Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Transportation Grants for Municipalities

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Tue, Feb 11, 2014 @ 20:02 PM

As the need for grant funding for municipal transportation projects increases,

transportation

it’s important to be aware of many different grant sources for transportation funding.  Federal funds, state funds, and private foundations can fund grants for public transportation, grants for road and highway maintenance, grants for recreational paths, grants for emission reduction and alternative fuel programs, and many more.  We have selected a few such opportunities to highlight below.

TIGER Grants

The government recently appropriated $600 million for Fiscal Year 2014 to the TIGER program, also known as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Grant Program, run by the U.S. Department of Transportation. This program funnels grant money toward road, rail, transit, and port projects. This is a very competitive grant program that funds mostly multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional projects. Last year, funds from these grants were awarded to 52 capital projects in 37 states. Requests for Proposals will be issued later this year.

Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)

This program provides grants to states that then disperse the money to transportation programs. Each state decides how to allocate the money.  Some have open grant competitions while others allocate through legislative and political processes. Authorized by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the funds are dispersed among several programs including: The National Highway Performance Program, Surface Transportation Program, Highway Safety Improvement Program, Railway-Highway Crossings Program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program, and Metropolitan Planning. All of these programs have different requirements, eligibility conditions, and deadlines. The government authorized $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 for MAP-21.

FedEx EarthSmart Outreach Programs

FedEx offers this grant program focusing on sustainable transportation solutions that reduce emissions and congestion and/or enhance safety and expand accessibility. A municipality would need to partner with a nonprofit organization to apply, and only specific program needs will be funded. Applications are accepted year round and are available online.

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

This program, established in 1994 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), has awarded more than $24 million to over 1,400 community-based organizations since its inception. These programs support communities seeking solutions to local environmental and public health issues. Building partnerships, such as municipalities pairing with a local transit agency or a nonprofit organization, is a key in this program. In the past, these grants have helped communities deal with greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, energy efficiency, and renewable energy—all major components of transportation projects. Just last year (2013), Sunflower Community Action, Inc. in Wichita, Kan. received a grant to help with energy efficiency as it relates to air quality. This project encouraged the use of clean technologies that will help reduce soot and smog.  Requests for proposals are expected in October 2014.

Illinois Recreational Trails Program

In our home state of Illinois, the Department of Natural Resources is currently accepting applications for its Bicycle Path, Off Highway Vehicle and Federal Recreational Trails (RTP) grant programs until March 1, 2014. Funds from these grants can be used for trail construction and rehabilitation, restoration of areas adjacent to trails, construction of trail-related support facilities, and land acquisition. This program does require a 20% non-federal funding match. For the Recreational Trails Program, there is a maximum grant award of $200,000. There is no maximum grant award limit for acquisition projects and for motorized projects. Check with your state’s DNR to find similar programs.

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Whether you already have transportation projects planned or are simply seeking information on what projects are fundable by grants, we are here to help. Our services are completely customizable to your needs. Contact us today and our municipality expert, Rebecca Motley, will walk you through the process. And remember, the first consultation is always free. 

Photo credit: mSeattle

Topics: critical needs, funding strategy, funding sources, funding needs, transportation grants, recreation trails, air quality, government grant, federal grant, grant opportunity, foundation grant, municipality, bus grants, environmental grant, transportation, grants for transportation, emission control

Grant-Giving Corporations are Making an Impact on Communities

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 @ 14:03 PM

cashAs pointed out in our previous two-part blog, “Trends and Projections for U.S. Federal Government Grant Funding,” the availability of federal grant money is waning. Organizations that have once relied heavily on federal grant funding for their programs will likely need to look for other funding opportunities. Those opportunities could be from the hundreds of grant-giving corporations across the country. Corporations such as Bank of America and Walmart do more than provide banking services and discount products. These corporations, and hundreds of others like them, work to make a difference in their communities by providing grants to non-profit organizations in a variety of subject areas. Below we will detail a few of the grant-making corporations as well as their funding areas and any specific grant opportunities. There are countless other corporations looking for exceptional programs to fund so why not let us help you find several good matches for you? Contact a grant helper today to get your grant search started.

Bank of America Charitable Foundation

In June 2012, Bank of America Charitable Foundation awarded over $22 million in grants to more than 650 nonprofits. These funds were estimated to impact more than 31 million individuals. Nonprofit organizations in Bank of America communities have two opportunities for grants this year. Community development grants focus on nonprofit organizations helping with foreclosure counseling and mitigation, real-estate owned disposition, and affordable housing. Bank of America Charitable Foundation will issue a community development Request for Proposals (RFP) on April 15 and will accept applications through May 10. Additionally, nonprofits focused on helping with basic human needs, such as food, shelter, and benefits access can apply for a Bank of America critical needs grant. A critical needs RFP will begin on July 8 and applications will be accepted through August 2.

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. Through the local giving program, nonprofits, government entities, schools, or faith-based organizations located in Walmart communities can apply for $250-$2,500 grants that will benefit the facility’s service area in one of the four core areas. The deadline for applications is December 1, 2013. Walmart also operates a state-giving program, which awards grants to nonprofit organizations that operate on a regional or state level or affiliates of larger organizations that operate on a state level. The application period for the state-giving program begins in June and ends in August. Also, nonprofit entities that operate on a national scale may apply for grants through Walmart’s national-giving program, which awards grants of $250,000 or more. Program ideas should be submitted using the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) format only. Unsolicited proposals or promotional materials are not accepted.

Cigna Foundation

Charitable organizations that aim to promote wellness, expand health opportunities, promote personal and professional growth, or find unique approaches to issues of local and global concern, could look toward the Cigna Foundation for grant funding. The Cigna Foundation judges grant proposals according to the following four qualities: responsive, creative, achievable, and beneficial. Applications are accepted throughout the year.

JPMorgan Chase Foundation

As a global financial institution, JPMorgan Chase aims to give back to its communities through its grant-giving Foundation. In 2011, JPMorgan Chase and its Foundation gave more than $200 million through grants and sponsorships. This Foundation supports nonprofit entities that promote community development, including programming that addresses workforce development, asset building, and financial literacy as well as those programs that encourage economic development and affordable housing. Also, the Foundation awards grants to K-12 education systems that increase economically disadvantaged children’s access to quality education. Finally, JPMorgan Chase supports organizations that encourage arts and culture in both schools and communities. To receive grant support for any such program, a potential grantee must first submit an online letter of inquiry.

If any of the above opportunities seem to fit your grant needs, let us help you by requesting a free quote to get started, or feel free to browse our list of services.

Image Credit: jollyUK

Topics: community development, community development grant, educational funding, corporate grant for education, critical needs, corporate grant, women's economic empowerment, federal spending, career opportunities, hunger relief