Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grants for Swimming Pools, Water Parks

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 @ 12:08 PM

As summer comes to a close, TheGrantHelpers.com continues to get a great number of requests for information swimming pool grants, aquatic center grants, water park grants, and other similar types of funding.

In this blog article, we provide you a few examples of grants that might assist your municipality or non-profit organization in finding grants for the construction, rehabilitation, or running of aquatic swimming and leisure facilities. If you have any questions, or if you would like to speak to a specialist about finding additional funding for your project, please do not hesitate to contact us. After all, next summer will come around sooner than you expect, and many of these grant opportunities require some advanced planning before submitting a proposal.

Grants

Outdoor Recreational Grant Program

The National Park Service’s Outdoor Recreational Grant Program awards park districts and local government agencies grants to acquire, plan, and develop land for public recreational purposes. Swimming pools, bike and walking trails, tennis courts, soccer fields, restrooms, and water facilities are just some of the eligible projects for this grant. Deadlines and amount of funding given varies from year to year.

 

Community Facilities Grant Program

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Grant Program awards funding to repair facilities used for community purposes, public safety, and health care. Municipalities with fewer than 20,000 residents are eligible for this grant, but communities with fewer than 5,000 residents or with median incomes below 60% of the state’s median income receive highest priority.

 

Community Entitlement Grants Program

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development supports the Community Entitlement Grants Program, which awards grants to municipalities with over 50,000 residents and counties with more than 200,000 residents. The purpose of the program is to support community projects that improve the economic development and living conditions of residents. Projects may include land acquisitions, construction and rehabilitation of facilities, and more.

 

Angles to Consider

It seems obvious that when searching for grants for swimming pools or water parks, you would look for grants that promote such types of recreation. However, as we often encourage, try to think outside the box. Ask yourself, “What, besides recreational activity, will such a pool/center/facility be able to do for the community?”

You might realize that, depending upon your location and your design for your facility, you might be able bring additional dollars to your community through avenues such as tourism, business and economic development, community development, promotion of healthy living, and more. Do not forget to examine grants in these areas as well as more traditional areas like those mentioned above.

 

As always, if you need assistance brainstorming or finding funding sources for your projects, TheGrantHelpers.com offers free initial consultations. Contact one of our experts today.

 

Image credit: David Schott

Topics: community development, community development grant, economic development, parks and recreation grants, swimming pool grants, recreation grant, community facility grants, parks and recreation, outdoor recreation grants, community improvement grant

Energy Grant Opportunities for Municipalities

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Fri, Dec 13, 2013 @ 08:12 AM

One of Barack Obama’s presidential priorities is a future where America runs on cleaner, homegrown fuels. As part of his plan, Win the Future, the President has called for 80% of America’s electricity by 2035 to come from clean sources including wind, solar, nenergyuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. Below is a list of energy-related grants available to municipalities to help reach that vision.

Environmental Education (EE) Grants

Energy grants don’t have to be just for construction of facilities or reduction of energy costs. These Environmental Education (EE) Grants from the United States Environmental Protection Agency support environmental education projects for increasing the public’s awareness of energy issues in a community. Municipalities are eligible to apply for grants that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques, and that will serve as replicable models in a variety of settings. The US EPA is now accepting applications for this program. Proposals are due by February 4, 2014.

USDA Community Facility Grants

The United States Department of Agriculture awards Community Facility Grants to help develop essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population. These grants can be used to fund energy projects, including the construction of buildings or the purchase of equipment required for a facility’s operation. The amount of grant assistance for project costs depends upon the median household income and the population in the community where the project is located and the availability of grant funds. Grant assistance may be available for up to 75% of project costs. A deadline for applications was not published online.

High Energy Cost Grant Program

Rural municipalities with home energy costs over 275 percent of the national average are eligible for this grant program. Grants may be used for the acquisition, construction, installation, repair, replacement, or improvement of energy generation, transmission, or distribution facilities in communities with extremely high energy costs. Examples of eligible activities include land acquisition, engineering or professional costs, renewable energy facilities, and backup or emergency power generation. The costs to implement energy efficiency and energy conservation measures, such as weatherization of residences and community facilities, energy-efficient, or energy saving appliances, are also eligible. The deadline for application submissions is unknown at this time.

Duke Energy Foundation

Municipalities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana serviced by Duke Energy are eligible for grants from the Duke Energy Foundation. These grants are aimed toward initiatives that support the efficient use of energy. The application can be found online, and applications are accepted throughout the year. A past winner, the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce and Citrus Economic Development Committee, was awarded $494 million dollars.

Illinois Energy Now

Here is an opportunity for municipalities in our home state of Illinois. More than $70 million are available to local governments in the state that make large-scale equipment improvements to their electric and natural gas systems. This money comes in the form of rebates, with a potential reimbursement for up to 75% of energy improvement costs. Potential projects include improvements to lighting equipment, HVAC equipment, gas equipment, variable speed drives, and kitchen equipment. The application is available online, and the deadline is May 15, 2014.

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Our team of Grant Helpers, including Municipality Specialist Rebecca Motley, can help you find a grant to fit your specific needs. Check out our Grants for Municipalities page to see available grants. We can also assist in numerous other areas of grant research, writing, and planning. See a full list of services here.

 

Photo credit: Sean MacEntree

Topics: muncipality, grants for energy reduction, community facility grants, green energy, grant opportunity, going green, municipality grant, grants for energy, energy grants

Real-World Examples of How to Use a Grant

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, May 8, 2013 @ 14:05 PM
Lowes Foundation Orcas Island 272x331

We routinely list a selected sample of grants available to municipalities, schools, and non-profit organizations for a variety of uses. Sometimes it may be difficult to imagine how your entity could use the grants to meet your goals, or you may struggle to imagine all the ways a grant could impact your school or community. In this blog, we will revisit some of the grant opportunities we have shared with you in the past and give you real examples of how organizations  have used the specific grants. Maybe these examples will give you some ideas where external funding could make life better in your community.

Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation

Since 2007, Lowe’s and the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation have awarded more than $175 million in grants to help to help improve communities. One recipient of the charitable efforts was the Orcas Island School District in Washington. The district received more than $50,000 in funds from the Foundation to upgrade kitchen appliances and purchase supplies for the district’s Farm to Cafeteria Program. In the program, the students harvest, prepare, and eat fresh food from nearby farms.

Bus and Bus Facilities Grants

The city of Driggs, ID, will construct a 1,500-square-foot passenger facility and a portion of 110-space Park and Ride lot thanks to assistance provided through the Bus and Bus Facilities Grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation. The city received an $830,000 grant in 2012. This grant is available to local governments and state transit systems to purchase new buses as well as upgrade or build new bus facilities.

United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Community Facility Grants

In March 2011, Palestine, IL, lost its grocery store, leaving only the gas station as the destination to buy the basics of milk and eggs. The village already had a successful farmer’s market where local vendors sold produce and homemade goods. Additionally, the village had built a shell of a building in their downtown two years earlier. Village officials thought that if improvements could be made to that building, the farmer’s market could be held more frequently and for an extended period of time. The village received a $30,750 community facility grant to finish the interior of the building as well as to add accessible bathrooms, heating, and air conditioning. Now the farmer’s market is open in the early spring to late fall, giving the residents of the small village a reliable place to purchase needed produce, baked goods, and wares.

Walmart Giving Programs

The Walmart Foundation aims to meet four core areas: 1) hunger relief & healthy eating; 2) sustainability; 3) women's economic empowerment; and 4) career opportunity with its local, state, and national giving programs. In 2012, Action for Healthy Kids was one organization that received a piece of $9.5 million in grants to organizations with a shared mission of promoting healthy eating habits. Action for Healthy Kids was granted $1.5 million to help increase access to healthy food, and to improve nutrition education at 400 schools nationwide. The program expects to increase access to nutrition programs to 160,000 school-age children.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Educated Kids Grant Program

The YMCA of Philadelphia and Vicinity received a $200,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2013 through the Foundation’s focus on educated kids. The YMCA is using the grant to help improve the quality and quantity of affordable, accessible child care for low-income families in its coverage area. Grant applications are accepted throughout the year.

The Mary Kay Foundation Domestic Violence Shelter Grant Program

The Mary Kay Foundation awarded Alice’s Place in Winslow, Ariz., a $20,000 grant in 2012. Alice’s Place planned to use the grant to help support its recently opened shelter, Laura’s House. The grant will help cover operational expenses and develop programs to aid people in the domestic violence recovery process. Shelter Grant Applications for 2013 are available from now until April 30, 2013.

Whether your vision is for a new community facility or money to enhance an ongoing educational program, we are here to assist you in locating and applying for the proper grant. See a complete list of all of our services or contact one of our grant experts to get started.

Photo credit: Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation

Topics: health and wellness grant, community development grant, domestic violence, domestic violence grant, support for domestic violence, community facility grants, corporate grant for education, bus facilities grants, child care grants, school food grant, domestic violence funding, bus grants, grant seeking