5 Strategies for Grant Success in 2024
As we enter 2024, the TARCOG Economic Development and Planning (ED&P) staff are announcing a new process to create more competitive grant applications to fund needed projects in the region.
“Usually, our government leaders know what is needed but just need a way to fund it,” said Lee Terry, director of ED&P at TARCOG.
Planning ahead is critical to the process, Terry said. While grant application deadlines may be months away, the time to start work on applications is now.
“If there is any project you’d like to do or if you’re looking for assistance or funding in any way, let us know because we may be able to help identify potential funding sources,” Terry said. “But we have to start thinking about the projects we want to do and begin taking steps to get ready to apply now.”
He said TARCOG staff are a resource for general guidance and to help focus an idea into a viable project.
“We are here to assist with project development and to provide guidance through the process,” he added.
For example, on Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grants, Terry and the TARCOG staff have identified five steps that members must complete before an application can be started:
- If in need of assistance to develop ideas, contact the TARCOG planning staff at 256-716-2483.
- Schedule a preliminary meeting with TARCOG to discuss ideas and project development.
- Procure an architect or engineer for the project.
- Have all preliminary engineering reports with cost estimates and design.
- If providing a match, the funding source needs to be identified and set aside or committed, preferably by resolution.
2024 Highlights of Grant Opportunities for TARCOG Members
CDBG funded by ADECA. Applications are due in July.
- Competitive Fund – Typical activities include water/sewer extensions and rehab, housing rehab, neighborhood and downtown revitalization, and street and drainage improvements.
- County Fund – Up to $500,000. County governments are eligible.
- Large City Fund – Up to $500,000. Non-entitlement communities are eligible. 2020 Census population 3,001 or more
- Small City Fund – Up to $400,000. 2020 Census population 3,000 or less
- Community Enhancement Fund – Up to $400,000. Available to all eligible communities and typical activities include fire protection, senior citizen centers, community centers, boys’ and girls’ clubs, recreational facilities, etc.
- Planning Fund – Up to $40,000 max. Available to all eligible communities
- Economic Development Fund. For projects supporting the creation or retention of jobs. Applicants should have a commitment from the business to create or retain 15 or more jobs. Available to all eligible communities. A 20 percent match is required. Includes:
- ED Grants – Up to $400,000 max
- ED Incubator – Up to $400,000 max
- ED Loans – Up to $250,000 max
- ED Float Loans – Up to $10 million max
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Grant Opportunities from federal and state sources. Application deadlines are in June. Projects must promote in some way government, nonprofits or higher education.
Area Development Program
- Construction — Up to $500,000 for critical infrastructure like:
- Transportation networks
- Other regional economic development
- Non-Construction — Up to $350,000 for business and workforce development like:
- Worker training and education
- Food systems
- Other human capital development
Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies – ARISE. Funded by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 that invests $1 trillion to fix our nation’s infrastructure while creating over two million jobs through 2031. Qualifying projects:
Large scale regional economic transformation, multi state collaboration, for business and industry. Up to $500,000 for planning and up to $10 million for implementation.
Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems Initiative — INSPIRE.
Substance use disorder crisis in Appalachia by creating or expanding recovery ecosystems that will to workforce entry or re-entry.
Partnership for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative — POWER. Targets federal resources to communities affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations and coal related supply chain issues.
Workforce Opportunities for Rural Communities — WORC Provide training and support activities to dislocated workers, new workforce entrants, incumbent workers, and individuals affected by substance use disorder.
Building Appalachian Businesses. Investments in entrepreneurship and home-grown business development to help communities build sustainable, diverse economies.
Workforce Ecosystems. Expand and strengthen community systems including education, healthcare, housing and childcare.
Community Infrastructure. Access to reliable and affordable utilities and infrastructure
Regional Culture and Tourism. Preserving and investing in the Region’s local, cultural heritage, and natural assets to strengthen economic potential.
Leaders and Local Capacity. Investing in the capacity of local leaders, organizations, and communities to address local challenges to strengthen the region’s economic prosperity.
Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Grant
Application deadlines are in November. Grant funding for state recreation projects that conform to the goals outlined in the Alabama Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.
Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant – (JAG) Grant is the primary provider of federal criminal justice funding to states and units of local government. Due in August.
The grant is often used for law enforcement equipment needs but it can be used to support a range of program areas including law enforcement, prosecution, indigent defense, courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, planning, evaluation, technology improvement, crime victim and witness initiatives, mental health programs and related law enforcement and corrections programs, including behavioral programs and crisis intervention teams, and implementation of state crisis intervention court proceedings and related programs or initiatives including, but not limited to, mental health courts, drug courts, veterans courts, and extreme risk protection order programs.
Recreational Trails Program (RTP) The RTP was created in 1998 and is funded through the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. The RTP provides grant assistance to State and Federal agencies and local units of government for the acquisition and/or development/improvement of recreational trails and trail related resources. Examples of eligible trail types include but are not limited to walking, jogging, cycling, skating, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, off-highway vehicle, and equestrian.
Lee said there are many other grant opportunities available with rolling deadlines, another reason why it’s important to connect with staff to discuss the options. For more information contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org 256-716-2483.