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AARP Grant Opportunity: Quick-Action Community Improvement Projects

Seattle downtown and Space Needle view, Washington, USA

We know that it takes time to build great communities. But we also believe that tangible improvements can spark long-term change. AARP launched the Community Challenge grant program in 2017 to fund projects that build momentum to improve livability nationwide. We are excited to announce the program is back in 2024 for its eighth year and is currently accepting applications online through March 6, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time.

The AARP Community Challenge’s focus on tangible projects, community engagement, and its quick-action timeline helps selected grantees fast-track ideas and replicate promising practices. Previous projects have demonstrated an ability to garner additional funds or support from public and private funders, encourage innovation, overcome local policy barriers and receive greater overall awareness and engagement.

The grant program is open to 501c3, 501c4, and 501c6 nonprofits and government entities. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to several thousand or tens of thousands for larger projects.

In 2024, the AARP Community Challenge is accepting applications across three different grant opportunities:

  • Flagship Grants—This is AARP’s traditional, flagship Community Challenge grant program where grants have ranged from several hundred dollars for smaller, short-term activities to tens of thousands of dollars for larger projects. These grants will support projects that improve public places; transportation; housing; digital connections; community resilience; and community health and economic empowerment.
  • Capacity-Building Microgrants—These $2,500 grants are combined with additional valuable resources such as webinars, cohort learning opportunities, up to two hours of one-on-one coaching, and AARP publications. This grant opportunity will accept applications for projects that support walk audits, bike audits, and HomeFit® modifications.
  • Demonstration Grants—Supporting demonstration efforts that encourage replication of promising local efforts, this grant opportunity will accept applications for digital connectivity to prepare for and respond to disasters; equitable engagement to reconnect communities; and housing choice design competitions.

“We are thrilled to open the AARP Community Challenge grant program once again and we encourage all eligible organizations to apply,” said Marguerite Ro, AARP Washington State Director. “Past grantees have made tangible improvements that spark long-term change in communities across Washington.”

Since 2017, the AARP Community Challenge has funded over 1,370 projects nationwide, including 25 here in Washington state.

The AARP Community Challenge grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities, and counties across the country to become great places to live for people of all ages. We believe that communities should provide residents of all ages (especially people 50 and older) with safe, walkable streets; affordable and accessible housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities to participate in community life.

The application deadline for the 2024 grant cycle is March 6, 2024, at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time. All projects must be completed by December 15, 2024.

To apply or learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge here in Washington and across the nation, visit

Contributor Amanda Frame directs community outreach for AARP Washington. For information about AARP activities in Washington state, visit