Center for Rural Affairs offers resources for rural communities seeking federal grants 

Applying for federal grants can be challenging for rural communities. With limited resources and staff attention focused on day-to-day duties, dedicating time to the application process is not always feasible.

To ensure rural communities are not left out of an unprecedented opportunity to apply for federal grants for infrastructure, energy, and conservation projects through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, the Center for Rural Affairs has created two resources to assist with funding pursuits.

The “Grant Application Guide for Rural Communities” and “Grant Writer Resource List” are now available for download at cfra.org/rural-resources.

Val Ankeny, policy associate with the center, said the grant application guide can serve as a valuable tool for communities that have staff time or a desire to learn more about the process.

“The guide provides tips and information for identifying grant opportunities, preparing to apply, setting a timeline, and writing and submitting an application,” she said. “Additionally, the guide lists commonly used terms and phrases associated with grant application processes.”

Ankeny said rural communities and organizations lacking the financial resources to hire a staff person can turn to an outside source with the time and expertise to assist them.

“A federal grant application process can be daunting and time-consuming,” Ankeny said. “Grant writers are often dedicated to simplifying the process and can provide the personalized research and writing services necessary for creating a competitive application.”

Agencies and organizations included in the Center’s Grant Writer Resource List have experience with funding research and applications. Grant writer agreements can span from one-time application submissions to year-long contracts, including assistance with grant management and reporting requirements.

Ankeny hopes the resource guide and grant writer list can help local officials prepare competitive grant applications and secure funding.

“Grants through the BIL and IRA can bring financial stability and diversification of funding resulting in growth and increased impact,“ Ankeny said. “Our goal in creating the grant application guide was to demystify the process by walking community leaders through the various planning and application stages. However, we also know communities may face limitations going through the process on their own, so we wanted to offer a list of grant writer resources to connect them to services that best meet their needs.”

For additional resources and information on other grant opportunities for rural communities, visit cfra.org/rural-resources.