Community improvement grants are grants provided to communities to fund projects which are designed to improve the community in some way. Many of these grants come from government agencies, although others can come from private companies interested in contributing to communities. In order to obtain a community improvement grant, it is necessary to file a grant application describing the nature of a proposed project, demonstrating community support for the project, and providing an estimate of costs.
Funds from these grants can be used in a wide variety of ways. For example, many communities apply for “block” or “neighborhood” beautification grants, in which the funds are used on a beautification project such as planting trees, creating ornamental markers in the neighborhood, creating murals on commercial building, or landscaping. Such grants can also be used to improve accessibility in a neighborhood, to repair damaged or aging roadways, to replace or add lights to control traffic, and so forth.
Improvement grants can also be used to fund community initiatives which will improve life in the community. Such initiatives can include things like after school programs, community health education programs, outreach programs for the elderly, and so forth. The grant funds can be used for everything from purchasing and outfitting a facility for administering such programs, to paying the staffers who make the program possible.
Another use for community improvement grants can include housing and renewal. Such grants can be used to promote affordable housing initiatives, to provide assistance to people who want to perform maintenance such as painting on housing and other structures, or to find research which will be used to shape the building plan for a community. Other community improvement grants can cover topics like encouraging alternative energy use, promoting tourism, collecting community history, preserving historical buildings of interest, and an assortment of other projects.
A wide variety of things could be considered “community improvement.” Grant applications for community improvement grants are more likely to be approved if people can demonstrate in a meaningful way that the funds will truly benefit the community, and if the application shows exactly how the funds will be used and accounted for. Having a professional grant writer prepare or assist with the application can be beneficial, as grant writers are accustomed to the ins and outs of the process and they can help people avoid common pitfalls which might limit the amount of funds available.