Community Assessments 

In 2018, The Michigan Rural Council (MRC) and Consumers Energy are working together to help bring the community assessment process to small and rural communities in Michigan. Consumers Energy is offering three, $1,400 grants toward the $2,500 cost of the Rural Community Assessment for communities within the Consumers Energy service territory. The community will be expected to provide $1,100 toward the remaining cost of the assessment. To apply for the community assessment grant, complete the brief community application found

Application deadline is May 15, 2018.

Although there is no guarantee that a community will receive a future grant, the Consumers Energy Foundation prioritizes communities that have a plan in place to guide their community’s future actions. Community assessments are examples of plans that the Consumers Foundation would consider as a baseline for a community’s action plan, as such, the Consumers Energy Foundation will place a higher priority on communities that have proactively started the planning process.  

About the Assessment

The assessment is broad-based community visioning, and does not include visioning for one specific project. The two goals of this project are to help small, rural communities to choose their own destinies and determine how to reach them and to aid in the assessment or re-assessment of community assets in a changed economic landscape. The community assessment process is intended to empower communities by giving them the tools to plan for the future in the manner of their choosing. The process is locally led from the beginning, and consists of multiple listening sessions in which everyone in the community has a chance to voice their opinion (a sample agenda can be found here).

As part of the assessment process, meetings will be scheduled with representatives from municipal departments, CDCs (Community Development Corporations) and/or local nonprofit organizations, community groups, business owners, chambers of commerce, DDA and/or Main Street Organizations, property owners and/or local private developers, community members of diverse demographic groups and other community stakeholders and leaders. After the assessment, each community will receive a detailed report including feedback from participants, short-term and long-term goals indicated and resources and strategies for moving forward.If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Jessica AcMoody at 517.485.3588 x 1944 or email (