AARP AARP States California Livable Communities

AARP California Announces Grant Opportunity for “Quick-Action” Projects!

AARP Community Challenge

Applications are currently being accepted through Wednesday, April 1, 2020 11:59 p.m. ET.

We know that it takes time to build great communities, but we also believe that quick action can spark longer-term progress. AARP launched the AARP Community Challenge in 2017 to fund projects that build momentum to improve livability for all. We are excited to announce the program is back in 2020 for its 4th year and is currently accepting applications through the April 1st deadline.

The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to several thousand or tens of thousands for larger projects.

The program will accept applications for projects in the following categories:

  • *New in 2020* Increase civic engagement with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of community inclusion and diversity;
  • Create vibrant public places through permanent or temporary solutions that activate open spaces, improve parks and enhance access to amenities;
  • Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options through permanent or temporary solutions that increase walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements;
  • Support the availability of a range of housing through permanent or temporary solutions that increase accessible and affordable housing options;
  • Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” by developing and implementing innovative programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding and using data and participating in decision-making to increase quality of life for all; and
  • Other innovative projects to improve the community.

“We are thrilled to bring this grant opportunity back to California in 2020 and we encourage all eligible organizations to apply,” said Nancy McPherson, AARP California State Director. “We’ve seen tangible results from the AARP Community Challenge grant program supporting communities in California as they make quick changes and inspire long-term progress.”

Since 2017, the AARP Community Challenge has funded 376 projects nationwide, including right here in California. The 2019 California Community Challenge Grant winners included:

  • City Heights Community Development Corporation: The project includes the facilitation and transformation of a currently vacant lot to a vibrant and age-friendly gathering place for people of all ages.
  • City of West Sacramento: The project includes the enhancement of public safety by using predictive analytics to identify older residents who are most at risk of harm from a residential fire, then providing targeted fire safety education to them, as well as free smoke and/or carbon monoxide alarms to a sub-set of very high-risk seniors.
  • Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust: The project includes the designing of an age-friendly park that empowers seniors by shaping the built environment to meet them where they are and accommodate those with limited mobility.
  • Thai Community Development Center: The project includes façade improvements to enhance the approachability and accessibility of the development center, which serves people of all ages, especially older residents.

The application deadline for 2020 AARP Community Challenge grants is Wednesday, April 1, 2020, 11:59 p.m. ET. All projects must be completed by Monday, November 9, 2020.

For more information or to apply, visit

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