AARP Washington invites local eligible organizations and governments across the country to apply for the 2023 AARP Community Challenge grant program, now through March 15, 2023 (deadline 5 p.m. Eastern Time). Community Challenge grants fund quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public spaces, transportation, housing, civic engagement, diversity and inclusion, and more.
Now in its seventh year, the Community Challenge Grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and rural areas to become great places to live for all residents, especially those age 50 and older.
“AARP Washington is committed to helping communities across the state become great places to live for people of all ages with an emphasis on people age 50 and older,” said AARP Washington Outreach Director Amanda Frame. “The Community Challenge has proven that quick-action projects can lead to long-lasting improvements enhancing Washingtonians’ quality of life.”
Previous Community Challenge grants have led to impressive results with nearly half of grantees leveraging their projects into additional funding support from private and public sector partners and eight in ten overcoming barriers and advancing change.
In 2023, the AARP Community Challenge is accepting applications across three different grant opportunities, two of which are new this year:
- New this year, the program will provide capacity-building microgrants paired with additional resources, such as one-on-one coaching, webinars, cohort learning opportunities and more for improving walkability and starting or expanding a community garden.
- Also new this year, the Community Challenge will also offer demonstration grants. A portion will be focused on transportation improvements with funding support provided by Toyota Motor North America. Another portion of demonstration grants will focus on promoting greater awareness of the benefits of accessory dwelling units as a housing solution.
- AARP will also offer grants under a flagship opportunity to support projects that improve public places; transportation; housing; diversity, equity and inclusion; digital connections; community health and economic empowerment; civic engagement; and—new this year—community resilience.
All projects must be consistent with AARP’s mission to serve the needs of people 50 and older, along with other eligibility criteria. AARP will prioritize proposals that are inclusive, address disparities, and directly engage volunteers aged 50 and older.
Since 2017, AARP has awarded more than $12.7 million to over 1,060 projects—including 19 in Washington—through the Community Challenge to nonprofit organizations and government entities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The program provides direct support to all community types, including rural, suburban, and urban communities, with a special focus on the needs of those aged 50 and older.
The Community Challenge is open to eligible nonprofit organizations and government entities. Other types of organizations are considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to tens of thousands for larger projects.
The application deadline is Wednesday, March 15, 2023 (5 p.m. Eastern Time). All projects must be completed by November 30, 2023. To submit an application and view past grantees, visit www.AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.
AARP Washington collaborates with communities across the state, bringing people together, and providing resources and expertise to help make Washington’s counties, towns, and cities great places to live for people of all ages. For a list of 2022 projects awarded Community Challenge grant funds, click here. Previous years can be viewed here.
Contributor Christina Clem is a communications analyst at AARP Washington.