As you well know, many downtown and inner city urban renewal projects are funded at least in part by what is known as community grants. These invaluable resources provided the much needed funds to revitalize sagging local economies rebuild after natural disasters; keep our kids safe after school and now, community outreach grants are helping provide a safe place for our elders to spend their day. Here we take a look at just some of the different types of sustainable community grants and what they can be used for.
Community grants are cash awards given to accomplish a specific purpose or to provide for a specific need which betters the community as a whole. This type of funding vehicle can be either private or federal and is generally earmarked for:
- Capital and renovations – grants that provide capital for new buildings, or funds to renovate existing facilities;
- Conferences and events – includes conferences, or events such as performances, festivals, anniversary celebrations or special exhibitions;
- Equipment and infrastructure – includes items such as computers, furnishings, websites, and brochures and other print materials and equipment;
- Program operating – grants that cover the operating costs of a specific program – typically a pilot program or demonstration project – and can include staffing and other program costs;
- Reports and planning – including strategic plans, community fundraising strategies, evaluations and business plans;
- Capital campaigns – community grants to support an organization’s capital campaign.
Types of Community Grants
There are many types of community grants and it pays to have a basic working knowledge of the most well funded and awarded types. The most basic kinds of community grants are:
Community Government Grants: Community government grants are available at the federal, state and municipal levels. If you own and operate a business and are interested in providing services or products to the various endeavors funded by these instruments, as a savvy business owner, you will jump on the opportunity. Community government grants help provide funds to build communities, provide outreach opportunities and society reentry programs for women leaving prison and more.
Community Service Grants: Community service grants provide funds to benefit the greater good. The Corporation for National and Community Service provides community service grants to national and local nonprofits, schools, government agencies, faith-based and other community organizations and other groups committed to strengthening their communities.
Community Development and Transformation Grants: Community development and transformation grants are available from a wide range of resources. Revitalizing inner city areas, building safe playgrounds for our children and rebuilding after disasters are but a few of the uses for this type of grant.
Community Outreach Grants: Community outreach grants help provide funding needed by communities within the concentration efforts of women, children and the impoverished. Community outreach grants are used to improve the living conditions of children, youth and families and stabilize and strengthen the family unity.
Sustainable Community Grants: Sustainable community grants are funded to make a direct connection between community revitalization projects and address specific issues such as finance, marketing, land and water use, enterprise development, and value-added product development.
Whether it be keeping our kids safe, providing daycare for the elderly, rebuilding after disasters or simply helping new businesses get the assistance to succeed, if you have your community’s best interest at heart, you may qualify for community grants.