Heart of Cook Grants

Berrien Community Foundation

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Anticipated deadline: Feb 10, 2021

Grant amount: Up to US $10,000

Fields of work: Workforce Preparation & Job Readiness Youth Services Environmental Conservation Environmental Education Children With Disabilities Greening & Beautification Child Welfare Services Senior Services Teacher Development & Training Poverty Alleviation & Services Parenting Counseling & Education Habitat & Ecosystem Restoration Show all

Applicant type: Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Indiana: Elkhart County, LaPorte County, St. Joseph County, Counties in Michigan: Berrien County, Cass County Show all

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Our Vision

The Heart of Cook will be a leader in furthering education, supporting human services, and protecting the environment through a continued commitment to local communities in the AEP service area (Southwest Michigan and Northwest Indiana (La Porte, St. Joseph, and Elkhart Counties)). 

Guidelines & Funding Emphasis

Our three primary funding areas are:

  • Furthering Education
  • Supporting Human Services
  • Preserving and Protecting the Environment

We take special pride in supporting organizations and projects in which our employees participate or take a leadership role. The partnership of corporate contributions and employee initiatives typically results in improved outcomes. 

Furthering education

To promote economic development and provide for a well-trained and available work force in the area, we will provide grants to programs that build work skills and to educational organizations and projects that supplement professional development for educators and volunteers. Projects that specifically target science and mathematical disciplines, as well as development in impoverished communities are given priority.

Human services

Strong families are the building blocks for successful communities and businesses. We will provide grants to children and youth, help foster independence for those in need, ensure safety and support of older individuals, and teach parenting skills.

Protecting the environment 

As an energy provider located in a particularly beautiful and unique ecosystem, we recognize the importance of protecting, restoring and enhancing our natural surroundings. We provide grants to organizations and projects supporting these types of environmental activities. 

Grant Types

You may apply for either the Mini Grant ($100-$500) OR Long Form Application (over $500-$10,000).

We are also interested in whether or not you have applied and/or received funding from an AEP and/or I&M affiliate other than the Heart of Cook in the last 14 months.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • A non-profit organization (501(c)(3), units of government, religious organizations, or schools) may submit only one application during this cycle (i.e., one for either the long form or the mini grant form). 


  • Given AEP’s generous corporate contribution, priority will be given to organizations not already funded by United Way.
  • We are particularly interested in proposals that:
    • Identify specific measurable outcomes with program evaluation methods
    • Address emerging needs or provide innovative solutions to existing needs
    • Focus on prevention


  • In general, we do not provide grants to support:
    • salaries and related costs (i.e., fringes, taxes);
    • nonqualified organizations (e.g., for profit businesses, service clubs without nonprofit status (i.e., 501(c)(4)s, 501(c)(19)s, etc.—see four types that do qualify above);
    • individuals, tickets for contests, raffles, or other activities with prizes;
    • religious organizations (unless the request is for a non-religious activity that supports the overall community);
    • fraternal organizations;
    • capital campaigns, endowment funds, academic chairs or fellowships;
    • debt-reduction campaigns;
    • political or partisan organizations or events;
    • sports tournaments or teams;
    • trips or tours for individuals or groups; and
    • talent or beauty contests.
  • If an organization has received a grant from Heart of Cook for the last three consecutive years, the organization is not eligible to apply for funding for one year. 
  • We also cannot accept applications from high school robotics teams.