Nonprofits meet Art Van challenge


The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan is behind the "be nice" campaign. Photo via

A pair of West Michigan charities picked up prize grants through their participation in the Art Van Charity Challenge.

Grand Rapids-based Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan was awarded $25,000 for placing third in the competition, and Holland-based Benjamin’s Hope was granted $15,000 for its fourth-place finish.

Winners were chosen based on which charities raised the most money for their organizations from May 18 through June 22.

Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan raised $254,096 during the competition, and Benjamin’s Hope raised $103,349.

Pontiac-based Grace Centers of Hope won the $100,000 first-place prize.

The competition

The 8th Annual Art Van Charity Challenge saw 147 charities from across the Midwest participate, raising a total of nearly $2.3 million in five weeks.

Art Van donated $225,000 in prize grants to the top-10 finishers, in addition to $94,000 in bonus grants awarded to winning charities in special competitions throughout the five-week period. All charities keep the money they raised during the competition.

Since the competition began in 2009, Art Van has donated more than $8 million and facilitated the fundraising of more than $24 million for more than 350 charities that provide assistance to children, health care and human services.


First place ($100,000): Grace Centers of Hope, Pontiac

Second place ($50,000): The Power Company Kids Club, Pontiac

Third place ($25,000): Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, Grand Rapids

Fourth place ($15,000): Benjamin’s Hope, Holland

Fifth place ($12,500): Cass Community Social Services, Detroit

Sixth place: ($10,000): The Jackson Chance Foundation, Chicago

Seventh place ($5,000): Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, Valparaiso, Indiana

Eighth place ($4,000): The Well of Mercy, Chicago

Ninth place ($2,000): Southwest Solutions, Detroit

Tenth place ($1,500): Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Chicago

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