Note: AARP has extended the Community Challenge Grant timeline in response to the Coronavirus and to allow communities more time to prepare their applications. Applications will now be accepted until May 15, 2020 (11:59 pm ET). Winning grants will be announced in August and all projects must be completed by December 18.
AARP has opened applications for the 2020 AARP Community Challenge grant program to fund “quick-action” projects that spark change across the country. Now in its fourth year, the program is part of AARP’s nationwide work on Livable Communities. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to several thousand, or tens of thousands for larger projects.
“We are thrilled to bring this grant opportunity back to Washington in 2020, and we encourage all eligible organizations to apply,” said Amanda Frame, AARP Washington Director of Community Outreach. “We’ve seen tangible results from the AARP Community Challenge grant program supporting communities in Washington as they make quick changes and inspire long-term progress.”
The AARP 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. AARP will prioritize projects with permanent or temporary solutions that aim to achieve one or more of the following outcomes.
- Increase civic engagement with innovative and tangible projects.
New in 2020, this category is intended to bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of community inclusion and diversity;
- 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 the availability of a variety of housing that increases accessible and affordable housing options.
- Demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” with programs that engage residents in accessing, understanding and using data, and participating in decision-making to increase the quality of life for all.
- Other innovative projects to improve the community.
Grant projects in the Evergreen state have helped communities increase civic participation, improve transportation options, and create vibrant public places. In 2017, the City of Seattle sponsored a hackathon called A City for All, which challenged data scientists, designers, urban planners, and software developers to use technology-based solutions to foster a vibrant Seattle for people of all ages and abilities. Last year, Sound Generations worked with Hopelink to educate riders about a variety of transportation options to improve independence and mobility. Our beloved Pike Place Market used their grant to make the market more accessible via wayfinding signs so people could better locate services available in the market.
Since 2017, AARP has awarded 376 grants through the AARP Community Challenge to nonprofit organizations and government entities representing 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Visit www.AARP.org/CommunityChallenge to see some of the 2019 winners in action.
AARP Washington works in collaboration 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.