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Our Impact

The Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation makes grants to the Grand Rapids Public Schools (or to program providers) for projects or programs that support and create an academic environment that helps all children to learn, grow and thrive. GRPS guides our fundraising by communicating the needs of the district and its students. Our grants include: Impact Area Grants, Donor Advised Grants and Special Initiatives.   Since 1993, the Foundation has raised and made grants of over $20 Million to support GRPS and its students.

We serve as the strategic fundraising partner of the Grand Rapids Public Schools.  We link community resources with the needs of GRPS for the benefit of its students, not just by raising money but also by identifying and strengthening partnerships and opportunities to engage the community in our efforts.

Impact Areas Chart 2015-16 School year

During the 2015/2016 school year, SAF made grants of over $975,000 to support programs and projects in the Grand Rapids Public Schools.



Impact Area Grants

The Foundation has identified five areas of impact, that we believe are critical to helping all students to succeed in school.  Those five areas of impact are:  Arts Education, Environmental Education, Literacy, Math Science & Technology and Physical Wellness.


Special Initiatives

Occasionally, the Grand Rapids Public Schools or its students have a need outside the scope of academics that is nonetheless a barrier to full and active participation in learning.  On a case by case basis, the Student Advancement Foundation will develop a special initiative to address these critical need. Currently, the Foundation has one special initiative: GR8 Sports, Great Kids.


Donor Advised Initiatives

The Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation stewards projects that meet a specific donor interest.   The funds for these projects are temporary and are spent on specific, short-term projects or programs that benefit the Grand Rapids Public Schools or its students. Any donor advised initiative must also be approved by Grand Rapids Public Schools.


Named Funds

Donors may establish a named fund to meet a specific long-term need of GRPS.   These funds may be endowed or not, at the discretion of the donor.  SAF named funds include:  The Principals Student Support Fund, the GRPS Violins & Strings Fund and the Joan P Secchia Breaking Barriers Fund.