provided $5,000 in funding for training expenses and another $1,000 to evaluate the program.
  • Public Health Delta & Menominee Counties($14,500): Lead is a heavy metal that can be found in many things such as: soil, water, cosmetics and some home remedies. No safe level of exposure has been identified for children. The accumulation of lead in the body can lead to detrimental physical deformities later on in life. Childhood lead poisoning prevention awareness and education are unmet healthcare needs in the U.P. All six local health departments in the U.P. have reported cases of children with elevated Blood Lead Levels. Funding will be used to create a Childhood Lead Poisoning Awareness and Education media-based campaign to educate people on the dangers and effects of childhood lead poisoning, and to promote screening in children.
  • 906 Adventure Team($15,000): Since its inception in 2014, the 906 Adventure Team has been dedicated to helping kids live healthier lifestyles and develop critical life skills through mentored cycling activities and stewardship as well as wellness and nutrition education. It has helped 200-plus kids get moving, secured 10,000-plus volunteer hours, averaged 100-plus individuals for family events, created three after-school and six club programs, and partnered with over a dozen local organizations. SHF provided one-time funding to help with operational support for funding a full-time executive director.
  • Michigan Fitness Foundation ($15,000):  AmeriCorps Safe Routes to Health was developed through a planning grant by assessing barriers and opportunities to better understand and address unmet health needs through health, wellness, and physical activity programs in select counties in underserved low-income communities with high obesity rates across Michigan. SHF provided funding for AmeriCorps member services and expenses related to service in Sault Ste. Marie. Additional funds can be used for marketing and community outreach, program materials and other supplies for the program.
  • Feeding America West Michigan($21,456):  Feeding America West Michigan’s mission is to gather and distribute food to relieve hunger and increase food security in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. They serve 40 out of the 83 counties in Michigan, targeting the highest need areas with the highest rates of food insecurity. SHF funds will help with eight mobile food strucks in the U.P. that covers five counties: Marquette, Schoolcraft, Luce, Chippewa and Mackinac.
  • Western Marquette County Health Foundation($25,000): There is a significant population of youth with behavioral and related mental needs that adversely affects many groups of students. The need for social, emotional and behavioral support services for students is at an all-time high, yet very difficult to receive and cost prohibitive in many instances. The School-Based Applied Behavior Analysis Collaborative partners Northern Michigan University with four school districts in Western Marquette County to focus specifically on behavioral health needs of students within the school system. SHF provided matching funding of $25,000 to assure this much-needed project.

SHF also awarded funding to its first two Indigent Care Fund recipients. In the spring, SHF and the-then Medical Care Access Coalition (MCAC) signed an agreement in which $1.2 in MCAC funds were awarded to SHF. Beginning this spring, interest earnings from this investment will be awarded in the form of grants.   

  • Lake Superior Hospice($5,000): Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice annually provides care to roughly 125 hospice patients, reaches approximately 25 adult day service participants plus their caregivers, and serves another 20-25 clients through its Transitions and Journey’s Program. SHF provided $5,000 in funding for the “Life Care for Those in Need” program, which covers costs for hospice clients, and their adult day service program.
  • Marquette County Health Department($5,000): My Community Dental Centers (MCDC) is a non-profit dedicated to providing dental services to Medicaid enrollees and low-income, uninsured residents throughout the State of Michigan. Their mission is “to improve the lives of our patients and enhance community health by setting the highest standard of oral health care.” Providing dental care to Medicaid and low-income, uninsured patients can present a financial challenge for an organization due to low, or in some cases non-existent reimbursement for services provided to the patients. SHF awarded funding for the “Upper Peninsula Friendly Smile Fund,” which covers dental services provided to patients who receive a discounted rate, or do not pay at all.

In the area of substance use, the SHF provided large grants to six organizations, totaling more than $306,000 in grant funding to:

  • Marquette County Cares($5,503): The Marquette County Health Department provides services to Marquette County and partners with agencies throughout the U.P., with the mission to “enrich the lives in our community by preventing disease, promoting healthy lifestyles, and protecting the environment.” The Craves Initiative addresses underlying risk factors to decrease early substance use for youth. The Craves Initiative seeks to increase access to books and introduction to a children’s author, to improve engagement in reading and decrease risk to approximately 2,104 youth grades 2nd-4th in Baraga, Marquette and Ontonagon counties during the 2018-19 school year. SHF provided funding for half of the project.
  • Healthy Youth Coalition of Marinette & Menominee Counties($6,000): The Lock IT. Drop IT. Stop IT. Program is aimed to prevent prescription drug abuse by safely locking up prescription medications, properly disposing of them, and following prescription guidelines, while providing extra education about the importance of not sharing medications. They provide the lock boxes free of charge, magnets with local prescription drop site information, educational brochures, and prescription deactivation bags. SHF provided $6,000 in funding to continue the program.
  • Dickinson Area Community Foundation ($19,000): Community center programs will impact, inspire and motivate participants to have life satisfaction by making healthy lifestyle choices. The Our Place Community Center will provide services that meet the health needs of intergenerational participants, specifically targeting the underserved and higher risk populations. Creating a sense of belonging and providing children interactive play at the Imagination Factory Children’s Museum will empower both individuals and families to meet the challenges of addiction and mental health concerns. SHF agreed to provide funding for Phase Two of the project which includes a kick-off event, video and PSA, motivational speaker, student leadership event and plaques for contributor and volunteer recognition.
  • Great Lakes Recovery Centers($44,000): Recovery housing offers individuals beginning their lives in recovery a safe place to live with other people who are reaching for the same goals. This type of housing will significantly impact the long-term treatment and sobriety of clients who have battled Substance Use Disorder. Recovery housing provides structure and support for those new to recovery, allowing time for the client to continue to heal from the impact of addiction. SHF provided funding for two-thirds of the Baraga County Recovery House.
  • Aspirus Ironwood Hospital & Clinics, Inc.($107,000): The Western Upper Peninsula is experiencing a critical need for assisting patients on a local level with opiate use disorders. The lack of convenient access is a major deterrence to patients for the proper treatment of therapies. This funding will help Aspirus establish a coordinated medication-assisted treatment clinic with the mission of helping individuals stop their use of opioid medications and drugs in a safe and effective manner.
  • Northcare Network($125,020.35): NorthCare Network is one of Michigan’s 10 Prepaid Inpatient Health Plans. They provide an array of services for individuals with serious mental illnesses, intellectual/developmental disabilities and substance use disorders. They intend to strengthen Substance Use Disorder prevention & treatment options un the U.P. by working with Dial Help and UP Coalition Network to bring stakeholders from law enforcement, health care, courts, government, social services and other sectors to identify gaps and develop strategic plans to fill them. SHF is provided funding for the second year of this two-year project.

Sheri Davie chairs the SHF Grants Committee and member of the SHF Board of Directors. She said the number and quality of the grant application for the fall cycle was “incredible.”

“We had no shortage of quality grant proposals to review. The committee feels very strongly that the projects we funded will play an immeasurable role in improving the lives of people all across the Upper Peninsula.

The SHF will accept applications for its Spring 2019 grants cycle in mid-December, with a deadline set for Jan. 15, 2019.

A look back at our 2017 Fall Grants Celebration!


Superior Health Foundation (“Foundation”), formerly known as “Marquette General Hospital Foundation,” was formed on Sept. 1, 2012. Subsequent to the LifePoint purchase of Marquette General, LifePoint made a sizable contribution to the Foundation. The Foundation “converted” to the Superior Health Foundation and is no longer affiliated, nor financially supportive, of the hospital. The Foundation is a non-profit corporation exempt from income taxation under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is managed by a Board whose members are community leaders residing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Board members serve without compensation. Qualified organizations may apply for grants for new programs, current programs or establishing or investigating new programs. No grants will be awarded if the Foundation Grant Application and other requested information described in these guidelines are not provided. Verbal or written letters of request or other inquiries cannot be considered as or substituted for a formal grant application.


SHF’s mission is to assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health throughout the Upper Peninsula.


The Board of Directors of the Foundation will only make grants of more than $2,500 to qualified 501(c) (3) organizations (or government entities) serving the Upper Peninsula that support, promote and/or further the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation awards grants to organizations meeting its eligibility criteria for projects that improve the life and well-being of those in Upper Peninsula communities. These projects include, but are not limited to, the following, which align with our mission:

  • The unmet healthcare needs of the indigent and uninsured
  • Health education programs
  • Supporting programs and research which have the primary purpose of preventing and reducing illness and disease
  • Other programs to promote the health, education and welfare of the community.

The Superior Health Foundation has a particular interest in proactive grant making as a means to cast a wider net in search for support.  SHF views longstanding health issues as opportunities to interest a partner/funder to work together to implement transformational physical and mental health solutions to benefit many.  SHF is interested in proposals/requests that:

  1. Clearly identify “holes” in health access and delivery
  2. Address long-standing health issues that have not been addressed
  3. Seek collaborative funding opportunities that  demonstrate better health outcomes for the residents of the Upper Peninsula. 

To that end, the Superior Health Foundation is committed to providing up to two-thirds of its yearly grant funding  to proactive projects identified by SHF’s Grants Committee, and to working collaboratively with other funders. 


 The Board, in making grant decisions, will place the greatest priority on projects that:

  • Directly provide health services to low-income or uninsured citizens of the Upper Peninsula
  • Are accompanied by matching funds from other sources
  • Have little or no administrative overhead expenses as the Board believes these expenses should be provided by the requesting organization through matching funds; Funding may be provided for support or direct staff positions at the beginning of a project, but not for the long-term. Also, SHF does not support administrative positions or allow indirect costs or overhead.
  • Are not of a recurring nature unless the project and the need(s) it serves requires otherwise
  • The Board recognizes the need for and encourages new projects (i.e., projects not traditionally funded via other sources such as United Way, etc.)


As the Board evaluates the merits of grant applications, areas of specific interest and high priority will include projects that address, in specific ways:

  • Obesity
  • Health and Nutritional Issues
  • Substance Use Disorder
  • Environmental Health
  • Mental Health
  • Healthcare Needs of the Underprivileged and Uninsured
  • Health Education
  • Healthcare needs of children
  • Healthcare needs of the elderly
  • Improving the Quality of Life in the Upper Peninsula


To comply with federal guidelines and SHF legal requirements, SHF will not fund large projects with any of the following characteristics:

  • Grants to individuals
  • Grants to religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Grants to organizations for projects outside of the Upper Peninsula
  • Grants to endowments or other discretionary funding pools
  • Grants for dinners, fund-raisers, or other ticketed special events
  • Grants for political purposes or for lobbying activities
  • Grants for projects unrelated to the Foundation’s purpose
  • Grants for debt reduction
  • Grants for brick & mortar projects 

Funding Levels

 The Foundation reserves the right to set upper or lower limits on the size of grants in order to promote efficiency in grant administration, provide for financial stability, and to ensure that there are adequate funds to support both current and long-term projects deemed worthy by the Board.  The Board of Directors has the authority to set limits on the size of grants.

Grants will normally be awarded  for one year projects; however, the Board will take under consideration projects that request multi-year grants. Grant applications seeking matching funds must provide written documentation from the other contributor(s) or the Board may make the Foundation’s grant contingent on receipt of such matching contribution(s). The documentation may include a letter or resolution from the other contributor(s). The Board reserves the right to request additional documentation of expenditures, including, but not limited to cancelled checks or expenditure certifications and to require project status reports and periodic updates.

Grant applications may only be submitted to one grant category per grant cycle.  For example, a grant application submitted to the fall large grant cycle could not also be submitted to the proactive grant cycle.  The applicant must choose the grant category they feel is most appropriate.

Grant Review Cycles

 The SHF Grants Committee will convene two times per year to review grant applications and to make recommendations for funding. All grant applications must be submitted on or before the Grant Application Due Date. The grant application and all requested information must be complete prior to the Application Due Date to be considered in the current Grant Review Cycle. Applications which are not submitted in a timely fashion for the current Grant Review Cycle will not be considered in the next Grant Review Cycle unless a new application is timely submitted by the Grant Application Due Date for such subsequent Grant Review Cycle.  

Grant Cycle Grant Cycle Begins Grant Application Due Date Grant Review Cycle Grant Award Dates
Spring December 15 January 15 February/March April
Fall June 1 July 1  August/September October

The grant review process, conducted initially by the SHF Grants Committee, a sub-committee of the SHF Board of Directors, includes a thorough review of the merits of each application. To be fair to all applicants and to permit adequate time for the review process, any grant applications received after the due date will be returned to the submitting organization. If the Grant Application Due Date falls on a weekend or holiday, the due date will be extended to the next business day.

Grant Review Process

 When Grant Applications are received by the Foundation, the information will be reviewed by the Foundation Executive Director and Grant Coordinator to determine whether the Foundation Grant Application Guidelines have been met.

  • If the application is deemed to be incomplete, the Foundation Executive Director and Grant Coordinator may request additional information. If the information is received in the time specified by the Foundation staff, the application will be considered in the current Grant Review Cycle. If the information is not received or the application is still considered incomplete, the application will not be returned to the submitting organization or considered in any subsequent Grant Review Cycle unless a new application is timely submitted by the Grant Application Due Date for such subsequent Grant Review Cycle.

Applications will be collected and maintained by the Foundation Executive Director for submission to the SHF Grants Committee shortly after the Grant Application Due Date.

The members of the SHF Grants Committee will review the applications as a committee of the whole. Grant applications are scored on a points system based on the guidelines listed below.  The SHF Grants Committee members reserve the right to ask for additional information or to make a site visit during the review process. Upon completion of the Grant Review Process, the SHF Grants Committee will make a recommendation(s) to the full Board of Directors regarding each grant.

The SHF Grants Committee will evaluate grant applications based, in part, on the following guidelines.

Applicants are encouraged to use the most current guidelines in preparing the grant application.

  • Is the proposed project consistent with the Foundation’s mission?
  • Has the applicant included all information required by the Foundation in the grant application?
  • Has the applicant clearly stated the need to be addressed, and has that need been specifically connected to the mission of Superior Health Foundation?
  • Is the constituency to be served clearly identified?
  • Does the proposed project clearly state how the project will address both the defined need and the constituency? How will the applicant measure success?
  • Are the short- and long-term goals and objectives clearly stated? Can progress be measured? If so, how will progress be measured?
  • Has the proposing organization clearly documented its capacity and experience to develop and implement the proposed project?
  • Is the proposed project consistent with the applicant’s historical mission?
  • Has the organization and project leadership demonstrated the skills and experience required for success?
  • Is the project timetable realistic?
  • Does the budget clearly reflect the project description and describe the resources needed? Have all funding resources been identified? Once the project is completed, has the applicant presented a plan to sustain the efforts? Does the agency/organization have a sustainability or business plan?
  • Has the applicant developed a broad base of support for the project, including partnering with other agencies?

After the Executive Director and Grants Coordinator and the SHF Grants Committee have reviewed the Grant Applications, the Grants Coordinator will prepare a Summary of the Proposals and the recommendation of the Grant Review Committee to the Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors will act upon the recommendations of the Grants Committee. The Foundation normally will act prior to the Grant Award Dates. After the grant review process is completed, applicants will be notified in writing by the Executive Director and/or Grant Coordinator regarding the final outcome of their request. If the grant is approved, the Executive Director will issue a letter advising the applicant of the award and of any conditions, restrictions, payment terms, and reporting requirements (which may include on-site visits) connected with the grant award. The applicant will be required to respond to this letter to agree to the terms of the grant and, in doing so, agrees to hold harmless and indemnify the Foundation from any claim, loss or expense related to the applicant’s activities or use of the grant.

All communications with the Foundation should be directed to the Executive Director. Applicants are discouraged from contacting individual Directors, either before or after a grant application has been made and acted upon.

The volume of applications and the subjective considerations involved in the Grant Review process do not permit the Executive Director, Board members, or staff to critique all unfunded, unsuccessful applications.

The number and amount of requests, community needs, Board priorities, federal and state laws and regulations, and available funds will require the Board to carefully evaluate the merits of each application. In some cases requests may be declined because of timing or because the Board ranked the application below other proposals. Rejection of the proposal does not mean that the application was without merit nor should it be taken as a rejection of the proposing organization.

All grant applications become the property of the Foundation and will not be returned to the applicant.


Each organization receiving funds from the Foundation may be required to provide periodic financial reports and project reports directed to: Superior Health Foundation, Attn: Grant  Committee, 121 N. Front St., Marquette, MI 49855. Additionally, photographs are encouraged for inclusion on the Foundation’s newsletters, press releases and/or web sites.

Failure to expend funds and to provide a complete, accurate, and timely accounting of awarded funds within one year may prohibit the organization from receiving future funding from the Foundation and may result in the Foundation seeking restitution of misspent funds, unless extension approval is granted by the Executive Director.


The Foundation makes grants based on the program or services described in the grant application or a final agreement that may be required due to the unique characteristics or size of the grant. Some projects, particularly those of considerable duration or size, may encounter changes in key personnel, funding partners, or resource requirements. Whenever possible, the Foundation will work with the grant recipient to address unforeseen events.

Grant recipients must inform the executive director of the Superior Health Foundation immediately if significant events occur that may impact the project. Examples may include, but are not limited to, a change in the project director or in the organization’s key personnel; the organization’s priorities, Board directors, or operations may change; or other funding resources or project costs may change. Failure to notify the Foundation of issues that may adversely impact the project may result in a temporary or permanent cessation of payments or possible legal action to reclaim funds.


The Superior Health Foundation requires each organization receiving grants from the Foundation to publish an acknowledgement of the grant. The publicity may be in the form of a press release, an annual report, a brochure or materials related to the project or in some other means of communication. All public recognition should be in the name of the “Superior Health Foundation.” A copy, or copies, of any public acknowledgement should be submitted with the final grant report. 


All grant applications must be submitted by the Grant Application Due Date.  Applications should be based on the most current grant guidelines. Grant applications can be submitted online at

The application must be submitted by an individual authorized to do so by the organization. If any sections of the grant application are not completed, a written statement must be submitted explaining the reason(s).

The SHF Grants Committee will take agency priorities into consideration when reviewing the grants. However, it does not mean that the committee will fund the grants in that priority.

  • General information about the grant request is required indicating the Grant Application Due Date, a summary of the project, the total dollar amount of the grant request, and approval by the board of the submitting organization. A copy of the board minutes may be requested.
  • A brief description of the organization, its history and purpose, current programs and services, the constituency served, and the geographic area(s) the organization serves.
  • A concise, but specific, description of the project or activity proposed, including:
    1. the specific purposes for which the grant is requested;
    2. the benefits to be provided;
    3. the needs to be met and the specific connection to those needs with the mission of Superior Health Foundation;
    4. the proposed measures of success/progress milestones;
    5. the constituency expected to benefit from the project ;
    6. the geographic area(s) where the project or activity will take place or location of the individuals who will benefit from the project or activity; and
    7. a timetable for project completion.
  • A detailed financial plan/budget for the project that includes:
    1. a detailed budget listing sources of revenue, all direct costs, a breakdown of compensation by position if the application requests funds for staffing, and projected volume of services to be provided;
    2. the specific amount requested and the specific use being proposed;
    3. the amount raised to date;
    4. plans for procuring the remainder;
    5. travel expenses, if any, estimated at actual expenses to be incurred, not the IRS reimbursement rate. Superior Health Foundation is not obligated to reimburse on IRS guidelines, but instead on actual costs incurred.
    6. other funding sources and/or matching support; and
    7. a provision for contingencies and on-going support.
  • A brief biographical background of the person who will conduct or supervise the proposed program.
  • Plans for evaluation of a project’s results and for sustaining the project after grant funds expire. (Evaluation Plan Form is included in the online application).
  • At least two letters of support for the grant project are required. These letters should be originated by the supporting organization.  Form letters are not useful in this regard.
  • If an organization that has previously received funding from SHF is making a new request, they must state the results of their most recently completed previous grant, and they should supply letters of support from people who benefited from the previous grant.

Each grant application must also include the following information, which will be attached as part of the online application:

  1. The names, officers in the organization, address, phone number, email address and business (if applicable)
  2. A current annual report of the organization.
  3. Financial statements (audited statements should be provided if available) for the most current completed fiscal year, and a year-to-date unaudited financial statement for the current year. Organizations with less than two years of operating history should submit financial statements since inception and a two-year budget. Major sources of organizational support and endowments, if any, must be shown.
  4. A signed copy of the most recent IRS Form 990 Tax Return, if required to be filed by the applicant. City, state and federal government agencies or subsections should submit their tax letter or affiliation letter signed by the appropriate supervisor or financial officer in lieu of IRS Form 990.
  5. Qualified public charities must submit a copy of their most recent letter of determination from the Internal Revenue Service a certification that tax exempt status has not changed and there are no facts or circumstances known that may result in a change of status. The letter should state that the organization is:
    1. exempt from federal income tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code (or government entity); and/or state the type of organization if not a 501 (c) (3)
    2. is “not a private foundation” under Section 509 (a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Inquiries and correspondence concerning grants should be made online (www.superiorhealthfoundation/grants) or in writing and addressed to:

Jim LaJoie, Executive Director

Superior Health Foundation

121 N. Front Street

Marquette, MI 49855

(906) 225-6914