Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service Mini Grants Available

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Everybody can be great because everybody can serve." To honor his words of inspiration and encouragement, the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) asks you to mark January 18, 2016 on your calendar for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

The MLK Day of Service was initiated by Congress in 1994 and has been developed beyond a federal holiday honoring Dr. King into a national day of community service. In honor of this special day, thousands of service projects will be planned across the country grounded in Dr. King's teachings of nonviolence and social justice. 

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the 2016 MLK Day of Service. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Toolkit is available online at to help you plan your 2016 projects.

Don't forget to register your 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Project!
The Michigan Community Service Commission will ensure your project gets posted at in preparation for the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Please be sure to include as many details as possible - particularly if you are accepting outside volunteers at your project.

2016 MLK Day Mini-Grants

The Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) is awarding mini-grants to Michigan organizations who wish to host volunteer projects as part of the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service.  MLK National Day of Service mini grants are intended to encourage volunteer projects that address at least one of the eight MCSC focus areas including: Health, Education, Economic Opportunity, Supporting Veterans and Military Families, Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness, Hunger & Homelessness and Clean Energy & Environmental Stewardship.

All proposed events or activities must occur on or around Martin Luther King, Jr. Day beginning Monday, January 15, 2016 through Friday, January 24, 2016. Preference will be given to events that occur sometime during Saturday, January 16th through Monday, January 18th.

Mini-Grant Amounts
Grants valued at up to $500 are available and will be distributed based on the following scale:
$500-   Engage 100 or more volunteers
$250-   Engage at least 35 volunteers
$100-   Engage at least 15 volunteers

Funds must be used to support elements of a service project.  Please note MLK Mini-Grant funds are available solely to engage people in volunteer projects – not community engagement events (i.e. prayer breakfasts or educational marches). All applications will be considered. Up to 30 mini grants will be awarded.

 Priority will be given to applications that demonstrate as many of the following criteria:

  • Project demonstrates ability to benefit the community after the MLK event
  • Plan in place to actively recruit youth and promote a youth voice
  • Plan in place to actively recruit community volunteers with disabilities
  • Project community is involved in My Brother’s Keeper Initiative in some capacity
  • Day of service is planned for preferred dates of January 16th through 18th, 2016
  • Demonstrates the use of effective partnerships to meet community need. Including collaboration among multiple organizations such as higher education institutions, volunteer centers, youth service organizations, and/or national service programs
  • Project includes new partnerships
  • Applicant attended one of the Technical Assistance Webinars

Due to several holidays occurring during this grant period we ask that you pay close attention to approaching deadlines.


National service grantees, volunteer centers, nonprofits, K-12 and higher education institutions are eligible to apply. All applications will be considered.


Step #1      Register for Our Technical Assistance Webinar

MCSC will host two technical assistance webinars.  Individuals and organizations interested in applying for an MLK Day of Service mini-grant are strongly encouraged to register and attend one of the webinars listed below prior to submitting their grant application.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. OR Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.

Webinar Registration:

Step #2      Complete the Application  

Our application is available online. For a paper application email

Application Link:

Application Deadline:  Friday, December 11, 2015

Notification of Award - All applicants will be notified electronically by the week of Dec. 14th.

Step #3      Sign and return your letter of agreement to MCSC by December 28th

If awarded a 2016 MLK Mini-Grant the organization representative will be notified and required to participate in an Award Grantee Webinar that includes how to register your project as an official 2016 MLK Day event.  The dates are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, January 5th and Thursday, January 7th.

Step #4      Award Checks Mailed the week of January 4th

Step #5      Reporting Requirements
Grant recipients must complete and submit the 2016 MLK Mini Grant Final Report. A link to the final report will be provided to grantees after they have been awarded funds. The final report must be completed and submitted to MCSC by February 5, 2016.

Allowable Expenses:
Mini-grant funds must be used to support essential volunteer project materials that correlate with the volunteer project activities outlined in the project description section of the application. Allowable expenses include, but are not limited to, the following items:

  • Environmental clean-up supplies (i.e. gloves, rakes, shovels)
  • Building supplies (i.e. lumber, nails, hammer)
  • Educational supplies (i.e. books, markers, scissors)

Applicants are encouraged to find alternate or match funding for supplemental items that are not essential to the success of the volunteer project such as snacks, t shirts, water. Please use the budget explanation section of the application to clearly explain why the items listed in the budget are essential to the success of the community volunteer project.

Send Questions to:  Jason Alexander, Communications Specialist


Related Documents
2016 MLK Mini Grant Application guidelines PDF icon