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AARP Wisconsin accepting 2023 Community Challenge grant applications

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AARP Wisconsin

AARP Wisconsin

AARP Wisconsin invites eligible organizations and governments across the state to apply for the 2023 AARP Community Challenge grant program, now through March 15.

These 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 in Wisconsin and across the entire country to become great places to live for all residents, especially those age 50 and older.

“By 2030, one out of every five Americans will be 65 or older, but many communities may not be ready to support the needs of residents of all ages and abilities,” said AARP Wisconsin State Director Martha Cranley. “The AARP Community Challenge grant program has demonstrated that by supporting local leaders and organizations’ efforts to strengthen their communities, we can improve the quality of life for the very young, the very old and everyone in between.”

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, AARP 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; civic engagement; community health and economic empowerment; and new this year community resilience; and digital connections.

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 across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 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 and older.

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 4:00 p.m. March 15. All projects must be completed by Nov. 30, 2023. To submit an application and view past grantees, visit www.AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.

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