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Grant Opportunities

The following list represents current grant opportunities that may apply to local governments in Southeast Michigan. It is not an exhaustive list, but a compilation of opportunities made available to SEMCOG.

New SEMCOG report: Community and Economic Development Resource Guide for Local Governments

This report identifies grants and other resources available to communities for housing and neighborhood stabilization, community revitalization, and economic development. It provides a brief overview of key formula and competitive grants available to local communities from federal and state agencies generally associated with community and economic development. The guide also includes a number of technical assistance and loan programs that local communities can use to supplement other resources. View the report.  

Community and Economic Development

U.S. Economic Development Administration, Regional Innovation Strategies Program
Deadline: November 5, 2014

The 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition is designed to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. Local governments are encouraged to apply for this year’s program, which includes $15 million in funding for the following programs:
1. i6 Challenge ($8M): The i6 Challenge, in its fourth iteration, is a leading national initiative designed to support the creation of centers for innovation and entrepreneurship that increase the commercialization of innovations, ideas, intellectual property and research into viable companies. EDA expects to award approximately 16 or more grants each valued at a maximum of $500,000. Applicants must demonstrate a matching share (cash, in-kind, or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions), which must be available and committed to the project from non-Federal sources. The amount of an EDA grant may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of each project.

2. Science and Research Park Development ($5M): The grant program provides funding for feasibility and planning for the construction of new or expanded science or research parks, or the renovation of existing facilities. EDA expects to award approximately 10 or more grants each valued at a maximum of $500,000. No match is required for this grant.

3. Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds ($2M): These cluster grants provide funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds that are offered to innovation-based, growth-oriented start-up companies in exchange for equity. EDA expects to award approximately 8 or more grants each valued at a maximum of $250,000. Applicants must demonstrate a matching share (cash, in-kind, or a combination of cash and in-kind contributions), which must be available and committed to the project from non-Federal sources. The amount of an EDA grant may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of each project.

For more information, please visit the EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies website.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Deadline: Optional Letters of Intent – October 17, 2014
Application: November 21, 2014

Promise Zones are part of President Obama’s plan to create a new pathway to the middle class by partnering with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, improve educational opportunities, and reduce violent crime.

Urban, rural, and tribal communities nationwide are invited to put forward a plan to partner with local business and community leaders to make evidence-based investments that reward hard work and expand opportunity. In exchange, these designees will receive priority access to federal investments that further their strategic plans, federal staff on the ground to help them implement their goals, and five full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to recruit and manage volunteers and strengthen the capacity of the Promise Zone initiatives.

Eligible lead applicants include local units of government, nonprofit organizations, public housing agencies applying in partnership with local government and community colleges applying in partnership with local government.

All of the following must be present in an application for a proposed Promise Zone in an urban area to be eligible for designation:

  1. Must encompass one or more census tract(s) or portions of census tract(s) across a contiguous geography
  2. The rate of overall poverty or Extremely Low Income Rate (whichever is greater) of residents within the Promise Zone must be at or above 33 percent
  3. Promise zone boundaries must encompass a population of at least 10,000 but no more than 200,000 residents
  4. Local leadership, including the mayors or chief executive of all local governments represented in the Promise Zone must demonstrate commitment to the Promise Zone effort.

Additional information, including eligibility information for rural and tribal areas, can be found on the HUD Promise Zone website.

Webinar schedule:
Tribal Webcast            September 29th           1:00pm - 2:00pm
Rural Webcast             September 29th            3:00pm - 4:00pm
Urban Webcast            October 1, 2014           3:00pm - 4:00pm


U.S. Department of Agriculture: Rural Development's Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan Program
Deadline: Rolling

The purpose of the B&I Guaranteed Loan Program is to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities. This purpose is achieved by bolstering the existing private credit structure through the guarantee of quality loans which will provide lasting community benefits. A borrower may be a cooperative organization, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity organized and operated on a profit or nonprofit basis; an Indian tribe on a Federal or State reservation or other Federally recognized tribal group; a public body; or an individual. For more information, please visit the USDA Business Assistance website.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Program
Deadline: September 30, 2014

The Coastal Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. Estimated total program funding is $6 million with an individual award ceiling of $500,000. Closing date for applications is September 30, 2014. Applicants seeking funding under this program should review the program strategic plan and also contact the regional Coastal Program office prior to submitting an application for funding.

Environmental Protection Agency, Projects to Improve Air Quality at Ports
Deadline: December 11, 2014

EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) is soliciting proposals that achieve significant reductions in diesel emissions in terms of tons of pollution produced by diesel engines and diesel emissions exposure, from fleets operating at marine and inland water ports located in areas of poor air quality.

Eligible diesel vehicles, engines and equipment may include drayage trucks, marine engines, locomotives and nonroad engines, equipment or vehicles used in the handling of cargo at a marine or inland water port.

Eligible entities include public port authorities and state or local government agencies with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality.

The total estimated funding for this competition is approximately $5 million. EPA anticipates awarding two to five cooperative agreements from this announcement. Applicants cannot request more than $2 million in federal funding.

For more information, please visit the grant announcement website.

U.S. Forest Service – The Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program
Deadline: January 16, 2015

This is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller. The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits. Some of these benefits include sustainable forest management; clean air, water, wildlife habitat, and other environmental benefits: forest-based educational programs; service as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access.

The Administration proposed to fund the CFP at $1.683 million for fiscal year 2015. Individual grant applications may not exceed $400,000. All applicants must demonstrate a 50 percent match of the total project cost. The match can include cash, in-kind services, or donations, which shall be from a non-Federal source. For more information, please visit the U.S.F.S. Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program website.


The Center for Community Progress, Technical Assistance Scholarship Program
Deadline: November 5, 2014
Informational Webinar: October 6, 2014

The Center for Community Progress seeks applications from public and nonprofit entities for the new, competitive Technical Assistance Scholarship Program, which serves communities in need of technical assistance to assess, reform, develop and/or implement systems to address large-scale vacancy and abandonment in their respective communities. This program provides the opportunity for communities to receive expert technical assistance from Community Progress at a significantly reduced rate.

Up to three applicants will be selected and each will receive up to 200 hours of direct technical assistance from a team of experts that specializes in relevant aspects of vacant, abandoned and problem property reclamation. The Technical Assistance Scholarship Program is focused on the following areas: Data and Information Systems, Tax Collection and Enforcement Reform, Strategic Code Enforcement, Land Bank and Land Banking Program Evaluation, and Vacant Land Maintenance and Reuse Strategies.

For more information, please visit the Center for Community Progress website.

Ongoing grant opportunities

Allstate Foundation

Funding programs at the national, regional, and local levels. Learn more

CVS Caremark Community Grants

This program provides financial assistance to nonprofit organizations that provide various services in communities including health care access, wellness, and prevention programs.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

In FY 2011, SEMCOG was awarded a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). As a result, the entire Southeast Michigan region has been designated with Preferred Sustainability Status (PSS), meaning applicants for certain other HUD discretionary grants can be awarded 2 bonus points on their applications. Interested applicants should visit SEMCOG’s PSS webpage.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The DNR's Grants webpage includes several resources, including a list of available grants by type.

MiRecGrants is Michigan DNR's homebase for local units of government applying for Michigan Recreation Grants. It hosts the creation, management, submission, tracking, and amending of grant applications and awarded grants.

Grant writing resources

American Grant Writers' Association - find information on hiring a Certified Grant Writer. 

Grant Writing USA provides grant writing and grant management workshops through the United States.

SEMCOG members may request a scholarship for a two-day workshop on grant writing or grant management. The grant writing covers how to write grant proposals start to finish and how to locate and track relevant grant opportunities. Federal, state, local and non-governmental, private sector grants are covered. You'll learn everything you need to know to get started writing grants. Contact Susan Stefanski for more information.

View a list of previous grant-funded projects within SEMCOG's AgileGov database.