The O'Connor Fund

The O'Connor Fund for Historic Preservation was created in 2000 to help the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission (KHPC) support historic preservation activity in Kalamazoo by Pam O'Connor (who was a member of the KHPC at the time) and her husband Terry.

In 2022, the KHPC developed the O'Connor Fund/KHPC Competitive Grant Program to support two types of preservation projects: building rehabilitation and preservation planning.

Eligibility Criteria

Grants between $2,000 to $10,000 may be awarded for projects that are: 

Eligible Project Types

All Projects must be carried out or supervised by a qualified professional with experience in the project’s associated field. 

Rehabilitation Projects include: work on the resource exterior, including roofs and chimneys, walls, windows and doors, fire escapes, elevators, foundations and other exterior components. 

Some proposed Rehabilitation Projects may be designated in a Local Historic District, and would require approval by the Kalamazoo Historic District Commission before a project can commence. Check for this requirement before submitting your application here

“Use the Layers” drop down in the upper right and select “Historic Districts and Places” on the menu, and then go to the nearby “Legends” drop down to determine if your property is Locally designated. If it is, call the City’s Historic Preservation Coordinator to confirm and learn more at 269-337-8804. 

Completed Rehabilitation Projects must meet the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Preservation Planning Projects include: Economic Feasibility Studies, Historic Building Condition Reports, preparing architectural rehabilitation plans for a project, National or Local Historic District study reports, under-represented communities surveys, designation nominations, and other planning activities as determined by the Committee. 

If a planning project includes pre-rehabilitation studies or reports, recommended actions in the final study/report must also meet the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Project Scoring

Projects are scored for: Program Alignment (see plan links listed above under Eligibility), Community Impact, and Applicant Occupancy and Capacity.

Review the Grant Scoring Sheet(PDF, 94KB)

Bonus Scoring Points are given for properties designated in the National Register of Historic Places and/or are protected under Kalamazoo’s Local Historic District ordinance. Visit the link below and use the “Layers” drop down in the upper right, select “Historic Districts and Places” first on the menu to determine if your property is included, and then go to “Legends” drop down to determine if your property is Locally or Nationally designated, or both. 

View Historic Districts on GIS Maps

Bonus Scoring Points will also be awarded for projects in which at least 60% of the funding has been raised in advance through owner investment, gifts and grants.

The application deadline is 5/17/2024. Grants will be considered at a meeting held in June. A location and time for the meeting have not yet been selected, but will be shared with finalists of the grant selection process. Representatives for the applicant are invited to attend and observe the meeting.


The Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission reserves the right to make, or not make an award for any grant period. 

Grants are made on a reimbursable basis. Receipts are REQUIRED. Grantee will maintain and present receipts for all transactions. 

The KHPC may consider a request for reimbursement of 50% of receipts payable when half of the project cost is expended if the work follows the Secretary of Interior’s Standards. The remainder will be paid when the project is concluded as approved, and receipts are submitted. 

The KHPC may take or use others’ photos of funded projects and retains the right to use all of those photos and associated narratives for publicity purposes. 

The grantee is required to submit a 1 page, single-sided report on the project within 90 days of completion. The report should include 2-4 images of the project that best represent the completed project. 

Grantees must agree to all terms of and sign a five-year “Preservation Agreement” and abide by the terms of the preservation agreement for its duration. Links to both agreements are here: 

Rehabilitation Project Preservation Agreement(PDF, 58KB)

Planning project Preservation Agreement(PDF, 75KB)

Projects must adhere to all city ordinances, including those here, in Chapter 18 and 18A on non-discrimination and fair housing.


Step 1.Review eligibility and grant information

Before starting your grant application, make sure you review all the eligibility and other grant information provided above.

Step 2.Prepare your documentation 

When completing your application you will be asked for a project budget and financial information, plus photos, letters of support, and two quotes for the work. You can still apply with all of this supporting documentation, but applications with complete documentation will be stronger and likely to score higher. The application will ask for:

  • Up to 15 photos that show the street context and detailed images of the project area
  • A project budget summary
  • A financial statement 
  • Proof of non-profit status
  • At least two quotes for work with a materials list 
  • Letters of support for the project (if available)

Step 3.Submit an application

Submit an application online. Make sure you upload all supporting documents that are requested. If you would like a paper copy of the application, please contact the Historic Preservation Coordinator. 

Apply for an O'Connor Fund Grant

The deadline to apply for a 2024 O'Connor Fund Grant is Friday, May 17.

Step 4.Application Review

Projects will be scored for program alignment, community impact, applicant occupancy, and applicant capacity. Bonus scoring points will be given for projects in historic districts or with historic designation, or projects that have already secured 60% or more of the needed funding. Review all “Related Information” on this page for program alignment as you prepare your application and before you submit. You can also review the scoring rubric that will be used during the review process here(PDF, 94KB)

Applications will be reviewed at a public meeting of the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission. Grantees will be announced in June. 

Step 5.Award & Commencement of Project

Successful applicants will be notified in June and will be required to submit a signed and notarized preservation agreement.

Grant Agreement for Rehabilitation Projects(PDF, 58KB)
Grant Agreement for Planning Projects(PDF, 75KB)

The grantee will also receive additional information upon award, such as how to recognize the O'Connor Fund and KHPC on signage, printed materials, and social or other digital media. 

Work must be completed in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for rehabilitationRepresentatives of the O'Connor Fund or KHPC may visit the project site at reasonable times to ensure the conditions of the agreement are being observed. The project must adhere to all city ordinances, including those in Chapter 18 and 18A regarding non-discrimination and fair housing. Grantees must abide by the terms of the preservation agreement for its duration.