People Fund Grants

Give Locally and Win $100: The People Fund has raised more than $3.5 million for non-profit projects since 1999. Round your bill up to the nearest dollar (an average of 50 cents per month) to help your local community and get rewarded.

About the Program

Great Lakes Energy members help to enhance the quality of life for people in our communities through the People Fund. Bills of participating members are “rounded up” to the next dollar amount and grants are awarded to non-profit organizations for charitable activities throughout our service area. Grants are awarded by three independent Boards of Directors representing three geographical regions – south, central and north. There are no overhead costs – 100 percent of the money collected is returned to our communities. 

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Win $100

All contributors are entered into two annual random drawings where we give away six $100 bill credits. This is our small way of saying “thanks” to every GLE member who supports the People Fund.

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How are Grants Invested?

In order to have the greatest impact on people within the GLE service area, the People Fund will generally invest funds in project or activities that:
  • Are one-time in nature rather than ongoing or continuous
  • Benefit a large number of people
  • Leverage funds from other sources
  • Distribute funds to individuals or families in crisis
  • Help programs increase their capacity to deliver services

For more information please download the PEOPLE FUND 2019 ANNUAL REPORT

See Recent Grant Recipients

  1. Otsego County Economic Alliance, Inc., Gaylord: $3,000 for 2 computers, equipment, and software.
  2. Blissfest Music Organization, Petoskey: $2,043.04 for four Dell monitors for virtual programming.
  3. Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area, Traverse City: $5,000 for safe shelters from domestic violence.
  4. Northern Michigan Equine Therapy, Boyne City: $2,533.66 for care for therapy horses (while business is suspended due to pandemic).
  5. SEEDS Ecology and Education Centers, Traverse City: $2,000 for renovating sugar shack building, purchase new equipment and signs.
  6. Harbor Springs Festival of the Book, Harbor Springs: $3,000 purchase books in relation to author visits in schools.
  7. The Salvation Army, Petoskey: $4,600 for new computers to replace current 10 yr. old models.
  8. The King House Association, Good Hart: $2,500 for constructing interior wall panels for the King’s House.
  9. East Jordan Fire Department, East Jordan: $2,050 for new water rescue equipment – vests and helmets. Contingent on raising the rest of the funding needed.
  10. Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey: $3,300 for necessary video streaming equipment for virtual programming during pandemic.
  11. TART Trails, Traverse City: $5,000 to complete Vasa pathway skill building loops.
  12. Otsego – Antrim Habitat for Humanity, Inc., Gaylord: $2,568 for a computer with RECON multi-location synch engine.
  13. Friendship Centers of Emmet County, Petoskey: $3,000 for a new vehicle for the Meals on Wheels program.
  14. Harbor Area Recreation & Entertainment, Inc., Harbor Springs: $1,000 for a timing system for feedback for swimming event participants.
  15. Otsego County Library, Gaylord: $1,280 for establishing a Makerspace, a place where children can learn and create.
  16. Elk Rapids Area Historical Society, Elk Rapids: $2,000 to repair cracks in walls and repaint.
  17. Otsego Conservation District, Gaylord: $2,500 for installing handicap parking to garden and educational center.
  18. Grass River Natural Area, Inc., Bellaire: $3,000 for the production and printing of interpretive signage for trail.
  1. Western Michigan Fair Association, Scottville: $1,500 for 88 permanent stalls in barns.
  2. Caritas Food Pantry, Custer: $1,000 for a desk, chair and chair mat.
  3. Mason County Historical Society, Ludington: $5,500 for repair and painting of Pere Marquette Town Hall, contingent on raising the rest of the funding for the project.
  4. Riverton Township Summer Baseball Program, Scottville: $2,500 for tree removal and fence installation, contingent on raising the rest of the funding for the project.
  5. Webber Township, Baldwin: $5,000 for a Community Development Project to remove blight. Includes equipment, supplies, audit, and telephone/internet.
  6. Circle Rocking S Children’s Farm, Freesoil: $ 4,494.59 for animal therapy, gardening programs, supplies, and a riding lawn mower.
  7. Freesoil Township, Freesoil: $5,000 to construct a handicapped accessible bathroom and remodel existing bathrooms in Community Town Hall.
  8. Stony Lake Therapeutic Riding Center, New Era: $3,000 for student scholarships.
  9. Sandcastles Children’s Museum, Ludington: $2,100 for drone program.
  10. Stehouwer Free Clinic, Cadillac: $3,000 for emergency dental care and diabetic education expenses.
  11. Reed City Area District Library, Reed City: $3,190 for five computers and monitors.
  1. Angels of Action, Big Rapids: $5,000 for a summer food program.
  2. West Central Michigan Horticultural Research, Inc., Shelby: $5,000 for the installation of wells and septic.
  3. White Cloud Lion’s Club Inc., White Cloud: $4,000 for garage repair and roof materials.
  4. Oceana County Department of Veterans Affairs, Hart: $10,000 to assist indigent veterans considered ineligible for crisis help.
  5. New Era Christian Reformed Church/Community Gardens, New Era: $1,500 water, sprinklers, mesh, and wood chips for garden.
  6. Missionaries Around Ravenna in Service, Ravenna: $2,500 for pantry stock, rent, and utility assistance.
  7. Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association, Ludington: $2,160 for painting of the interior of Little Point Sable Lighthouse.

Enroll in the People Fund

By allowing us to “round up” your monthly electric bill to the next dollar, you put your small change to work right in your own community. All of the money collected goes back to grant recipients. All contributors are entered into two annual drawings where we give away six $100 Great Lakes Energy bill credits. This contest is our small way of saying “thanks” to every Great Lakes Energy member who supports the People Fund. The People Fund has awarded over $3 .5 million to local charitable groups since 1999.

For an average round up contribution of 50 cents per month, your small change will make a BIG difference. Plus you could win $100! No billing round up contributions are used to fund this contest.

For security verification, please enter any random two digit number. For example: 42

Apply for a Grant

Our grant application process is changing to all-electronic, online submission. We will no longer accept paper, mailed applications. Please check back in January 2021 for more information on how to submit a grant for the April 15, 2021 deadline.

Grant Application

For security verification, please enter any random two digit number. For example: 67