We seek to partner with charitable organizations to accomplish common objectives for to improve the lives of people and communities. Effectiveness, efficiency, organizational sustainability, strategic thinking, environmental stewardship and community collaboration are among the strengths we encourage in our grantees.

Unfortunately, our limited financial resources do not allow the Foundation to support the large majority of the grant requests received. Applicants should not view a letter declining support as a judgment on the merits of the proposal.

Guidelines for Grantees

The Foundation generally adheres to the following:

  • The geographic area of primary interest is Michigan.
  • Individuals and private foundations are not eligible for grants, loans or scholarships.
  • Grants are generally not made for conference attendance, travel, books, publications, films, tapes and other communications media. Educational conferences hosted by the applicant are eligible.
  • Capital project grant requests may not exceed 10% of the total cost of the project.  If approved, these grants are normally paid in equal annual installments over a 3 to 5 year period.
  • Projects or organizations that are political or seek to influence legislation are not eligible.
  • The Foundation does not generally meet or communicate with grant applicants unless requested to do so by the Grants Review Committee after considering the organization’s on-line application.
  • The Foundation encourages financial sustainability and self-sufficiency, and does not fund programs or organizations on an annual or ongoing basis. A diversity of funding sources is encouraged
  • An organization that has previously received support from the Towsley Foundation may not submit another grant request until at least two years have elapsed since the date of the final payment.  Furthermore, an organization that has submitted a prior grant application for which funding was declined may not submit another request until at least one year has elapsed since the date of the most recent letter advising the consideration and declination of an application.  Notifications that a request is not eligible are not considered declinations.  Exception may be made by the Foundation for organizations with separately functioning units or funds covered under the same tax exemption number.  Discretionary grants or matching gift requests initiated by a Foundation trustee are not considered in determination of a wait period.  Note that this timetable and the application deadlines below are changes from prior practices necessitated by the significant increase in number of applications as well as frequency of applications from the same organizations.


The Foundation meets three times a year to consider grant applications. Completed electronic applications through this website must be received according to the following timetable. Prior to each Board meeting, the Grants Review Committee will provide an initial review and recommendation to the Board regarding each grant request.

Deadlines for Applications

  • September 6, 2024 for the October 25, 2024 Board Meeting.
  • January 3, 2025 for the February 21, 2025 Board Meeting.
  • May 30, 2025 for the July 18, 2025 Board Meeting.

How to Apply

In addition to questions on the website application form about the organization and the project to be funded, applicants will be asked to provide:

  • A copy of current IRS determination letter demonstrating 501(c)(3) status.
  • The project budget.
  • Audited financial statements for the most recent fiscal year. If none, a current IRS Form 990, 990N, 990EZ or other applicable report as required by the IRS.
  • The current annual report and website link.
  • Applicants may be asked to provide further information.

Click Here for a grant application. It may be saved before completion and submittal. Click Here to access a grant application you have saved prior to submitting.