As part of its sixth annual Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge in 2014, the Midwest’s No. 1 furniture and mattress retailer has launched a new grant competition and awarding $375,000 to nonprofits in the regions where Art Van Furniture has stores, which includes Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, Toledo, Ohio, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

The “Challenge Grant Competition” is a three-phase process.

During phase one, nonprofits which focus on children, healthcare and human services are invited to apply for a grant between March 10 and April 7.

In phase two, charities are selected during the vetting process and will develop their fundraising strategies.

The competition is on in phase three. The charities will compete to raise the most money from May 19 through June 23 during which bonus challenges will be held for $500 Art Van Furniture gift cards and $1,000 bonus grants.

On June 24, the winning charity will be awarded a grand prize of $75,000. The remaining nonprofits in the top ten will receive grants ranging from $7,500 to $60,000. The rest of the charities will split $35,000 evenly.

“We believe that this is a unique way to incentivize charities to raise money for families in need,” said Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture. “Our hope is that the grant competition will benefit the greater good and inspire citizens to come together to improve people’s lives.” 

In the past five years, the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge has awarded $5 million in grants, inspiring donations of $17 million and counting.