AARP Community Challenge Deadline is 3/6, and Other Age-Friendly Funding Opportunities

Feb 28, 2024

Less than one week remains until the deadline for the AARP Community Challenge, which provides small grants to fund quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. The AARP Community Challenge will be accepting applications for three different grant opportunities – Flagship Grants, Capacity-Building Microgrants and Demonstration Grants.

This is AARP’s flagship Community Challenge grant program where grants have ranged from several hundred dollars for smaller, short-term activities to tens of thousands of dollars for larger projects. These grants will support projects that improve public places; transportation; housing; digital connections; community resilience; and community health and economic empowerment.

Applications are being accepted now through March 6 at 5:00 p.m. ET / 2:00 p.m. PT and must be submitted through Projects must be completed by December 15, 2024. The program is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities.

More grant opportunities supporting age- and dementia friendly communities are available below:

Administered by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), The Funds are an opportunity to reduce health inequities in communities across Massachusetts by addressing the social determinants of health. They represent both a grantmaking and capacity-building resource to assist organizations and communities in addressing the root causes of health inequities, specifically institutional and structural racism. The Funds focus on investing in communities that have not historically and routinely benefitted from Determination of Need funding.

The Healthy Aging funding stream will invest in strategies that focus on the eight domains of livability for age-friendly communities defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and AARP. Healthy Aging projects should emphasize the social determinants of health, and policy, systems, and environmental change approaches.

More information is available in the grant RFP.

  • Health Foundation of Central Mass. 2024 Activation Fund

The Health Foundation announced the opening of their 2024 Activation Fund grant opportunity to target community-identified health issues and support innovative approaches to addressing health issues in the region. This opportunity could potentially support age- and dementia friendly initiatives.

The Activation Fund supports discrete, one-year projects in Central Massachusetts (targeting between $60,000 and $125,000) aimed at helping an organization move to its next level of capacity and effectiveness that can be sustained over time. In general, grants are limited to a 12-month duration for projects that will not require ongoing fundraising beyond the end of the grant period. The Health Foundation does not name specific health issues or priority areas, instead looking to community-based organizations to identify health issues and potential solutions.

Funding guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions may be found on the Foundation’s website at The deadline for submission of a concept paper is March 1, 2024. The initial application phase has been streamlined this year, so please attend an upcoming information session to learn about the changes.

T-Mobile Hometown Grants is a $25 million, five-year initiative to support the people and organizations who help small towns across America thrive and grow. Hometown Grants are given every quarter to up to 25 small towns. Apply for funding to support a community project of your choice, like revitalizing or repurposing a historic structure, creating a downtown asset or destination, or improving a space where friends and neighbors gather. Projects that add to a sense of place or could lead to further investment are of particular interest.

More information on this opportunity is available here.

The Community Development Fund (CDF) awards grants to communities throughout the Commonwealth.  This program helps eligible cities and towns to meet a broad range of community development needs in housing, infrastructure, revitalization, economic development and public social services.  It supports CDBG eligible activities and encourages applicants to develop coordinated, integrated and creative solutions to local problems. Senior centers and other programs benefitting older adults are eligible.

Information on eligibility is available here along with an informational PowerPoint and DBG Application Q & A Document. 

The foundation is pleased to solicit proposals from eligible nonprofit and government organizations for the following grantmaking initiatives: Girls’ Mental Health, Improving Health Equity, Health and Housing Stability, Innovative Action to Address Community Health Priorities.

More information is available here.

MBI’s Municipal Digital Equity Implementation Program seeks to enable municipalities who need funding to mobilize, start-up, and implement digital equity activities locally to access a one-time grant up to $100,000 per municipality to execute a project (or projects) defined in their Digital Equity Plan, Digital Equity Planning Charette, or pre-existing local digital equity plan or related document that MBI deems of sufficient standard.

Project implementation will increase access and usage of the internet for the populations most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages communities to include older adults in their project applications.

Communities that have completed a digital equity plan or charrette through the Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program are eligible. Municipalities are strongly encouraged to utilize their planning consultants from the Municipal Digital Equity Planning Program to define a project (or set of projects) scope and budget for implementation. Upon approval from MBI, municipalities may start project implementation and will be accountable to MBI’s reporting requirements, which vary by proposed focus area(s). Note that the process of applying to the Municipal Digital Equity Implementation Program will differ for municipalities that have not engaged in the Planning Program. More information is provided in the Program Details and FAQs.

Specifically, the Municipal Digital Equity Implementation Program will accomplish three goals:

  1. Enable municipalities to make local digital equity investments that will increase access, adoption, and usage of the internet for the populations most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Transition municipalities from the planning to implementation phase by providing funds to execute a project (or projects) indicated in their Digital Equity Plan, Digital Equity Planning Charette, or pre-existing plan deemed sufficient by MBI.
  3. Encourage collaboration and synergy with the Digital Equity Partnerships Program, which includes statewide and regional grantees with high capacity for digital equity work.

More information is available here.