ECICOG writes and manages a wide variety of federal, state and philanthropic grants. Are there funding opportunities waiting for you?
National Trust Preservation Funds
Due June 1
Grants from National Trust Preservation Funds (NTPF) are intended to encourage preservation at the local level by providing seed money for preservation projects. These grants help stimulate public discussion, enable local groups to gain required technical expertise, introduce the public to preservation concepts and techniques, and encourage financial participation by the private sector. Visit the National Trust For Historic Preservation website to find additional information.
CDBG - Water & Sewer
Quarterly cycle, due July 31
This program is funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program with the goal of providing economic opportunities for people, especially those of low and moderate income. Funds awarded through this annual competitive program assist cities and counties with projects such as sanitary sewer system improvements, water system improvements, water and wastewater treatment facility projects, storm sewer projects related to sanitary sewer system improvements, and rural water connections. Visit the IEDA website for more details on fund amounts and qualifications, or contact Environmental Director Jennifer Fencl.
Meet in Iowa
Applications reviewed upon receipt
Given the success of the Meet In Iowa program in 2022, the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Tourism Office have extended the program into 2023. Modifications have been made to the program for 2023, but the goals of the Meet In Iowa program remain the same – to attract, retain, and expand in-person overnight meetings and events, increase mid-week overnight stays in the state, and provide incentive for groups to experience the tourism attractions in Iowa. For more information, visit the Meet In Iowa website.
T-Mobile Hometown Grants
Quarterly, due March 31
T-Mobile has designated up to $25 million over 5 years to support small towns across America by funding community projects. The T-Mobile Hometown Grants program will help fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections such as a town-square pavilion, a historic building, an outdoor park, a ball field or a library. For more information, visit the T-Mobile website.
Water/Sewer and Community Facilities CDBG
Due April 1
This Iowa Department of Economic Development program supports water and wastewater system improvements or building. The maximum award is $500,000. Contact Environmental Services Director Jennifer Fencl at email@example.com. Deadlines are quarterly, but applications are accepted at any time.
Art Project Grant
Due May 1
Apply for funding to support the creation and presentation of new artwork, development of an arts experience, or formation of an arts education program. Art Project Grants support arts activities that are accessible to Iowans and positively impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa. Iowa artists, nonprofits, and local governments are eligible to apply for up to $10,000. Visit the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs website for more information.
Iowa Cultural & Entertainment District Designation
Due May 1
Iowa Cultural & Entertainment District designation recognizes well-identified, walkable, mixed-use, compact areas of a city or county in which a high concentration of cultural facilities serves as the anchor. To be designated, a Cultural & Entertainment District must already be an area where arts and cultural activities thrive. Designation by the state is an achievement, intended to formally recognize that a particular locale is an acknowledged cultural destination. Apply to have your district recognized as a cultural destination in Iowa. Iowa Cultural & Entertainment District designation recognizes areas in communities where arts, culture and entertainment thrive. For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs website.
Rural Child Care Market Study
Due January 31
The Rural Child Care Market Study Grant program seeks to support the use of data and analysis by rural communities to determine the specific needs and solutions for child care in their area. Through greater understanding of a community’s geographic market, demographics, competition and other factors, the study seeks to provide the information needed to take proactive steps towards addressing child care challenges. Funding from the program will empower communities to assess their current child care market environment and develop strategies. For more information, visit the IEDA website.
Foundation for Parks and Recreation Mini Grants
Due January 31
The Iowa Foundation for Parks & Recreation Mini Grants provide funding for leisure facilities, activities, events, or programs to promote and improve leisure opportunities and amenities for citizens in small Iowa communities. An applicant must be a local, organized ongoing agency, group, organization, association or parks & recreation department within an Iowa community with a population of 10,000 or less. A match of a minimum of 50% of the requested grant amount is required. The match may be cash, donated items, or donated labor. An applicant may apply for up to $1,000. For more information, visit the Iowa Foundation for Parks and Recreation website.
Paint Iowa Beautiful
Due February 10
Through a partnership between the Keep Iowa Beautiful organization and Diamond Vogel Paint of Orange City, Iowa, groups can receive paint for community enhancement projects and parks. Thousands of gallons of paint have been donated to community groups through the Paint Iowa Beautiful program, which provides paint at no charge to a wide variety of public service projects throughout Iowa. For more information, visit the Keep Iowa Beautiful website or contact Jessica Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wellmark Healthy Food or Built Environment MATCH
Due February 17
Wellmark is making grants available for projects that increase access to healthy foods or to public facilities for physical activity in the built environment. Examples of healthy foods projects are aquaculture initiatives, community gardens and educational programs. Examples of built environment projects are pocket parks, playground structures and sport courts. These MATCH grant awards are up to a maximum request amount of $100,000 for projects that will be successfully completed by Dec. 31, 2024. The grant must be matched dollar-for-dollar with cash or in-kind contributions. For more examples of possible projects and full information on the grants, visit the Wellmark Foundation website.
Iowa Great Places Designation
Due February 17
The Iowa Great Places program seeks to recognize communities that take action to enhance their local places while staying true to the qualities that makes them unique. Designated communities have demonstrated a vision that values their cultural assets while challenging themselves to set realistic goals for advancing their quality of life. The program goals are to cultivate the unique and authentic qualities of Iowa neighborhoods, districts, communities and regions in order to make them great places to live and work. For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs website.
Derelict Building Program
Due February 24
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources makes the Derelict Building Program available to Iowa towns of 5,000 or fewer residents to address neglected commercial or public structures that have been vacant for at least 6 months. This program is for applicants who are seeking funding assistance with conducting asbestos inspections, asbestos abatement, structural engineering analysis, phase I and phase II site assessments, building deconstruction, and building renovation expenses. For more information, contact Alicia Presto at email@example.com.
USDA Rural Business Development Grant
Due February 28
The USDA Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) is a competitive grant designed to support technical assistance, training, and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas. To qualify, businesses must have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenues. Potential applicants may be rural public entities including, but not limited to, communities, state agencies, nonprofits, institutions of higher education, federally recognized tribes, and rural cooperatives. For more information, visit the USDA website.
Rural BOOST Pilot Program
Due March 1
The Rural Building Ownership & Organization by Strengthening Teams (BOOST) program aims to provide teams of experts to assist passionate community and business leaders in developing intentional plans for next step growth. This pilot program is designed for rural communities, nonprofits, or employers to receive personalized technical assistance for identifying and implementing actions to achieve greater success. The Rural BOOST is designed to assist businesses or communities which have plateaued or hit an unexpected challenge to gain momentum for new growth. For more information, visit the IEDA website or contact Jessica Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AARP Community Challenge
Due March 25
The AARP Community Challenge provides small grants to fund "quick-action" projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. Many of last year’s winning projects support revitalizing communities adversely impacted by the pandemic and include a focus on diversity, inclusion and disparities. Other project focuses include creating vibrant public places, improving the built and social environment of a community, delivering a range of transportation and mobility options, and increasing civic engagement. Visit the AARP website for updates and to see projects funded last year.
T-Mobile Hometown Grants
Due March 31
T-Mobile is committing up to $25 million over the next 5 years to support small towns across America by funding community projects. The T-Mobile Hometown Grants program will help fund projects to build, rebuild, or refresh community spaces that help foster local connections such as a town-square pavilion, a historic building, an outdoor park, a ball field or a library. For more information, visit the T-Mobile website.
IEDA Sports Tourism Grant
Due 90 days before tourism event
The Sports Tourism grant from the IEDA’s Enhance Iowa program will provide financial assistance for projects that market or promote sporting events in Iowa. Eligible sporting events include professional, collegiate and amateur level sporting events that occur in Iowa. Promotion/marketing activity can occur for up to two years. Cities, counties, Iowa not-for-profit economic development organizations or other Iowa not-for-profit organizations, including those that sponsor or support sporting events are eligible to apply for assistance of up to 50% of the eligible cost to actively promote or market an eligible sporting event. Eligible applicants can apply jointly. For more information, visit the IEDA website.
Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund
Due June 1
Working through many partners in Iowa, the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Living Roadway Trust Fund supports integrated roadside vegetation management and educates the public on the benefits, use, and care of roadside vegetation, including native plants. Counties and cities are eligible. Learn more about the application process at the Iowa Living Roadway Trust Fund website.
State Recreational Trails Program
Due July 31
The State Recreational Trails program (SRT) provides funds to establish recreational trails throughout Iowa for the use and enjoyment of the public. Federal, state, or local agencies can apply to fund the acquisition, construction, or improvement of public trails. Visit the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) website for more information. Contact Transportation Director Mary Rump with questions about the SRT program.
Housing Fund for Linn County Grants
to Organizations or Entities
Due March 28
The Board of Directors of the Housing Fund for Linn County (HFfLC) is making up to $225,000 available in grants to for-profit or nonprofit developers and businesses, and to governmental entities for housing initiatives that benefit households with income below 80 percent of the area median income (AMI) in Linn County. Eligible activities include development, reconstruction or rehabilitation of rental and owner-occupied housing; homeownership and rental assistance; and financing for the preservation or development of transitional housing or homeless shelters. Applications are available at www.ecicog.org/hfflc or by request from Tracey Achenbach, Executive Director, at email@example.com. Applications are due at the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) office no later than 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, 2023.
ECIHTF Housing Programs
Applications accepted at any time
The East Central Iowa Housing Trust Fund (ECIHTF) accepts applications from local governments and qualified housing providers needing financial assistance to implement affordable housing projects that will address the mission of ECIHTF. Nonprofit, for-profit, and governmental entities are eligible to apply for funding assistance from ECIHTF for affordable housing projects located within the counties of Benton, Iowa, Jones, and Washington. For more information about ECIHTF and other ECICOG Housing programs, visit the ECICOG website or contact Housing Director Tracey Achenbach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rural Housing Assessment
Due January 31
The Rural Housing Assessment Grant program provides funding to rural Iowa communities for conducting housing assessment activities with publicly available data and implementing changes through development codes, local ordinances and housing incentives. In partnership with Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach’s Rural Housing Readiness Assessment workshops, program funding will empower communities to assess the current development environment and enact changes resulting in the creation of policies and procedures attractive to potential developers. For more information, visit the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) website or contact Housing Director Tracey Achenbach at
Wildlife Habitat Grants
Due May 31
The DNR offers 75% cost-share funding to County Conservation Boards for the acquisition and development of lands for wildlife habitat. Lands must be open to hunting and trapping. Only those compatible activities such as fishing, hiking, nature study, cross-country skiing, etc., will be permitted. Grant applications for wildlife habitat projects are received two times a year, the last working day in May and in November. For more information, visit the DNR website or contact ECICOG Environmental Director Jennifer Fencl.
Solid Waste Alternative Program
Due July 3
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) works to reduce the amount of waste landfilled in Iowa through the Solid Waste Alternative Program (SWAP). SWAP provides financial assistance toward source reduction, recycling, and education projects such as installing waste reduction equipment, developing educational materials, or purchasing products with recycled content. Eligibility requirements can be found at the Iowa DNR website. Contact Alicia Presto for more information.
Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Program Notice of Intent
Due July 31
Later this year, FEMA is expected to announce the Unified Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant program for FY 2023, including Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC). Projects submitted for consideration must be consistent with the goals and objectives identified in Iowa’s State Hazard Mitigation Plan and the approved local mitigation plan for the jurisdiction in which the activity is located. The BRIC grant provides an opportunity for communities to initiate shovel-ready mitigation projects that provide protection against natural hazards. Applicants with proposed projects located in a FEMA-identified Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are eligible for funding only if the jurisdiction in which the project is located is participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Contact Resource Specialist Alicia Presto for more information.
Recycling Education and Outreach
Due February 15
The Recycling Education and Outreach Grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are for governments and other organizations to fund projects to improve consumer education and outreach on waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and composting. The program provides practical tools needed to reduce waste generation, decrease contamination in the recycling stream, and equitably increase recycling rates. Individual awards will range from $250,000 to $2,000,000. To learn more about this grant program, visit the EPA website or contact Alicia Presto at email@example.com.
EPA Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling
Due February 15
The Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling program provides grants to implement the National Recycling Strategy to improve post-consumer materials management and infrastructure, support improvements to local post-consumer materials management and recycling programs, and assist local waste management authorities in making improvements to local waste management systems.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides $275 million for Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling grants to support Building a Better America. The minimum award is $500,000, and the maximum is $4 million. For more information, visit the EPA website or contact Alicia Presto at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Land and Water Conservation Fund
Due March 15
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Program provides match funds of 50% for outdoor recreation area development and acquisition. Popular projects in recent years have included skate parks, playgrounds, new and renovated swimming pools, sport complexes, campgrounds, and multipurpose trails. Iowa's cities and counties are eligible to participate. Visit the Iowa DNR website for more information. Contact Environmental Services Director Jennifer Fencl at email@example.com for additional assistance.