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The Grant Helpers Blog is a resource for educational entitities, municipalities and related service firms, non-profits, and businesses that are interested in proposal development and securing grant funding. Our blog can help you get started, but if you have questions or need assistance, feel free to contact us for a free grant writing consultation.

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Grants for Food Banks, Hunger, and Nutrition


It’s a hard reality that in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, foodthe United States has families fighting every day to have enough to eat. If your organization is in the fight against hunger, you are not alone. Here are just a few of the charitable foundations who want to help you make a difference by providing grant funding:

ConAgra Foods        

ConAgra has been helping fight hunger since 1993. In that time this foundation has awarded more than $63 million in donations to non-profits. If your organization is seeking to help hungry children and families through nutrition education, or is creating sustainable solutions to increase food security, then this is worth considering. Grants range from $10,000 to $75,000, and 10-15 grants are funded each year. The foundation is looking for programs that can provide specific information about how many people will be served. ConAgra posts specific dates for letters of interest and applications, so watch their website.


The Walmart Foundation has determined four areas of interest when it comes to grant giving. One of these areas is “hunger relief and healthy eating.” In 2010 Walmart announced its commitment of $2 billion to help fight hunger through its “Fighting Hunger Together” initiative. This program was set to go through 2015 and has already surpassed this goal; they are proud to show how much they are giving beyond the $2 billion in grants to alleviate hunger. The Walmart Foundation provides grants at the local, state, and national level.   

The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation

In 2014, Feeding America joined forces with The Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation to put $1 million toward a three-year program to fight hunger nationwide. In addition to grants, this franchise also holds food drives and organizes volunteers for food banks.  Although this foundation does not take unsolicited grant requests, by partnering with your local food bank or Feeding America program you can attract the attention of this foundation.

Food Lion Food Charitable Foundation

If you are within a 25-mile radius of a Food Lion store, you may want to look into the Food Lion Food Charitable Foundation. This foundation’s goal is to eliminate hunger and food insecurity in the communities where its stores are located. Food Lion Food Charitable Foundation is currently taking grant applications online. A letter from your local United Way or Feeding American food bank confirming your organization’s good standing is required with any application. Grants are given for $2,500 or more.

The Barrett Bateman Foundation  

This privately funded foundation looks to support organizations that are often overlooked by others. Written applications and budget sheets are being accepted. Although this is a Catholic origination, it accepts all applications. For a downloadable application, visit the website.


These are just a few of the opportunities available. We can help you find more opportunities with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database services. Contact to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.


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Let's Go Green Grants


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As cities dye rivers green and adults egreennjoy green beverages, we at also can’t stop thinking about the color green--specifically, going green and taking the burden off of the environment. Municipalities can use green initiatives to save money on everything from transportation to heating and cooling costs. Schools can use recycling programs, energy efficiency programs and bike-to-school days to educate students about going green. Additionally, there are non-profit organizations whose sole goal is to create awareness and establish programs that protect the environment and natural resources. We have found several grants to help cities, schools, and non-profits fund these important projects.  

Partners for Places

This matching grant program aims to fund local projects that promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and the well-being of community members. Cities and counties across the United States are eligible to apply. A grant recipient last year turned an abandoned golf course into an urban garden. The grant program will provide partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Each funding round has different sustainability or green priorities. Requests for Proposals are released twice a year, with the next one available in June. 

Global Greenpants Fund

This environmental fund supports grassroots organizations that otherwise would not have access to funding. Environmental challenges such as climate change, ocean conservation, freshwater, biodiversity conservation, and a variety of other like causes are funded by this grant fund. Over 5,000 local projects have been supported. The average grant size is $4,800. This group currently does not support unsolicited proposals. Thus, creating a relationship with the fund’s advisor is the beginning of the process to solicit funds. For tips on how to do this, see our blog article.  

Green in Action Award

K-12 classrooms can apply for a $250 award from the Green Education Foundation. This award recognizes projects or programs that encourage sustainability in schools and classrooms. If you need inspiration, the GFF website has ideas for potential projects.  Each year, a winner receives $250 for the class, and severl runners up each receive $100. Last year’s winner was Ivy Academy in Tennessee. The school created a Live Green project that created awareness for energy conservation in the local community. Applications will be reviewed for creativity, educational value, potential for sustainability, and replication. The deadline for application is May 2. 

Other resources

  • Many state energy offices provide grants to local governments, non-profits, and schools to support a wide range of energy and environmental programs. Contact information for State Energy Offices can be found at the NASEO website.

  • Energy and environmental education is a powerful STEM/STEAM topic. Schools interested in grants for energy and environmental education would be well served to present their request to funders interested in STEM. Examples include 3M, Boeing, and the Toyota USA Foundation.

  • Funds for energy improvement projects are often available to schools and municipalities through utility companies and foundations. As an example from our home state, the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation offers funds for energy efficiency, renewable, and the protection of natural areas.

                        __________________________________________________ have experts in helping schools, municipalities, and non-profit organizations find, apply for, and win grant money. If you would like to talk to one of our Grant Helpers, contact us today. The first consultation is always free.


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Grants for Math Education


Mmath resized 600ath education often gets lumped into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiatives. Each subject area has its own importance, though, with teachers dedicated to teaching their students one of these individual subjects. Below we take a look at several hand-picked grants to fund math education initiatives.  

Advancing Student Achievement Innovative Math Grants

These grants from the Acturial Foundation support programs that bridge the gap between classroom and real-world mathematics. Programs must be designed for students in grades 4-12 in U.S. public or private schools. The programs must impact one or more grade levels, and students must participate in the activity consistently throughout the year.  A total of five $10,000 grants will be awarded this year. The deadline to submit an application is March 31 with grants awarded by June 1. If you need help to meet the tight deadline, we can accommodate quick turnarounds.

Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics Grants

This is a unique grant program that will award a grant to individual elementary school math teachers who are willing to commit to becoming teacher-leaders within their school. The grant recipient must be willing to provide ongoing professional development to teachers within the school or district to strengthen mathematical understandings and instructional practices. Teacher-leader activities include conducting in-service programs, co-teaching, demonstrations, and more. Only one teacher per school may receive the award. Applications for grants for the 2016-17 school year are currently being accepted. Grants with a maximum of $6,000 each will be awarded for the 2016-17 year. Funds can be used for college coursework fees, registration fees for conferences, materials for in-service programs, and salaries for grant recipient’s time conducting in-service programs. The deadline for application submission is Nov. 6.

Connecting Mathematics to Other Subject Areas Grants

Grants of a maximum of $4,000 will be awarded to grade 9-12 math teachers hoping to purchase materials or create lessons that connect math to other subject areas. Materials and curricula funded by this grant program must show the connectivity of mathematics to other fields and areas of study. Applications to fund programs in the 2016-17 school year are currently being accepted. These are due Nov. 6. One past recipient used this grant to fund an aerospace unit that integrated math, science, language arts, and social studies classes.

Using Music to Teach Mathematics Grants

Grants of up to $3,000 are available to pre-K-2 teachers who want to use music to teach math to students. The grant is for individual classroom teachers or small groups of teachers collaborating across grade levels. Applications to fund programs in the 2016-17 school year are currently being accepted. These are due Nov. 6. Past awardees include one who used this grant money to use music to help her students learn fractions.

Summer Camp is for Teachers, Too!

Third-through-fifth-grade math and science teachers can attend The Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy to learn more fun ways to teach their students. The one-week summer camp is just for teachers. Even better, it’s free! The camp is taught by math and science experts from the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions. The application period for the 2015 camp is already closed. However, applications for the 2016 camp will be accepted starting this spring.

 ________________________________________________ has numerous services available to help you develop programs that attract grant money, find a grant for funding, help you report program results, and more. See a full list of our customizable services here. Not sure where to start? Talk to one of our expert Grant Helpers. The first consultation is always free!


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Grants for Older Americans


According to the U.S. census, “…by 2029, when all of the baby boomers will be 65 years and Older Americans resized 600over, more than 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be over the age of 65” ( With the growth of this population comes an increased need for elder care—from health care, to in-home visits, to housing. Continuing in our serious of special interest groups, we now offer some suggestions regarding grants for older Americans. We’ll start off with a grant tip we’ve found useful:


So, for example, if you are located in Chicago and seek grants to support, say, geriatric advocacy efforts, Google “older adult advocacy grants Chicago.”  The Chicago-based Retirement Research Foundation (which funds more than research) floats to the top two spots.  If you’re in Denver, substitute “Denver” for “Chicago” and the Rose Community Foundation takes over the top two spots.

Local support notwithstanding, we highlight here four grants for the aging population that are national in scope )although the Weinberg Foundation does give preference to the “hometown communities” of Baltimore, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Hawaii). Note that these funding opportunitities aren’t all restricted to older adults.  Many serve larger, more general audiences such as “people in need.”  Furthermore, some are oriented more toward the program (e.g., housing) than the target population.  All of which brings up two more tips:

The grants highlighted below follow that last tip.  These organizations are not limited to supporting older adults per se, but do offer grants addressing the needs of mature clientele.

Health and Independence: Offering grants of up to $100,000, the Henry E. Niles Foundation, Inc. supports “people in need.” This includes programs that support the health and independence of aging Americans. The Niles Foundation specifically likes to support programs that work together with other organizations, so you might consider what other organizations in your community are working toward a common goal. There is no specific application date—meetings are held monthly to determine the status of new applications.

In Home Visits: The Omron Foundation, Inc. helps support programs such as Meals on Wheels that provide in-home care to the elderly. The Omron Foundation, Inc. supports programs providing basic human needs—food, clothing, and shelter. In 2014, more than $630,000 was given by this foundation. Applications can be submitted via email throughout the year and grants of more than $100,000 at a time have been awarded.

Housing: One foundation that specifically targets older adults is The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. Providing grants for up to 30% of total costs, this foundation is concerned not only with elderly care, but with helping aging adults to live dignified lives. It is, therefore, interested in supporting programs working in low-income areas. This support can be granted to community building projects, housing repair, senior centers, rehabilitation centers, and the like. Grant proposals are taken at any time, and a letter of interest is required first. In 2014, the Weinberg Foundation gave $102 million in grants.

All of the Above: The Fred & Jean Allegretti Foundation states that their goal is “to provide a quality of life and dignity through humanitarian support, medical treatment, housing, education, and the arts.” The Fred & Jean Allegretti Foundation has a history of supporting programs for the elderly. The Foundation is accepting letters of interest through May 31st. In 2010, the Foundation awarded the H.O.M.E. program (Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly) $15,000.


We can help you find lots more opportunities with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database and notification services.  Contact to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.  


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Outdoor Recreation Grants


recToday, more than 80 percent of families live in urban areas and lack easy access to outdoor spaces. In response, President Obama’s “Every Kid in a Park” initiative will soon help address the situation. Starting in September for the 2015-2016 school year, all fourth graders will be given a pass that will allow them and their families free entry into every National Park for an entire year. There is no application necessary. Annual family passes normally cost $80.

The president’s initiative also includes the renewal of the National Park Foundation’s program that provides grants to help schools pay for transportation to bring kids to visit parks, public lands, and waters. Schools that have the most need are favored in this grant program. The President has also requested new funding in his FY 2016 budget to support transportation for school outings to parks for students from low-income areas.

While we wait for this exciting opportunity, there are other grants that will help fund more local, community-based outdoor recreation causes. Grants for outdoor recreation activities are often very competitive. There are several things you can do to make your proposal competitive.

  • Partnerships are often favored in grant applications, so a municipality, educational unit, and community group working together to better a town could increase the appeal of a request.

  • Outdoor recreation opportunities that reach everyone from children to senior citizens, and anyone in between, can give you a leg up.

  • Projects that have a wide range of activities involved, from sports to exercise to conservation, could be a plus for grantors.

Below are a few grant opportunities we have hand-picked to get you started. There are often a lot of grant opportunities available for outdoor recreation projects. If you don’t see a grant that applies to your project below, get in touch with one of our experts who will help you find a grant that suits you.

The KEEN Effect

KEEN Footwear is hoping to preserve the great outdoors through its KEEN Effect grant program. This year, the company will give $10,000 grants to 10 non-profit organizations that are dedicated to responsible outdoor recreation and participation. KEEN defines outdoors as any place that does not have a ceiling so the opportunities are endless. Special consideration will be given to projects that introduce new audiences to the outdoors. Applications must be submitted by March 1 to be considered for the Earth Day grantee cycle. Applications received after that date will be considered in the second cycle, to be announced on National Public Lands Day on Sept. 26.   

L.L. Bean

Non-profit organizations can apply for funding from L.L. Bean. The clothing and shoe retailer has given more than $14 million to local, state, regional, and national conservation organizations in the last 10 years. Under its conservation and outdoor recreation program, L.L. Bean funds projects that protect and maintain natural resources or encourage children to participate in outdoor activities. Proposals are accepted at any time throughout the year. There are no maximum or minimum grant amounts.

Shade Structure Grant Program

Being outside is not always fun when the sun is beating down on you. If your outdoor recreation area needs some shade, look no farther than the American Academy of Dermatologist’s Shade Structure Grant Program. Schools and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for funding to construct a permanent shade structure for outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun. Each Shade Structure Grant is valued up to $8,000, which includes the cost for a shade structure and installation. This year’s grant cycle is already over. To apply for the 2016 cycle, have your applications submitted between Sept. 1 and Nov. 25.

American Alpine Club Cornerstone Conservation Grant

This grant program aims to create healthy climbing landscapes and empower local rock climbing communities. To do so, the American Alpine Club, partnered with REI, will award organizations grants ranging from $1,000-$8,000. All projects must impact rock climbing efforts, accessibility, or environments. Past AAC projects include new trails and human-waste management policies at Utah’s Castleton Tower and Indian Creek climbing areas, a new human-waste management system in Grand Teton National Park, and new trails and waste-management systems in Rocky Mountain National Park’s Lumpy Ridge climbing area.


There are many different grants available to help fund your project. Let us help narrow down the choices to those that specifically fit your needs. Contact us today for a FREE consultation to get you started on the road to grant success.


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Three Ways to Justify Grants for School Gardens


In an ongoing effort to help you think outside the box when it comes gardento funding, we have compiled a list of three different ways to justify funding for school gardens. Now is the perfect time to stratetize for funding for school gardens as spring, and grant deadlines, are right around the corner. We have included a potential grant for each funding theme to help you get started.

Possible Theme: Funding for Creative Curriculum

Teachers are always looking for innovative ways to integrate their curriculum into unique projects. School gardens could be used by physical education teachers to teach about healthy nutrition. Science teachers could use fruits, vegetables, and flowers to conduct experiments on the water amounts needed to maintain healthy gardens, or the effects of different soils. Gardens can provide valuable lessons in math as well. An example of this type of funding would be the NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants. These grants aim to improve the academic achievement of students in any subject area. The work must involve critical thinking, problem solving, improving student’s habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. The grant amounts available are $2,000 and $5,000. Deadlines for applications are February 1, June 1, and Oct. 15. 

Possible Theme: Funding for School Beautification

Gardens don’t have to be limited to fruits and vegetables. School gardens can feature beautiful flowers and native plants so as to be educational yet beautiful as well. The gardens can provide a setting for outdoor classrooms, a serene setting for quiet thinking, or even a bright spot for students and teachers alike to enjoy during down time. In 9 years of funding schools, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program has awarded $35 million to more than 8,000 schools across the United States. The program prefers funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor) as well as landscaping/clean up type projects making it perfect for school gardens. The spring 2015 grant cycle is closed, though the fall 2015 cycle will open in August. Applications are then due Oct. 15. Funding requests must range between $2,000 and $5,000.

Possible Theme: Funding for Health and Wellness

Gardens are also a natural way to teach children about good nutrition. Children can learn about the wide variety of fruits and vegetables by planting, harvesting, and eating them. Teachers could show students a variety of ways to prepare these different healthy foods by providing recipes that the students can then make at home with their families. The students could also learn what makes each food healthy by learning what nutrients it provides. The CVSHealth Community Grants: Wellness & Prevention grant program could help fund the nutritional aspect of school gardens. Programs, including those in public schools, that focus on building healthy habits and wellness initiatives are funded. These grants are by invitation only, so interested parties are encouraged to contact a CVS community relations expert to inquire about application. can help with a wide array of grant services from strategizing to finding grant opportunities to ensuring you have a strong proposal. See a list of our services here. Don’t see what you had in mind? Contact one of our experts for a free consultation to get started.


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Funding for At-Risk Youth--Three Major Areas Receiving the $$


At Risk Youth resized 600Continuing in our series on special-interest groups, this blog addresses funding for at-risk youth programs. Many grants are aimed specifically at 1) educational programs, 2) community outreach programs, or 3) municipalities. In your search for funding opportunities, use keywords including these areas. And in your proposal, emphasize how your program addresses the area of greatest interest to the funding agency. Below are examples of grants for at-risk youth. Think of how your effort could fit into one of these areas to improve your successful funding of at-risk-youth programs.

Education Grants for At-Risk Youth

The education field is ripe with opportunities to help at-risk youth. The U.S. Government is particularly concerned with this area and offers several grants addressing youth behavior. Understanding what the government wants to fund, and tailoring your program accordingly, is an important step in securing one of these grants. 
  • The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funds programs to reduce juvenile crimes and train people who are working with at-risk youth. Last year alone, more than 45 grants were issued totaling $262,604,665—a list of them is available on the website. Knowing what was funded can help in determining what will be funded in the future. The website also gives specific goals for young adolescents, teens, and communities for each grant. 
  • The Department of Health and Human Services funds the Adolescent Family Life_Demonstration Projects that are aimed specifically at aiding youth 17 and under who are unmarried and pregnant or parenting. This grant funds care services and pregnancy prevention programs. The website lays out very specific criteria that can aid in developing a proposal. 

Community Grants for At-Risk Youth

You may have noticed the ever-increasing push to get kids healthy by getting them involved. When it comes to grants for communities, both The U.S. Soccer Foundation and Build-A-Bear are ready with funding. 
  • The U.S. Soccer Foundation awards grants of up to $50,000 for communities looking to buy equipment and fund youth soccer programs. This foundation also provides grants of up to $60,000 for communities to create a “Safe Place to Play” by offering grants for lighting, turf, and irrigation systems. Grant application deadlines are February 6th for spring sports and June 5th for summer programs. Take advantage of the comprehensive information available on the website when planning your community’s program and application. 
  • The Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation funds three different programs. One program, Bear Hugs, provides an average of $1,500 per grant, but can award as much as $5,000 to aid in “the areas of health and wellness such as childhood disease research foundations, child safety organizations, and organizations that serve children with special needs.” When applying for this grant, tell them exactly much money you need and how many children you can help—they like grant proposals that are specific and can show past success. Another Build-A-Bear program promotes literacy and education through “Paperback Pup” sales. This program supports organizations providing books for schools, libraries, and homes. (The third grant supports domestic pets.) Information about the 2015 grant deadlines is not yet on the website, so check frequently for new postings. 

Municipal Funding for At-Risk Youth

Municipalitieswishing to reach at-risk youth have additional grant opportunities. From designating school police officers to sponsoring community events, there is money available to help programs working for the betterment of all children.
  • In 2014, approximately $123 million was awarded to schools by the COPS program, in part to help put police officers in schools, according to School resource officers are becoming the norm in American high schools, and grants are available to help make this a reality for your police department or school. The website lists yearly awards back through 2009; although the 2015 dates are not yet posted, keep an eye out for new information. TGH previously highlighted this grant in a May 22nd blog; this is one to keep an eye on. 
  • Through its Target and Blue program, the Target Corporation is working to build stronger communities. Each year Target awards grants for community events, public safety, and just general fun for all. Target boasts grants in all 50 states and works locally through its stores. More information on these opportunities can be found on its website or by visiting your local Target. 

Tips for Securing Grants:

  1. Understand what the grant program is looking to fund and tailor your proposal to show how you accomplish what’s important to them.
  2. Look at what has been funded in the past to better predict what will be funded in the future.
  3. Study the grant application and information; many will list specific criteria for funding.
  4. Have data available to support your organization’s past successes.
  5. Be specific in your request. Exactly what will you do? How much do you need to help how many people? 

Granting organizations want to help programs that will do the most good; building stronger children builds a stronger future. Tailoring your proposal for a specific program is not always as simple as it sounds. That’s where we can help. Contact to see how we can work with you to create an application that attracts the funds you need.

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Grant Funding Requests in FY 2016 Federal Government Budget


President Obama recently released his $4 trillion Fiscal Year 2016 federal budget, documenta wish list of items he wants to pursue in his last full year in office. It’s only a wish list because it must be passed by politicians on both sides of the aisle. After that, any approved amounts have to be turned into funding programs and announcements.  So while this budget is anything but definite there are several points of interest for the grant world. Theoretically, you will have plenty of time to prepare for any resulting requests for proposals. FY 2016 is from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.  

With this time frame, you might wonder what to do with this information now. In a word: alignment. Although FY2016 funding programs will not be announced until later this year, you can be aware of trends in funding, and prioritize your programs that are more likely to lie in the funding stream. With that in mind, we offer the following gleanings from the budget proposal, so you can be moving programs toward fundability.    


Department of Agriculture

  • The USDA may have a change in one of its biggest grant programs, according to the budget. $30 million has been allocated for a new grant program, the Rural Business Development Grant Program. This new program combines the Rural Business Enterprise and Opportunity programs into a single entity. The USDA said that this change will increase the effectiveness of the program as well ensuring communities have access to technical support and economic development funding.

  • Municipalities looking for funding to build facilities can look forward to the $50 million slated for the Community Facilities Grant Program.

  • Allocated funding has more than doubled for Rural Economic Development loans and grants in the proposed budget.

  • The budget includes $550 million in competitive research grants. This includes two new multidisciplinary agricultural research institutes dedicated to nanocellulosics and biomanufacturing research. 

  • The budget also proposes to double the amount of current funding for broadband grants, ensuring rural households have access to high speed internet.

  • A new competitive grant program at land-grant institutions will help address food and agriculture challenges at both the regional and national levels.

Department of Education

  • This budget includes a proposed increase of $1 billion for Title I Grants to school districts, for a total of $15.4 billion.

  • There is another step toward preschool for all children with $750 million proposed for Preschool Development Grants Program. This is to help states develop and expand preschool programs.

  • Grants to states under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) would receive an increase of $175 million in the proposed budget. This grant program supports special education and related services.

  • The budget also includes $773 million, an increase of $36 million, for English Language Acquisition grants for English Learners.

  • The Teacher Incentive Fund, which supports states and school districts to implement comprehensive human capital systems that develop, support, reward, and advance teachers and principals based on evaluations and student learning, may be expanded. There will be an additional $350 million for that program.

  • The proposed budget sets aside $13.9 million for the proposed Teacher and Principal Pathways program which will award grants to institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations to improve teacher and principal preparation.

  • School technology would also get a line in the budget with $200 million set aside for an improved Education Technology State Grants Program.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • A total of $2.5 billion will be used for the Homeless Assistance Grants Program if the budget is approved. This program aims to end chronic homelessness and homelessness among veterans and families. This includes $309 million to support 15,000 additional families through rapid rehousing and 25,500 new units of permanent supportive housing targeted to the chronically homeless.

  • A new housing program is mentioned in the budget as well. $300 million has been earmarked for the new Local Housing Policy Grants Program. These grants will be awarded to municipalities to increase economic growth, access to jobs, and housing affordability.

Department of Transportation

  • Funding for transit and passenger rail programs could increase to $23 million when approved.

  • The budget also focuses airport grants to support smaller airports that do not have access to additional revenue or other sources of capital.

  • Approximately $6 billion over six years has been allocated for a competitive grant program designed to create incentives for state and local partners to adopt critical reforms in a variety of areas, including safety and peak traffic demand management.

  • The competitive TIGER grant program has been given $1.25 billion once the budget is approved. The program helps states and communities with transportation projects.

  • $6 billion over six years has been set aside for a competitive grant program, Fixing and Accelerating Surface Transportation, designed to create incentives for state and communities to adopt critical reforms in a variety of areas, including safety and peak traffic demand management. reserves the right to delete any comments that do not contribute useful questions or information, are direct advertisements, or are otherwise inappropriate.

Grants from the Gridiron


The Super Bowl is just days away. Hostesses are prepping the chips and dip. footballFootball fans are preparing for the biggest game of the year. Players and coaches are game planning. The media is talking about the amount of air in the footballs.

At the we want to take this opportunity to share with you grant-making foundations led by current and former NFL players as well as coaches. These individuals are making an impact on the field and off the field as well. Take a look at some of these foundations when you are planning your project or program.

Like most foundations in general, NFL player’s foundations also have specific causes they fund. Don’t make the assumption that the professional athletes only fund sports activities. Most do fund youth sports. However, a lot of them also fund other topics including those that focus on overall community well being.  

One unique aspect of these foundations is that they are usually focused on specific geographic locations. The athletes mostly support their hometowns, college towns, or community where they are currently playing or have played. Seek out local athletes, or those from your area, when looking for grants from these foundations.

Wes Welker Foundation

Denver Broncos’ wide receiver Wes Welker is dedicated to supporting and encouraging at-risk youth. Through his foundation, Welker awards grants to schools and non-profit organizations within Oklahoma City or the geographic limits of the Oklahoma City Public School District. The grants must be used to serve high school-aged youth or younger. There is no maximum or minimum grant amount. Applications are accepted twice a year, before Sept. 15 and Feb. 15.

Justin J. Watt Foundation

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was a college football player at the University of Wisconsin when he realized not every child had access to athletics. That was the beginning of his foundation. Schools and organizations that provide athletic opportunities to middle–school-aged students (6th-8th grades) during or after school can apply for these grants. The funds must be used to purchase uniforms or equipment for the athletic programs.  Applications are reviewed quarterly (January, March, June, and September). There is no minimum or maximum grant amount. The foundation has awarded over $600,000 in grants since its inception.

Jason Taylor Foundation

Non-profit organizations in south Florida (Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties) can apply for funding from the Jason Taylor Foundation. Taylor is a former Miami Dolphins defensive end. The foundation funds creative, innovative projects that fill an observed need for children in the south Florida community. Projects focused on improved health care, education, and quality of life initiatives are preferred.  Past projects have included reading rooms, school supply donations, and learning centers. Grant amounts depend on the organization’s project budget. Current deadlines are unavailable so check the website for updates.

Kelly Cares Foundation

The Kelly Cares Foundation, founded by Brian and Paqui Kelly, supports health, education, and community through its grant-making foundation. Brian Kelly is the head coach of Notre Dame football. The health component funds breast cancer awareness, prevention, and research. The Foundation supports education at all levels and capacities. Additionally, the Foundation supports projects and initiatives that encourage the engagement of individuals in their local communities. Eligible organizations must be non-profit. The deadline for grant applications is Dec. 31st each year. There is no maximum or minimum grant award. The Foundation has distributed more than $1.2 million in financial support since 2009.

Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism

Non-profit organizations and schools in New England, New York, New Jersey, Southern California, and select parts of Canada that provide services, education, and advocacy for children with autism spectrum disorder can apply for grants from the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation. Flutie was a quarterback in the NFL for several years. Grant guidelines are posted on the website every July. Applications are accepted from the time the guidelines are posted until the end of September. The maximum grant award is $20,000.

NFL Foundation

The NFL Foundation also provides grants to support youth football programs, health and safety initiatives for young athletes, and community programs. The Foundation has nine different grant programs. Some of the money is funneled through the individual NFL teams though the foundation directly offers several grant programs to community organizations and athletic programs as well.

Additionally, the NFL provides grants to organizations in the city where the Super Bowl is played. This year six non-profit organizations received a combined $600,000 in legacy grants through this program. Funds awarded helped with the purchase of athletic equipment, the placement of athletic trainers at local tournaments, student mentoring, protecting the water supply and restoring forest health, full-time coaches in schools, and nutrition education. So whatever the final score of Super Bowl XLIX, Arizona charities are guaranteed a win.

There are many, many more NFL players and coaches that have grant-making foundations. If you don't see your geophraphic location or grant focus above, contact us. We can help pair you with the right foundation.


Photo Credit: Tim Donovan reserves the right to delete any comments that do not contribute useful questions or information, are direct advertisements, or are otherwise inappropriate.

Three Ways to Justify Grants for Bike Lanes


A municipality wants to add bike lanes to several stretches of local bikeroadways. Local funding is limited so the decision makers want to explore possible grant opportunities. Finding grants that specifically fund bike lanes is the obvious place to start. However, there are several different ways to validate the need for bike lanes.

Think of all the different benefits that might result from the bike lanes.  Each one of them can turn into a potential funding avenue.  The bike path might help all citizens be healthier.  It might do good things for the environment. It might further the cause of bicycling in general.  By way of example, below are funding sources for each of these approaches.


Possible funding theme: Health and Wellness

Even a relaxing bike ride at 10 mph will burn 281 calories, according to NutriStrategy. Thus, adding bike lanes to a community will provide a safe way for people to get exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Applications to health and wellness agencies could include statements from local health and wellness experts about the chance to increase exercise opportunities with the addition of bike lanes. One available grant for this funding theme is from Aetna. This grant program supports projects that identify causes of obesity and potential best practices for addressing obesity, specifically the impact of our neighborhoods and on the “built environment” for promoting population health and weight loss. Grants that serve under-served, low-income, and minority communities will receive special consideration. Specific dates for the 2015 grant cycle have not been released yet though it is expected applications will be accepted beginning in April. Awarded grants will total either $25,000 or $50,000.

Possible funding theme: The Environment

With dedicated bike lanes, community members may be more likely to ride their bike to work or to run errands. That would mean more cars are left parked in the garage, thus reducing the impact on the surrounding environment. Grants that support environmental projects or aim to reduce pollution would be another great theme for the construction of bike lanes. The Energy Foundation would be a great resource for this subject. The Climate Program, The Public Engagement Program, and the Transportation Program, all through this foundation, would be possible avenues for funding. The Foundation strongly encourages first-time grant seekers to send in a Letter of Inquiry before submitting a full application. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Grants awarded in 2014 ranged from $10,000 to $3 million.

Possible funding theme: Bike Lanes

Never overlook the obvious. Bike lanes can be funded by grantors looking to increase bike traffic and bike projects. The PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program would be a great place to start. This grant program provides funding for projects that encourage bicycling in communities across the country, specifically bicycle infrastructure. Non-profit organizations, city and county governments, or state and federal agencies working locally are eligible to apply. PeopleForBikes will fund engineering and design work, construction costs including materials, labor, and equipment rental, and reasonable volunteer support costs. The maximum grant award is $10,000. The spring grant cycle ends soon, on Jan. 30. Don’t fret. The next grant cycle begins June 15.


Photo Credit: Till Krech reserves the right to delete any comments that do not contribute useful questions or information, are direct advertisements, or are otherwise inappropriate.
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