MML Foundation Launches Bridge Builders Microgrant Program

Press Release


Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
[email protected];


MML Foundation Launches Bridge Builders Microgrant Program

Six, $500 Grants Available to People Who Connect People

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – A new microgrant program is now available for those working to bring people together.

The Michigan Municipal League Foundation has launched a new microgrant program designed to support positive individual action, by citizens, in their local community. The Bridge Builders microgrant program offers six (6) microgrants of up to $500 each.
This award is for individuals, specifically emerging leaders, who are doing innovative work that intentionally and creatively brings people together, while socially distant, and repairs broken relationships in the community.

“Our communities are experiencing profound impacts from current events and we want emerging leaders to know that their individual actions play an important role in shaping the future. The MML Foundation has launched this grant initiative to recognize and support a diverse group of individuals who are creatively driving positive change in their community.” says Helen D. Johnson, MML Foundation president.

The MML Foundation recognizes that action at the level of local community is central to the social, cultural, and economic recovery from the pandemic. Every municipality needs engaged and active citizens. A strong civic base is key to ensuring good governance and creating an equitable and vibrant place.

Individuals and groups of people planning to complete projects in Michigan Municipal League member communities are eligible to apply. (League member communities include nearly every city and village, as well as multiple urban townships in Michigan.) Traditional 501c(3) organizations, businesses, and units of government are not eligible to receive funding.

The grant application window starts Aug. 3 and ends Aug. 14. Semifinalists will be notified by August 20 and public, online voting on semifinalists will run from Aug. 24 to Sept. 4. A selection panel will choose the final recipients based on overall project feasibility, community need and impact, creativity, number of votes, diversity of applicants including demographics and geographic location in Michigan. Preference will be given to projects that intentionally foster constructive community conversations around racial equity and inclusion. Vote totals, combined with other factors, will determine the final recipients of the microgrants.

The Bridge Builders microgrants are intended to fund place-based projects that intentionally bring people together and seek to mend broken relationships in the community. Since the start of the pandemic, Michiganders have organized socially-distanced neighborhood gatherings, created collaborative community murals, and worked to actively spread hope and bring neighbors together for difficult but necessary conversations around racial equity and inclusion.

“We are looking forward to seeing the creativity that people bring forth to their applications. It’s our hope that this grant opportunity can not only spark new project ideas but also give a boost to existing community-building efforts.” says Danielle Beard, associate program officer for the MML Foundation.

Project ideas could include but are not limited to:

  • Events that promote an active and engaged civic life
  • Micro-placemaking activities that elevate cultural traditions using art and creative expression
  • Hosting a neighborhood book-read and discussions about issues of equity and inclusion in the community
  • Events, placemaking activities, or other activities that reinforce our shared humanity and celebrate your community
  • Initiation of community gardens/markets that address issues of neighborhood food security

Please note that any in-person events should take proper social distancing measures including the use of face masks

To view a video on Bridge Builders, click here.

Visit to learn more and submit applications.
Those with questions or those interested in partnership opportunities should contact Danielle Beard at (517) 908-0308 or [email protected].

The MML Foundation is working to advance community wealth through strategic partnerships and investments in strong, diverse leadership for Michigan communities and place-based initiatives that drive equitable outcomes.


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