October 2023 Resources | LOR Foundation

October 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 connect@lorfoundation.org.

Funding Opportunities

October Deadlines

The Herb Block Foundation’s Defending Basic Freedoms program provides grants between $5,000 and $25,000 to nonprofits that are working to protect the freedoms in the Bill of Rights, reduce prejudice, and ensure government agencies are accountable to the public.
Deadline: Oct. 5

The National Park Foundation’s ParkVentures Program lowers barriers to accessing national parks through recreational activities by funding community-based organizations including nonprofits, tribal governments and organizations, and the National Park Service with grants up to $40,000. The program is intended to promote access and cultivate connections between individuals and communities who face barriers to engaging in activities at national parks.
Deadline: Oct. 5

The Family Caregiver Alliance is offering awards up to $20,000 for nonprofit and tribal organizations, state, and local governments, and universities that support family caregivers of adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. These are awards, rather than grants, and can help with any project or initiative that the program decides to support.
Deadline: Oct. 6

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOPE VI Main Street Grant program provides grants to small communities to assist in the renovation of business districts or “Main Street” areas by replacing unused, obsolete commercial space in buildings with affordable housing units. Local governments, including cities, towns, and counties, are eligible for up to $1 million to implement these replacements.
Deadline: Oct. 12

YoungArts’s National Arts Competition supports projects from visual, literary, and performing artists between 15 to 18 years old. Recipients receive cash awards between $250 and $10,000, mentorship, access to a network, national recognition, and ongoing professional support.
Deadline: Oct. 13

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Older Adults Home Modification Grant program provides funding to nonprofits, state and local governments, and public housing authorities to assist low-income seniors in making home modifications so they can stay in their homes. Grants ranging between $500,000 and $1.25 million are available for programs that help seniors “age in place” safely.
Deadline: Oct. 16

The SunPower Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations to increase solar energy accessibility, affordability, and resiliency, workforce development in solar careers, and support for underserved businesses in the solar industry. Grants are available to 501(c)(3) organizations and no grant funding amount range is provided.
Deadline: Oct. 20

PeopleForBikes offers grants to nonprofits and local governments for projects that improve bicycling in communities. Projects that support increased ridership, improved safety or health, or economic improvements are supported with grants ranging between $5,000 and $10,000. The focus is on funding infrastructure projects that improve bike pathways in a community or improving access to recreational amenities.
Deadline: Oct. 20

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for innovative conservation approaches via its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. The program will award grants ranging from $250,000 to $2 million to state, local, and tribal governments, nonprofits, for-profits working in agriculture and individuals to support innovative, on-the-ground projects including pilot projects and field demonstrations. In addition to the regular CIG program, NRCS is also accepting applications on the same timeline and with the same eligibility for grants between $250,000 and $5 million for On-Farm CIG trials.
Deadline: Oct. 30

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Pathways to Removing Obstacles to Housing program offers grants between $1 million and $10 million to state and local governments that are taking steps to remove barriers to affordable housing for families. Funding can be used to develop, evaluate, and implement housing policy plans, improve housing strategies, and facilitate affordable housing production and preservation.
Deadline: Oct. 30

The Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) division offers grants between $25,000 and $400,000 to reduce food insecurity through local food systems. Funds can be used by a public food program service provider, a tribal organization, or a private nonprofit entity for planning projects that support a system of greater community food security or for projects where a one-time infusion of funding can help existing programs become self-sustaining.
Deadline: Oct. 30

November Deadlines

Grants between $1,000 and $20,000 are available from the Sparkplug Foundation to support music, education, and community engagement. The Sparkplug Foundation provides grants to startup nonprofit organizations and new projects of established nonprofits in the areas of education, community organizing, and music. Projects the foundation supports include helping musicians share their work, engaging students in new ways, and encouraging community collaborative efforts. Grant amounts range from $1,000 to $20,000 (most programs are funded at $10,000 to $15,000) and are available to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or those fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3).
Deadline: Nov. 2

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Health Homes Production Grant program offers nonprofits, institutions of higher education, state, local, and tribal governments up to $2 million in funding to address childhood diseases and injuries in the home by addressing housing-related hazards. Funding can support efforts to address in-home hazards, public education and outreach, and integration of efforts with other local housing programs.
Deadline: Nov. 7

The VIA Art Fund provides funding for Artistic Production grants ($25,000 to $100,000) that support the production and exhibition of new artistic commissions in public venues. Often exhibited beyond museum walls in public space, these projects feature high levels of thought leadership, artistic production, and public engagement. VIA Art Fund accepts Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) on a semiannual basis for Fall and Spring award cycles.
Deadline: Nov. 9

The Institute of Museum and Library Services’ Inspire! Grants for Small Museums will award grants between $5,000 and $75,000 to small museums for projects that educate the public through exhibitions, educational programs, digital learning resources, technology enhancements, community outreach or collections management. State, local, or tribal governments, nonprofits, and educational or cultural heritage museums that exhibit tangible objects.
Deadline: Nov. 15

The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Media Projects program offers funding for the development, production, and distribution of radio programs, podcasts, and documentary films that elevate stories of the human experience. Funding ranging from $75,000 to $1 million is available for the development and production of media projects grounded in the storytelling about the human experience in a variety of settings.
Deadline: Nov. 29

The Cornell Douglass is providing grants to nonprofit organizations that promote environmental health, land conservation, resource sustainability and watershed protection. No funding amount details are provided, but applicants are encouraged to articulate a budget for specific projects that advance the mission of environmental stewardship.
Deadline: Nov. 30

State-Specific Opportunities

Colorado The Adolph Coors Foundation supports nonprofit organizations with grants that promote the western values of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and integrity to foster an environment where entrepreneurial spirits flourish. Program areas include youth development, adult work programs, and advancing public policy. Rural Colorado nonprofit organizations are strongly encouraged to apply (no funding range provided).
Deadline: Nov. 1

Colorado The Colorado Department of Education’s Ninth Grade Success Grant Program helps local education providers and charter schools implement strategies that improve the ninth-grade experience. School districts and charter schools can receive up to $100,000 to plan or implement strategies including cross-disciplinary teams, data systems, instructional support, or transition planning.
Deadline: Oct. 30

Idaho The Idaho Career Ready Students program increases the capacity of Career Technical Education (CTE) in Idaho middle and high schools (grades seven to 12) by incentivizing districts to create programs that prepare students to meet local and regional industry and workforce needs. Districts can propose a variety of activities that increase access to career-readiness opportunities including capital expenditures, instructional and program materials, supplies, and CTE programs.
Deadline: Rolling

Idaho and Montana AgWest Farm Credit’s Rural Community Grants support nonprofits with grants up to $5,000 that improve rural communities via discrete projects such as building or improving facilities, purchasing equipment, making capital improvements to community assets, or improvements to local facilities.
Deadline: Rolling

Montana The Montana Office of Rural Health is offering Health Equity Mini-Grants ranging from $2,000 to $18,000. Grants should support projects around the state that work to advance health equity for communities most heavily impacted by health disparities. These funds are intended to complement regional and state health equity task force work, however, all are welcome to apply.
Deadline: Nov. 1

New Mexico The Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Education Local Grants Program provides funding between $50,000 and $100,000 to nonprofits, local education agencies including school districts, and other entities for projects that promote stewardship and help students, teachers, and community members develop knowledge about the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques that increase public awareness and knowledge about local environmental issues and provides participants in its programs the skills necessary to make informed decisions and to take responsible actions toward the environment.
Deadline: Nov. 8

New Mexico New Mexico’s Healthy Soils program provides funding to individual agricultural producers (businesses, individuals, and nonprofits engaged in farming, ranching, or land management) to implement effective soil health practices. To be eligible for the application opening in early 2024, farmers and ranchers must engage in conversation planning with the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). As such, NMDA is teaming up with NRCS to host a webinar about their conservation planning process, particularly as it relates to NMDA’s Healthy Soil Program.  Register for NMDA’s Oct. 18 webinar about conservation planning with NRCS. Completing conservation planning with NRCS during the 2023 calendar year will jumpstart the competitive grant process.
Deadline: Webinar on starting the process is Oct. 18


The White House staff have put together a resource guide for programs that have seen increased funding in recent legislation. The Technical Assistance Guide provides comprehensive information about more than 100 federal technical assistance programs that can support efforts to win federal funding. It also provides similar information about the growing number of state programs designed to aid communities in winning grants and increased funding. 

The State of Military and Veteran Families in the United States: Measuring Communities is a free online data tool that allows professionals to learn about the needs of military and veteran families, as well as how military-connected communities are changing over time. Data from more than 30 government and NGO sources across the country are combined in the site to provide you with robust data for important policy, programming, and funding decisions. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a Rural Disaster Behavioral Health Guide for Outreach Workers and Crisis Counselors. This guide provides staff with knowledge and strategies to best support diverse rural communities. It considers risk factors, strengths, and common disaster reactions unique to rural communities to support best practices for ensuring disaster resilience and recovery.

The Confluence of States and Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals have released  the first-ever Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) Comparison Report. This report compares SCORPs to each other, shares differences and/or similarities, and raises the visibility of each plan’s impact on a community.