Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Three Ways to Justify Grants for Bike Lanes

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 @ 14:01 PM

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

Topics: muncipality, grant notification, grant opportunity, municipal grant, bike grants, bike lanes, grants for health and wellness, environmental grants, bicycle granths, municipal grants, municipal funding, muncipal improvement funds, health and wellness grants, grants for envirvonmental projects

Grants for Transportation Projects

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Dec 11, 2014 @ 21:12 PM

Google is in the process of developing a car that will drive itself. It’s currently driving around the roads of Mountain View, California. Experts predict autonomous vetransportationhicles will be on the road by 2030. In the meantime, well-established public transportation modes like rail, bus, and bicycles are still a focus for government entities and non-profit organizations alike. Below are some selected grants that can help fund these projects.

Innovative Public Transportation Workforce Development Program (Ladders of Opportunity Initiative)

The deadline is coming quickly for this grant program from the Federal Transit Administration. Applications are due Dec. 23. Grants are made to state and local transit agencies, non-profits, universities, and other projects that enable low income workers to find employment in a public transportation business. Eligible projects provide skills training and other services needed to find employment in the public transportation industry. Grants will range from $200,000-$1 million. There is a minimum 50 percent non-federal match for all funds. Our professionals can handle last-minute advice and grant help if you are interested in this opportunity.

The Rockefeller Foundation

This foundation has five goals for its transportation grant program, including funding research, encouraging a new transportation agenda in the government, promoting philanthropic participation in transportation activities, creating and supporting sustainable transportation options, and building the capacity of states and cities to innovate and adopt best practices. One major program funded by The Rockefeller Foundation is the Bus Rapid Transit, a public transportation system that delivers the permanence, speed, and reliability of rail systems, along with the flexibility of bus systems, for a fraction of the cost.  The Foundation accepts inquires for grants only through its online inquiry system.

Surdna Foundation

This foundation supports programs that aim to make transportation systems more sustainable. The goal is to give people across the U.S. affordable and reliable public transit options while also minimizing the impact that transportation has on the environment and maximizing economic opportunities. Non-profit organizations located in the United States are eligible for this program. Letters of inquiry are accepted at any time.


Not all transportation grants have to be major transit initiatives. The PeopleforBikes Community Grant Program supports bicycle infrastructure projects and advocacy programs. Non-profit organizations, city and county governments or departments, and state and federal agencies working locally are eligible to apply. Most funds are focused on projects such as bike paths, mountain bike facilities, bike parks, BMX facilities, bike racks, bike storage, and well as bike parking. Certain advocacy projects are also funded. PeopleForBikes will fund engineering and design work, construction costs including materials, labor, equipment rental, and reasonable volunteer support costs. For advocacy projects, they will fund staffing that is directly related to accomplishing the goals of the initiative. The maximum grant award is $10,000. There will be two grant cycles in 2015. The spring application period will begin on Dec. 15 with online letters of interest due by Jan. 30. The fall period will open on June 15 with letters of intent due on July 31.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Organizations applying for a transportation-based grant from this foundation will need to have a project based on reducing greenhouse gases and pollution. Specifically, the Foundation awards grants to projects that help increase fuel efficiency and access to transit, biking, and walking options. Letters of Inquiry are accepted on an ongoing basis. Grants awarded so far this year have ranged from $15,000-$3 million.


Photo Credit: David Guo

Topics: grant notification, grant announcement, transportation grants, foundation funding, grant opportunity, foundation grant, foundation grant money, foundation grants, bicycle grants, bike grants, grants, transportation, grants for transportation