Rural Communities: Funding

Talent Search Grants, Application Deadline: February 26

US Department of Education invites public or private agencies, institutions of higher education, and/or secondary schools to apply under the Talent Search Grant program for funding to support the identification of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds with potential for education at the postsecondary level and encourage them to complete secondary school and undertake postsecondary education. Applications are due February 26, 2021. 

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Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI)Application Deadline: January 26, 2021

The purpose of the SCRI program is to address the critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems.

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Rural Relief Small Business Grants, Application Deadline: January 26 – February 2, 2021

We will support small businesses and enterprises affected by Covid-19 across the country, especially those in underserved communities, including entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses that often lack access to flexible, affordable capital.

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NEA Big Read, Application Deadline: January 27, 2021

Applicant organizations for NEA Big Read must be a 501c (3) nonprofit; a division of state, local, or tribal government; or a tax-exempt public library.

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Workforce Pathways for Youth Grant Program, Deadline: February 4

This Announcement solicits applications for the Workforce Pathways for Youth grant program. The purpose of this program is to increase alignment between workforce and OST programs and expand job training and workforce pathways for youth and disconnected youth including soft skill development, career exploration, job readiness and certification, summer jobs, year-round job opportunities, and apprenticeships.

This grant program will help establish lasting connections and partnerships between existing OST program activities and other state and local workforce partners to better address the need for youth exposure to career-related services, which support and prepare youth to enter the workforce.

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Rural Emergency Medical Services Training Grant, Deadline: February 16

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2021 Rural Emergency Medical Services Training grants (Short Title: EMS Training). The purpose of this program is to recruit and train emergency medical services (EMS) personnel in rural areas. SAMHSA recognizes the great need for emergency services in rural areas and the critical role EMS personnel serve across the country.

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Veteran Housing GrantsApplication Deadline: March 26, 2021 OR July 9, 2021

The Foundation’s Veteran Housing Grants Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations for the new construction or rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing for veterans. Awards typically range from $100,000 to $500,000.

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Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program, Application Deadline: April 1, 2021

This program provides loan guarantees up to $250 million to assist in the development, construction and retrofitting of new and emerging technologies. These technologies are: advanced biofuelsrenewable chemicals and biobased products.

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Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program (RHSE), Application Deadline: April 29, 2021

The RHSE program proposals are expected to be community-based outreach education programs, such as those conducted through Human Science extension outreach.

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Water & Waste Disposal Loan & Grant Program – Application Deadline: Ongoing

USDA Rural Development provides funding for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.



USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program: New Solicitation

New info is available here. The second round will aim to purchase up to $1.47 billion July 1 through August 31, 2020. AMS may elect to extend the period of performance of the contracts, via option periods, dependent upon program success and available remaining funds, up to $3 billion. Additional Contracts announcement here.


Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants

This program helps eligible communities prepare, or recover from, an emergency that threatens the availability of safe, reliable drinking water. The following events qualify as an emergency: drought or flood; earthquake; tornado or hurricane; disease outbreak; Chemical spill, leak or seepage; or other disasters. PLEASE NOTE: A federal disaster declaration is not required for eligibility.

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EDA SPRINT Challenge “Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation & Technology”, Deadline: December 3

Estimated Program Funding: $25,000,000 / Award Ceiling: $750,000.  Expected Number of Awards: 100. The SPRINT Challenge is a national competition funded by the CARES Act. The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) seeks projects that aim to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic and future pandemics. EDA is soliciting applications for investments that support regional innovation economies to address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation.



Intervention/Communication Strategies to Reduce Health Risks of Wildfire Smoke Exposure. Applications accepted through December 15

EPA, as part of its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program, is seeking applications proposing research that will address behavioral, technical and practical aspects of interventions and communication strategies to reduce exposures and/or health risks of wildfire smoke. To improve individual and public health, this RFA will seek to understand what actions might be effective for reducing adverse health outcomes of ambient and indoor exposures to wildfire smoke, and how best to communicate these actions to various groups. This RFA is also supported by EPA’s Air and Energy research program, which supports research needed to inform decisions regarding air quality to protect public health and the environment. Applications will be accepted through December 15, 2020.

How to Apply.

Apply Here.


USDA Seeks Applications for Community Connect Grants to Fund Broadband in Unserved Rural Areas – Application Deadline: December 23

USDA is accepting applications to provide broadband service in unserved rural areas. USDA is making grants available under the Community Connect Grant program for Fiscal Year 2021. The program provides financial assistance to eligible applicants that will provide broadband service in rural, economically challenged communities where broadband service does not exist. Grant recipients must provide broadband speeds of at least 25 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 3 Mbps upstream to all premises in the proposed service area. Read the full stakeholder announcement here. Community Connect Grants



No Kid Hungry Early Childhood Grant, Deadline: December 29

This grant opportunity will provide funding to organizations working to decrease food insecurity among children from birth to 5 years old. Community organizations, early childcare centers, healthcare providers and others working to ensure vulnerable young children have access to healthy food are encouraged to apply for a grant.



Water Conservation Field Services Program: Financial Assistance for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021 – Deadline: Dec. 31, 2020

The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America’s Resources for Tomorrow) Program provides a framework for Federal leadership and assistance to stretch and secure water supplies for future generations in support of DOI priorities. Through WaterSMART, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) leverages Federal and non-Federal funding to work cooperatively with states, tribes, and local entities as they plan for and implement actions to increase water supply reliability through investments in existing infrastructure and attention to addressing local water conflicts.



Grant: Community Facilities (CF) Direct Loan & Grant Program – Deadline: Ongoing

USDA Rural Development provides funding to construct, enlarge, or improve essential community facilities in rural areas. USDA has more than $2 Billion still available for rural communities to build or modernize education, health care, municipal and public safety facilities this fiscal year.



Grant: Rural Energy for America Program – Deadline: Ongoing

USDA Rural Development offers Rural Energy for America Program funding to be used for renewable energy systems such as anaerobic digesters, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, wind and solar as well as energy efficiency improvements to heating, ventilation and cooling systems; insulation; and lighting and refrigeration.



Grant: Rural LISC – Community Facilities Fund – Deadline: ongoing

Local Initiatives Support Corporation created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000.



Grant Information: USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Water & Environmental Programs – Applications Accepted on Continual Basis until Funds are Exhausted

Through Rural Utilities Service Water and Environmental Programs (WEP), rural communities obtain the technical assistance and financing necessary to develop drinking water and waste disposal systems.  Safe drinking water and sanitary waste disposal systems are vital not only to public health, but also to the economic vitality of rural America. The USDA’s Rural Utilities Service Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) has $165,475,000 in supplemental grant funding available for repairs to drinking water systems and sewer and solid waste disposal systems impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Entities wishing to apply for assistance or needing additional information should contact USDA Rural Development State Office in Temple, TX.



Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP)Deadline: Open

USDA Rural Development loans help rural families and small businesses achieve cost savings by providing loans to qualified consumers to implement durable cost-effective energy efficiency measures. A Letter of Intent is required. 



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