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AARP AARP States Wisconsin

Apply for the Small Dollar, Big Impact Grant by June 18th, 2024.

Small Dollar, Big Impact Grant: make a remarkable impact on your community

Current deadline: June 18th, 2024. Apply today.

About the Small Dollar, Big Impact Grant

Applications are accepted from across Wisconsin for “Small Dollar, Big Impact” grants, which will be awarded to new projects that are designed to improve a community and make it a better place for everyone to live, work, and play as they age. Projects must use the AARP Livable Communities Resource library in their development. Within the resource library you will find publications and tool kits that provide ideas on placemaking, public space improvements, or simple ways to address walkability, to name a few. AARP Wisconsin may award a grant of up to $1,000 to at least one eligible applicant. The grant amount could be a portion of or the total cost for the project. All projects must be completed within 60 days from winner announcement. if your project includes public engagement, please ensure that the activities follow all local/state guidelines.

Small Dollar, Big Impact grants are exactly what the name describes – simple, short-term, low-cost solutions that could have remarkable impacts on the shaping of neighborhoods and cities. There are so many great ideas and proposals for making life better in communities across Wisconsin. We know how impactful $1,000 can be. This is our way of extending some seed money to get these projects off the ground.

The “Small Dollar, Big Impact” grant program is open to some nonprofits and government entities in Wisconsin. Full eligibility is listed below.

Wondering what kinds of projects we're looking for? Take a look our Past Recipients section to see what projects we've funded in previously.


The program is open to the following types of entities:

  • 501(C)(3), 501(C)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits
  • Government entities
  • Tribal entities
  • Must be located within the State of Wisconsin

Note that for-profit entities are NOT eligible to apply.

The following projects are NOT eligible for funding:

  • Partisan, political or election-related activities
  • Planning activities and assessments and surveys of communities
  • Publication of books or reports
  • Acquisition of land and/or buildings
  • Sponsorships of other organizations’ events or activities
  • Research and development for a nonprofit endeavor
  • Research and development for a for-profit endeavor
  • The promotion of a for-profit entity and/or its products and services

Selection Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a small team of community focused stakeholders who have experience in neighborhood and city development. Reviewers will assess each project based on the following factors:

  • WOWNESS: does it make us say, "holy coleslaw-on-a-sandwich, that's awesome and creative!"?
  • USEFULNESS: will this grant make a real difference in getting the project off the ground in the near future?
  • NICENESS: would the idea make people happy or help people?
  • BIGNESS/ LOCAL IMPACT: does this project have the potential to reach many people in the community? Is it scalable?

Upcoming Deadlines

Small Dollar, Big Impact Grants are reviewed on a rolling basis. The deadlines for review are listed below:

  • June 18th, 2024
  • July 16th, 2024
  • August 20th, 2024
  • September 17th, 2024
  • October 15th, 2024
  • November 19th, 2024

Past Recipients

2022 Recipients

2021 Recipients

2020 Recipients

Terms and Conditions

By submitting an application to AARP-WI, the applicant agrees that:

  • The decisions of AARP regarding the eligibility of participants and the validity of entries shall be final and binding.
  • All submissions will be judged by AARP-WI, whose decisions and determinations as to the administration of the award and selection of award recipients are final.
  • AARP has the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, or suspend the award.
  • All projects and applications shall not violate any third-party rights.
  • Except where prohibited by law, participation in the AARP- WI Small Dollar, Big Impact Grant constitutes the Applicant’s consent to AARP’s use of the organization’s name and corporate logo, street address, city, state, zip code, county, and names, likenesses, photographs, videos, images, and statements made or provided by the Applicant’s representatives regarding the award for promotional purposes in any media without further permission, consent, payment or other consideration.

All promotional materials (such as newsletters, press releases), events and signage related to the funded project will include a statement indicating that support was received from AARP-Wisconsin.

The organization is required to capture photos of the project and is encouraged to capture video. As the organization captures photos and video of the project, if an identifiable individual appears in the photos and/or videos, the organization is responsible for having him/her sign the AARP General Release (this document will be provided to grantees with the MOU and other required paperwork). In addition, the organization should not include any element in photos or videos provided to AARP-WI that may violate third party rights such as artwork and trademarks in text and logo other than those owned by the organization and AARP-WI. The organization should be prepared to send work in progress photos to AARP-WI upon request.

AARP and its affiliated organizations, subsidiaries, agents and employees are not responsible for late, lost, illegible, incomplete, stolen, misdirected, illegitimate, or impermissible submissions or any other error whether human, mechanical or electronic.

About AARP Wisconsin
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