February 2023 Resources
Each month LOR sends a curated list of funding opportunities and other resources relevant for small rural communities in the Mountain West. To receive a link to our monthly resources guide, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GroMoreGood Grassroots Grant program from Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening will make awards of $500 to $1,000 to 160 programs to install or improve youth gardens or greenspaces. Nonprofit organizations, school districts, universities, government entities, and other tax-exempt organizations that serve at least 15 youth are eligible to apply.
Deadline: Feb. 10
The Tri-M Foundation is offering grants ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 for the development and presentation of performing arts projects, events, and festivals by nonprofit organizations. Nonprofits with operating budgets under $1 million or small, fiscally sponsored organizations that implement dance and theater-focused projects are eligible for awards.
Deadline: Feb. 15
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides grants ranging from $500 to $10,000 to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and libraries that offer literacy programs in communities served by Dollar General. Adult Literacy Grants, Family Literacy Grants, and Youth Literacy Grants, Summer Reading Grants, and the “Beyond Words” school library disaster recovery programs target different literacy improvement efforts and are available to nonprofits, educational institutions, and libraries.
Deadlines: Beyond Words: None | Adult Literacy, Family Literacy, and Summer Reading: Feb. 16 | Youth Literacy: April 27
In celebration of Kids to Parks Day on May 20, the National Park Trust is offering the Kids to Parks Day School Grants Program, which provides support to schools to help students discover and explore parks, historic sites, public lands, and waters. Grants of up to $500 for distance learning or $1,000 for in-park experiences are available to schools that incorporate stewardship and education components with their park exploration program.
Deadline: Feb. 17
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program is intended to increase legal assistance to survivors of domestic violence. Funding of $400,000 per award, on average, is available to nonprofits, institutes of higher education, and tribal governments to implement programs designed to provide comprehensive direct legal services to survivors, strengthen prevention efforts, and support victim services.
Deadline: Feb. 21
The LOR Foundation’s new Field Work initiative provides funding for research into innovative approaches to using water in agriculture. Farmers and ranchers in rural parts of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming are eligible for up to $10,000 to implement innovative water projects in the face of unprecedented drought. Potential projects might include new ideas for water or land-use practices, products, or technologies that change the way water is used on a farm or ranch. The hope is that this real-world research will reveal solutions that can be used throughout the West to grow food while contending with water supply challenges. Feel free to connect with Bill Jaeger, LOR’s strategic initiatives officer, to learn more: email@example.com or 720-501-7322.
Open: Feb. 1
Deadline: Feb. 22
USDA’s Rural Business Development Grants provide funding for technical assistance and training for small rural businesses with fewer than 50 new workers and less than $1 million in gross revenue. Applications are open to rural public entities including, but not limited to towns, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, federally-recognized tribes, and rural cooperatives. Generally, grants range from $10,000 up to $500,000.
Deadline: Feb. 28
The Energy CLASS Prize is designed to provide training and cash prizes to school district administration and facilities staff to make energy management changes that reduce utility costs, improve indoor air quality, and improve learning environments long-term. Up to 25 school districts/local education agencies will receive $100,000 each to support planning and participation in a cohort working to improve energy efficiency decisions in schools.
Deadline: Feb. 28
Local governments are eligible for funding of $1 million to $25 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s RAISE grants program. Counties, municipalities, tribal governments, port authorities, or other special districts are eligible for Local and Regional Project Assistance Program, known as the RAISE grants program. These grants support transportation-related infrastructure initiatives. Projects funded under this program include, for example, a critical bridge replacement in Tucson, a new pontoon bridge in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, and a new snowmelt system in Berlin, New Hampshire.
Deadline: Feb. 28
MARCH (AND BEYOND) DEADLINES
AARP is offering three different kinds of Community Challenge Grants to fund quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. Flagship Grants ranging from $500 to $50,000 (with an average of $11,000) will support the creation of vibrant public places, transportation, housing, inclusion, resilience, civic engagement, and financial health programming. Capacity-building Microgrants of $2,500 will support walkability or community garden projects. Demonstration Grants of $30,000 to $50,000 can be used for transportation systems improvements and $10,000 to $15,000 can be used to research and implement accessible dwelling unit policies. Eligible entities include nonprofits, governments, and certain fiscally sponsored organizations.
Deadline: March 15
The Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program supports training and professional development for library professionals and recruitment and retention of the next generation of library professionals. State or local governments, libraries, elementary or secondary schools, and colleges can apply for a total of $8 million in funding (awards range from $50,000 to $1 million) to implement programming to support library professionals.
Deadline: March 17
The National Endowment for the Arts Challenge America program provides $10,000 and technical support to small organizations to extend the reach of arts programming to underserved populations, including those whose access is limited by geography. Eligible projects include arts programming, marketing and promotional activities, and organizational planning for nonprofits and tribal or local governments.
Deadline: April 27
The Assistance to Firefighters grant from FEMA provides funding to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and emergency medical service organizations. Assistance to Firefighters grants are awarded to fire departments, state fire training academies, and emergency medical service organizations. This program helps firefighters and other first responders obtain critical equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary for protecting the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. Awards range significantly based on community size, but in 2021 there was $414 million for approximately 2,500 grants, which pencils out to an average of $166,000 per grant.
Deadline: Until funds are expended
Colorado Two grant programs from the Colorado Department of Education and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment support schools’ health personnel needs. The School Counselor Grant Program provides funding ($30,000 to $50,000 in the first year and $90,000 per year in years two through four) for schools to increase the availability and implementation of school-based counseling. CDPHE’s School Nurse Grant Program, open to school districts, boards of cooperative services, and charter schools, provides funding to increase access to K-12 school nursing services. Awards are for five years and average around $80,000.
Deadline: School Counselor Grant program: Intent to apply due March 1; application due March 15 | School Nurse Grant Program: March 1
Idaho and Montana The Weyerhaeuser Family Foundation’s Sustainable Forests and Communities Initiative provides grants up to $25,000 to promote environmentally and economically sustainable forest communities. The foundation is interested in supporting organizations that work in forested landscapes to enhance the environment, the economy, and community. Projects could include forest restoration or forest management, development of demand for wood products, creating value in forest communities through developing or marketing new forest products, or long-term community-wide planning.
Deadline: March 1
Montana only Prospera Business Network is accepting applications for MTWBC Impact Grants to support women-owned businesses in Montana. For-profit businesses owned by women can apply for either a $3,000 or $6,000 grant to be used for equipment, marketing, signage, staffing, trailers, leasehold improvements, or anything that will take their business to the next level.
Deadline: March 2
Colorado The Gates Family Foundation is providing funding to support state and local government leaders interested in attending the Harvard University JFK School of Government’s intensive summer Senior Executives in State and Local Government program. The fast-paced, three-week program brings together a diverse group of prominent public leaders to find solutions to the critically important challenges they face— and lead their public agencies and communities toward effective results.
Deadline: March 7
Colorado and Wyoming The Laura Jane Musser Fund will accept applications through the Rural Arts Initiative and Environmental Initiative beginning in February 2023. The Rural Arts Initiative provides grants of up to $12,000 per year to arts organizations in rural communities to develop, implement, or sustain artistic opportunities for adults and children in the areas of literary, visual, music, and performing arts. Nonprofit arts organizations that are physically located in rural communities with populations of less than 20,000 in Colorado, Wyoming, and four other states are eligible. The Environmental Initiative provides support to public and nonprofit entities for projects that enhance the ecological integrity of publicly owned open spaces, while encouraging compatible human activities. Planning grants of up to $8,000 and implementation grants of up to $35,000 are provided for projects in Colorado, Wyoming, and four other states.
Deadline: Rural Arts: March 8 | Environmental Initiative: March 15
Colorado The I Matter Program can connect youth with a therapist for up to six free virtual counseling sessions (some in-person appointments available, too). Free materials are available to promote the I Matter program; posters, rack cards, stickers, banners and lawn signs can be shipped to schools or other organizations through this form. I Matter also has an expanded digital tool kit that includes sample social media posts and more.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition recently released a “Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs” that provides an in-depth look at dozens of federal programs and policies important to sustainable agriculture, and details how they can be accessed by farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide.
AARP Livable Communities’s new “Creating Community Gardens for People of All Ages” outlines the value of community gardens and provides guidance about starting and sustaining gardens, as well as examples of public policies and programs that support community gardens.
Need help finding and applying for federal grants? The 10,000 Communities Initiative from the Milken Institute aims to help thousands of small communities access federal infrastructure funding in the year ahead. The program has launched an online platform where cities, counties, states, nonprofit organizations, and others can upload their projects to be connected to training materials, tools, partners, investors, and communities that are working on the same sort of projects and challenges.
NewsFuel, from Local Media Association, helps match local journalism projects to funding opportunities. Enter keywords or phrases to search for funders and opportunities, as well as news updates about journalism funded by philanthropy.
Gehl, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has developed an Inclusive Healthy Places Framework to help communities assess and plan for what makes a place healthy for its residents.