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AARP Montana Accepting 2023 Community Challenge Grant Applications

AARP Montana has granted funds for a variety of projects  in communities around the state, including parks and trail projects
AARP Montana has granted funds for a variety of projects in communities around the state, including parks and trail projects

The annual program aims to make great Montana communities even better for people of all ages

AARP Montana invites eligible organizations and local governments across the state to apply for the 2023 AARP Community Challenge grant program, now through March 15, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. Mountain time.

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 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 Montana is committed to helping great communities across the state become even better places to live for people of all ages, with an emphasis on people age 50 and older,” said Tim Summers, AARP Montana State Director. “The Community Challenge has proven that quick-action projects can lead to long-lasting improvements enhancing the quality of life for Montanans.”

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. 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 age 50 and older.

  • 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; and new this year community resilience; and civic engagement.

Since 2017, AARP has awarded more than $12.7 million to over 1,060 projects 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. Here in Montana, 36 Community Challenge grants totaling $317,780 have been awarded to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the state. The program provides direct support to all community types, including rural, suburban and urban communities with a special focus on the needs of those 50+.

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 3:00 p.m. Mountain, March 15, 2023. All projects must be completed by November 30, 2023. 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.

“Over the past six years we have funded 36 different Montana projects and we have worked with grantees on a wide range of ideas from creating safer streets, improving public transportation, trails and parks to creating community gardens and enlivening neighborhoods with murals, benches, lighting, planter boxes and bike racks,” concluded Summers. “We look forward to working with additional communities on new and innovative projects.”

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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.orgwww.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

About AARP Montana: For over 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. We’re committed to building stronger, more livable communities by granting funds through our Community Challenge Grant Program and working with Montanans to create safer streets, improve public transportation, trails & parks.

We also connect Montanans with information and resources as well as help people connect with others who share their interests and passions. 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. 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.

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