Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grants for Recreation

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Oct 4, 2017 @ 15:10 PM

34610589630_67d3b10906_m.jpgRecreation is one of the most frequent funding requests we receive. Below are a few recreation grants that will fit a wide variety of needs.

Healthy Aging in Parks

The National Recreation and Park Association along with the Centers for Disease Control are offering Instructor Training Grants for Physical Activity Programs. These grants can be used to train instructors in specific programs that help people with chronic conditions and senior citizens remain active. Eligible applicants include municipality entities like parks and recreation departments or park districts. A total of 275 grants will be awarded this year. Applications will be accepted through Nov. 6.

Shade Structure Program

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) offers a shade structure program that can be used in a variety of ways for recreation needs. This program awards grants of up to $8,000 to non-profit organizations or public schools. Eligible non-profits must provide services to children 18 years of age or younger. The money can be used for installing permanent shade structures for outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun, such as playgrounds, pools or recreation spaces. In addition to the grant, the AAD also provides a permanent sign for display near the shade structure. The deadline for application is Nov. 17.

Finish Line

The sports retailer offers three grant programs to organizations that provide opportunities for kids to participate in community-based athletic programs and camps that emphasize a healthy lifestyle. Programs that offer these activities to special needs and disadvantaged children will get a special priority. Programs must also be operating near a Finish Line store. A programmatic grant is worth up to $5,000. This fund is for programs that give children the opportunity to participate in athletic programs and camps. Legacy grants range from $10,000-$75,000. These grants help new facility construction or improvements to existing infrastructure. The final category is the founder’s grant, totaled between $5,000-$25,000. This grant is to assist organizations facing an emergency like natural disasters. Applications are accepted four times a year with most upcoming deadline being Dec. 31.

Good Sports

Recreational teams and organizations that need equipment, apparel, and footwear can seek a grant from the Good Sports company. Grant recipients receive access to the company’s catalog of equipment, footwear, and apparel. Eligible organizations must be located in the United States that serve economically disadvantaged youth between the ages of 3-18. The organization also must operate an organized sport, recreational activity, or fitness program that offers consistent and structured opportunity for play to large groups of children. Applications are accepted year round.

An abundance of grants are available for recreational needs. The ones in this blog are just a few of the opportunities available. We can help you find more opportunities with a specialized Grant Opportunity Search. Contact to see how we can help find the grant you need.


Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

Topics: grants for park and recreation, grants for recreation, grants for recreation center, grants for youth recreation, outdoor recreation, outdoor recreation grants, parks and recreation, parks and recreation grants, recreation center, recreation center grants, recreation grant, youth recreation grants

Outdoor Recreation Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Feb 25, 2015 @ 17:02 PM

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.


Photo Credit: Kelvyn Skee

Topics: parks and recreation grants, outdoor recreation, vEvery Kid in a Park, grant notification, recreation grant, parks and recreation, outdoor recreation grants, recreation trails, grant opportunity, grants for park and recreation, grants for recreation, grants

Grants for Swimming Pools, Water Parks

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

As summer comes to a close, 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.


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, 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