March 2024 Resources | LOR Foundation

March 2024 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

Funding Opportunities

March Deadlines

Maddie’s Fund is hosting the 2024 Open Arms Challenge, inviting animal shelters, foster-based organizations, and public charities to participate. The challenge is an opportunity for organizations to pilot new practices or expand existing programs during the month of April. Successful implementation may lead to grants from the Challenge’s funding partners. Eligible applicants must be U.S.-based government agencies or public charities focusing on dogs and cats and be a member of Shelter Animals Count.
Deadline: March 6

The Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program offers $324 million in total funds to eligible fire departments, nonaffiliated EMS organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTAs). This funding will enable the purchase of essential equipment, training of emergency personnel, and outfitting responders with compliant protective gear. Public and state universities, local governments, Native American tribes recognized by the federal government, certain nonprofits, county governments, and emergency service organizations are eligible to apply for grants of no more than $9 million.
Deadline: March 8

The Department of Labor is awarding a total of $12 million to assist veterans facing homelessness or incarceration in securing stable, sought-after employment opportunities. This assistance can take the form of direct services or a comprehensive referral network equipped with tools, resources, and partnerships to effectively identify, recruit, prepare, and support veterans for successful employment. Grants—with a maximum award of $600,000—are available to nonprofits that offer career exploration, training, and support services.
Deadline: March 11

The Department of Energy is launching a grant program to advance the National Clean Hydrogen Strategy, aiming to drive innovation in energy technologies. With total funding of $59 million, the program supports research, development, demonstration, and deployment activities designed to expand the use of hydrogen-driven energy. Eligible applicants include individuals, nonprofits, small businesses, tribal governments, state and local government, and institutions of higher education. Grants can range from $300,000 to $10 million.
Deadline: March 15

The National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund operates the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program, providing $12.5 million to support the rehabilitation of historic properties for economic development in rural communities. Individual grants will range from $200,000 to $750,000. Nonprofits, state, local, and tribal governments are eligible to apply.
Deadline: March 19

The National Leadership Grants for Libraries Program (NLG-L) supports projects advancing library and archival services for the American public. With a total funding of $11.5 million, grants for projects that generate innovative models and practice, can range from $50,000 to $1 million. Those projects might include enhancing workforce capacity, improving community well-being, fostering collaboration, and strengthening disaster response capabilities. Eligible applicants, including government entities and nonprofit organizations, can apply for funding to develop innovative models, tools, research, and services that benefit libraries.
Deadline: March 20

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture Grants program provides a total of $3.8 million for the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP), which aims to address veterinary service shortages. This includes expanding veterinary education programs, providing continuing education and telemedicine resources, covering expenses for veterinary students and professionals, and introducing high school students to food animal medicine careers. Eligible entities, such as organizations supporting food animal veterinary programs, can apply for funding for education, training, and practice enhancement initiatives.
Deadline: March 21

The Strengthening Public Health Systems and Services grant program, run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is providing $62 million in capacity-building assistance to enhance local public health capabilities. Through technical assistance, training, and resource development, recipients will bolster organizational and system capacities to meet public health challenges effectively. Eligible applicants, including nonprofits and governmental entities, are invited to apply for funding to support strategic areas of focus within public health departments, workforce segments, or system components.
Deadline: March 25

The Office on Violence Against Women will award $9 million in total funds for its Underserved Program, which aims to strengthen support for victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking within marginalized communities. Grants can range from $550,000 to $625,000 and may be used by state, local, and tribal governments or nonprofits for the following: to improve victim services tailored to specific populations; to enhance outreach strategies for underserved survivors; to strengthen the capabilities of organizations serving specific populations; to train community partners and justice systems on the needs of underserved survivors; and to create culturally and linguistically appropriate materials for these survivors.
Deadline: March 26

The Department of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sport Grant Program provides up to $750,000 to increase opportunities for veterans to improve their independence, well-being, and quality of life through adaptive sports and therapeutic arts programs. The funding can range from $7,000 to $750,000 for organizations planning, managing, and implementing adaptive sports activities for veterans and Armed Forces members with disabilities.
Deadline: March 27

The Department of Housing (HUD) and Urban Development’s Green and Resilient Retrofit Program offers $140 million in total funding to enhance utility efficiency and resilience in HUD-assisted multifamily housing. The Green and Resilient Retrofit Program is the first HUD program to simultaneously invest in energy efficiency, energy generation, and climate resilience strategies specifically in HUD-assisted multifamily housing. Eligibility is unrestricted and grants can range from $10,000 to $400,000.
Deadline: March 28

The Classics for Kids Foundation provides matching rants to schools and nonprofit organizations serving school-age children for up to 50 percent of the total cost to purchase stringed instruments (including violins, guitars, and ukuleles). While no total grant amount is provided, the application allows the school or nonprofit to estimate total costs and prices for programs of varying sizes.
Deadline: March 31, then quarterly

April Deadlines and Beyond

The CDC is offering $ 77.5 million in total funding to improve adolescent health and well-being through school-based surveillance and the What Works in Schools program. Funding is expected to reach up to 88 school-based agencies and will support implementation of the What Works in Schools program and help build the capacity of agencies to assist local schools and districts.
Deadline: April 1

The Department of Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides grants to help farmers and ranchers enter into the field or improve their efforts in farming, ranching, and forest land management. Funding can support a wide range of programs and services aimed at assisting beginning farmers and ranchers such as basic farming practices training, entrepreneurship, land acquisition, natural resource planning, curriculum development, mentoring, farm safety, food safety, and more. Awards range from $49,000 to $750,000.
Deadline: April 4

The LOR Foundation is again launching our Field Work initiative, offering up to $10,000 each to approximately 10 farmers and ranchers in rural areas of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming, thanks to generous support from CoBank. The funding aims to support innovative approaches to water usage in agriculture. Eligible applicants are encouraged to present novel solutions to longstanding challenges. For more information, visit LOR’s Field Work site or contact Bill Jaeger (720-501-7322) or Daniel Read (720-392-6084). Informational webinars are available on Monday, March 14 and Thursday, March 18.
Deadline: April 10

Sun Life Health’s Access Grant program provides grants between $25,000 and $100,000 to nonprofit organizations improving access to health programs focused on diabetes and oral healthcare in their local communities. Programs that help the following areas are eligible for funding: diabetes prevention, awareness, and education; diabetes management and care; obesity prevention; nutritional programs, including education, management, and awareness; recovery support for diabetes-related complications; oral healthcare; and oral disease prevention and management.
Deadline: April 19

The Challenge America Program of the National Endowment of the Arts provides up to $10,000 in support to primarily small organizations with art projects aimed at underserved populations, including rural communities. Possible projects may include but are not limited to art programs, artist commissions or presentations, marketing efforts, and organizational planning. They can include one or more specific events but should not encompass an entire season of programming. The program offers an abbreviated application process, comprehensive technical assistance, and grants totaling $10,000. Recipients are required to match this grant with $10,000 in cash and/or in-kind contributions, resulting in total project costs of at least $20,000.
Deadline: April 25

The Henry Luce Foundation American Art Programs is offering two opportunities to foster diverse experiences and perspectives through art. Through the Exhibition Competition, exhibitions are funded to enhance the understanding of American art, including Native American art, while challenging conventional narratives and engaging underrepresented voices. Winning proposals prioritize cultural significance, intellectual rigor, and inclusivity, empowering museums to foster dialogue and collaboration within diverse communities. The foundation also operates a Responsive Grant program that helps museums place art on view. Through its Responsive Grants, the American Art Program supports collection-based projects that enhance the understanding and presentation of US art, spanning various mediums and including Native American arts. No funding amount guidelines are provided.
Deadline: April 26

The Veterans Administration’s Staff Sergeant Fox Suicide Prevention is a three-year grant program with $174 million in total funding to support community organizations serving eligible veterans and their families. These grants, ranging from $7,000 to $750,000 each, aim to provide a range of suicide prevention services, including outreach, mental health screening, education, clinical services, peer support, benefits assistance, and emergent needs support. Priority is for organizations serving areas with limited medical services, rural communities, tribal lands, U.S. territories, minority veterans, women veterans, or areas with high call volume areas to the Veterans Crisis Line.
Deadline: April 26

The Mary Kay Ash Foundation’s Domestic Violence Shelter Grant program provides up to $20,000 in support to shelters with a goal of supporting at least one domestic violence shelter in every state that applies. Funds can be used for general operating expenses for emergency shelters supporting individuals who have experienced domestic violence.
Deadline: April 30

The Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP) provides annual grants to community-based and national nonprofit organizations for programs linking volunteer financial planners to people in need. Eligible nonprofits must engage Certified Financial Planner™ professionals as volunteers, include one-on-one engagements between financial planner volunteers and pro bono clients, and help people in need of financial guidance or in a financial crisis who are underserved by the market and couldn’t ordinarily access quality, ethical advice. Grants are available to nonprofit organizations and generally range from $5,000 to $40,000.
Deadline: April 30

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) seeks applications for the Connect and Protect program, which enhances law enforcement-behavioral health collaboration for better responses to mental health disorders. The BJA will offer grant funding of up to $550,000 to assist municipalities and nonprofits in developing, expanding, or implementing comprehensive plans for collaborative projects targeting eligible individuals. Government agencies and nonprofits are eligible to apply for this program.
Deadline: May 1

The Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program offers funding to state, local, and tribal nonprofits, and higher education institutions to bolster prevention capabilities. The TVTP Grant Program provides financial assistance to develop sustainable, multidisciplinary prevention capabilities in local communities, pilot innovative prevention approaches, and identify prevention best practices that can be replicated in communities across the country.  First time applicants may reach out for direct support. Last year, the program awarded 34 grants, totaling $20 million.
Deadline: May 2

Veterans Cemetery Grants provide $60 million in total funding for cemetery establishment and improvement. The grants will support states, territories, and tribal governments in establishing, expanding, or improving veterans cemeteries.
Deadline: July 1

The Community Heart & Soul Seed Grant Program offers $10,000 grants for resident-led initiatives in U.S. cities and towns with populations under 30,000. Projects must engage communities in identifying and achieving local goals and must be planned with and led by at least five local residents. Additionally, projects must include partnerships with local government, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, or an informal resident-led group with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor. Funding requires a $10,000 cash match from the participating municipality or a partnering organization.
Deadline: Rolling

The USDA Rural Development’s Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) program supports programs seeking to bolster rural prosperity and projects aligned with multi-jurisdictional community investment plans. SECD funding can be requested alongside various USDA loan and grant programs, such as community facilities grant and loan programs, offering opportunities for strategic community development. Priority consideration may be given to applications submitted through select programs, emphasizing the importance of leveraging community assets and partnerships for economic growth. For more details, contact Gregory Batson.
Deadline: Application deadlines vary by associated loan and grant

State-Specific Opportunities

Colorado The Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) program aims to bolster the economic vitality of rural communities in Colorado by fostering diversification and resilience. Ideal applicants are counties with populations under 50,000 and communities with fewer than 25,000 residents. Funding is available for a variety of projects, including planning, construction, programs, and capacity building, all of which must contribute to job creation and retention, either directly or indirectly. Priority is given to initiatives falling into categories such as job creation and retention, capacity building, economic resilience, and support for entrepreneurial ecosystems. Projects should be integral to the community’s overall development strategy.
Deadline: March 14

Colorado The Colorado Student Wellness Grant is accepting applications for the 2024–2027 cycle, offering funding to support local student wellness policies, practices, and programs aimed at addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and social needs of students. Approximately $420,000 is available for the 2024–2025 school year, pending state legislature approval, with grants awarded to various education providers including school districts, BOCES, charter schools, facility schools, the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, and Indian tribes or tribal organizations. For further details, interested parties can contact Liz Schroeder.
Deadline: March 20

Colorado The E-470 Public Highway Authority Transportation Safety Foundation (TSF) operates exclusively to promote charitable giving, public safety, transportation safety, driver education, and other educational purposes. The foundation provides donations and grants as a means of promoting transportation safety in Colorado and is accepting applications for its 2024 grant program. Nonprofit organizations and tax-exempt government entities in Colorado focused on transportation safety, driver education, and related educational initiatives are eligible to apply. The foundation will award up to 15 grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 each.
Deadline: March 22

Colorado The Healthy Meal Incentives Initiative, administered by Action for Healthy Kids, is offering recognition awards to honor rural School Food Authorities that are enhancing the nutritional quality of their school meals. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until June 30. For further details, please reach out to Krista Garand.
Deadline: June 30

Colorado and Wyoming The Laura Jane Musser Fund is accepting applications for two initiatives: the Rural Arts Initiative and Environmental Initiative. 

  • The Rural Arts Initiative is offering grants of up to $12,000 to nonprofit organizations located in rural communities with populations of 20,000 or less. This initiative supports projects in literary, visual, music, and performing arts aimed at providing exceptional artistic opportunities for both adults and children. 
  • The Environmental Initiative provides grants ranging from $8,000 for planning to $35,000 for implementation to public and nonprofit entities including Colorado and Wyoming. This initiative focuses on projects that enhance the ecological integrity of publicly owned open spaces while promoting compatible human activities, ultimately improving community quality of life and public health.

Deadline for both: March 7 

Montana The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) invites proposals for the Forest Stewardship Grant Program, which is aimed at funding strategies to mitigate wildfire risk and enhance forest health. This request for proposals serves as the initial step for applying to various awards under the Stewardship Program’s 2024 cycle, including Landscape Scale Restoration, Wildland Urban Interface, Community Wildfire Defense, and Montana Forest Action Plan awards.
Deadline: March 15

Montana The Montana Department of Agriculture operates the Business Acceleration and Marketing Program (BAM), designed to assist businesses entering phases of expansion and facilitate access to new markets. The program aims to support businesses in accessing and developing new markets, overcoming market barriers, expanding digital/web offerings (including e-commerce), funding early-stage expansion projects, aiding startups in achieving profitability, enabling expanding businesses to lay the groundwork for capital expenditure, and accelerating innovative products toward commercialization. Grant amounts of up to $20,000 are available, with $5,000 allocated for equipment, requiring a 50 percent cost-share over a one-year grant period.
Deadline: Rolling until grant funds are expended

New Mexico The New Mexico Children’s Foundation (NMCF) is accepting grant applications exclusively for programs benefiting children and families within the state. With grants of up to $10,000 available, NMCF aims to support small, community-based nonprofit initiatives fostering the holistic development of New Mexico’s youth. Priority is given to programs addressing social and emotional development, educational barriers, and literacy attainment, particularly in rural areas. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations with annual budgets under $400,000 that focus on serving children aged 18 or younger.
Deadline: March 9

New Mexico The New Mexico Department of Transportation Recreational Trails Program offers funding opportunities to develop and upkeep recreational trails and related facilities, catering to both non-motorized and motorized uses. These funds are typically allocated for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, among other projects, in accordance with the NM Active Transportation and Recreational Programs Guide. For more information contact
Deadline: March 29

New Mexico Every year, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture awards grants to implement on-the-ground projects that involve one or more of the five soil health principles:

  • keeping soil covered
  • minimizing soil disturbance on cropland and minimizing external inputs
  • maximizing biodiversity
  • maintaining a living root

Eligible applicants include local governmental entities with proven land management capacity and individuals, businesses, and nonprofits directly engaged in farming, ranching, and/or other forms of land management.
Deadline: April 26

New Mexico The Wonderschool Academy Program is designed to help people who are interested in starting their own childcare program from their home. The program provides free assistance with getting licensed, business coaching, ongoing support, and other incentives. Participants receive up to $500 toward their licensing fees and an extra $250 when they submit their licensing application.
Deadline: Rolling


The Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers Program provides valuable support for community partners through its Thriving Communities Technical Assistance Centers (TCTAC). TCTACs offer free assistance with grant applications and grant management, helping organizations, communities, and tribes navigate federal grant systems, develop strong proposals, and manage funding effectively. These centers also offer guidance on community engagement, meeting facilitation, and translation and interpretation services.

The Energy Communities’ Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Energy Communities IWG) is organizing a webinar to introduce the recently launched Getting Started Guide, a step-by-step guide designed to assist communities and workers in navigating economic and social changes stemming from the energy transition or other significant economic shifts. 

The Brookings Institute’s “What’s in it for Rural? Analyzing Opportunities in IIJA, CHIPS, and IRA,” provides a comprehensive overview of the funding available in the IIJA, CHIPS, and IRA acts, complete with a downloadable spreadsheet detailing various funding opportunities.

The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR) has launched the second edition of its acclaimed Rural Economic Development Toolkit. This resource is a comprehensive guide aimed at assisting communities nationwide in enhancing their economies through outdoor recreation.