AARP Montana Accepting 2022 Community Challenge Grant Applications

Posted on 01/25/22

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The annual grants aim to help make already great communities across Montana become even better

AARP Montana invites local organizations and governments across the state to apply for the 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant program, now through March 22, 2022. Grants fund quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public spaces, transportation, housing, civic engagement, coronavirus recovery, diversity and inclusion, and more. Now in its sixth year, the 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.

“AARP Montana is excited to kick-off the Community Challenge Grants again in 2022 helping already great communities across Montana become even better places for people of all ages to live and thrive.” said AARP Montana State Director, Tim Summers. “The program has proven that quick-action projects can lead to long-lasting improvements right where Montanans live.”

AARP will prioritize proposals that are inclusive, address disparities, directly engage volunteers, support residents age 50 and older and aim to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Support communities’ efforts to build engagement and leverage funding available under new federal programs through laws like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and more.
  • Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.
  • Support a range of housing options that increases the availability of accessible and affordable choices.
  • Ensure a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion while improving the built and social environment of a community.
  • Increase civic engagement with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion.
  • Other community improvements; including health services, community development, and coronavirus pandemic recovery.

Since 2017, AARP Montana has awarded 26 Community Challenge grants totaling $239,028 to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state. Nationally, AARP has awarded over 800 grants through the Community Challenge 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. Previous projects have enabled long-term progress by garnering additional support from public and private funders, encouraging similar improvements throughout the community, advancing local policy, and generating engagement among residents and local leaders to advocate for change.

The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits 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 5:00 p.m. ET, March 22, 2022. All projects must be completed by November 30, 2022. To submit an application and view past grantees, visit www.AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.

AARP Montana works in collaboration with communities across the state, bringing people together, and providing resources and expertise to help make Montana’s counties, towns and cities great places to live for people of all ages. Last year, the projects funded in Montana include:

Projects funded by AARP’s national Livable Communities team:
$17,000 – Roundup Community Partners for Main Street Accessibility Project
$27,400 – Helena: The Myrna Loy for artistic neighborhood enhancements
$5,000 – Great Falls: YWCA for providing educational opportunities on social equity/inclusion

Projects funded by AARP Montana State Office:
$2,350 - Beaverhead Trails Coalition: Dillon-Walking Trail improvements
$5,000 - Prairie County Economic Development Council: Fairgrounds covered picnic area
$4,000 - Rails to Trails Kalispell: Art installation in Tunnels
$2,000 - Ravalli County Aging: Hamilton Community Garden
$5,000 - Montana State Park Federation: Somers Park amenities and Welcome Kiosk
$5,000 - Anaconda Economic Development Corporation: Downtown Placemaking

About AARP:
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.  To learn more visit www.aarp.org, www.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

About AARP Montana:
For nearly 50 years, AARP has been working right here in big sky country to improve the lives of the 50 plus. As a non-profit organization, AARP Montana advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. By fighting on issues that matter most to Montana families and providing trusted information, we’re helping to empower Montanans to choose how they live as they age. Today, over 137,000 strong, AARP Montana is one of the largest membership organizations in the state.  As a nonpartisan organization, AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political action committees, campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org/MT or follow @AARPMontana on social media.

This story is provided by AARP Montana. Visit the AARP Montana page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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