The application period for the 2021 AARP Community Challenge is now open and will provide small grants to fund quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages.
Applications are accepted for projects to improve public spaces, housing, transportation, civic engagement, coronavirus recovery, diversity and inclusion, and more. The online application is available here.
- April 14, 2021: Applications are due by 8:00 pm (ET)
- June 2021: All applicants will be notified of their status by email
- July 14, 2021: MOU (memorandum of understanding) and vendor forms to be completed and returned by grantees
- July 28, 2021 (tentative): Public announcement of selected grantees — work on the projects may begin
- November 10, 2021: All funded projects must be completed
- December 8, 2021: Deadline for after-action reports
Applicants and others with questions can email CommunityChallenge@AARP.org.
The program is open to the following types of programs:
- 501(C)(3), 501(C)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits
- Government entities
- Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis
The following projects are NOT eligible for funding:
- Partisan, political or election-related activities
- Planning activities and assessments and surveys of communities without tangible engagement
- Studies with no follow-up action
- Publication of books or reports
- Acquisition of land and/or buildings or a vehicle purchase
- Sponsorships of other organizations’ events or activities
- Research and development for a nonprofit endeavor
- Research and development for a for-profit endeavor
- The promotion of a for-profit entity and/or its products and services
Although communities that belong to the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities are encouraged to apply, projects that benefit any community and satisfy all other criteria are eligible for consideration.
AARP will prioritize projects that deliver inclusive solutions that meet the needs of diverse populations, as well as those that directly engage volunteers through permanent or temporary solutions that aim to achieve one or more of the following outcome areas:
- Create vibrant Public Places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
- Deliver a range of Transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.
- Support a range of Housing options that increases the availability of accessible and affordable choices
- Increase Civic Engagement and demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion
- Support local recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic with an emphasis on economic development, improvements to public spaces and transportation services
- Ensure a focus on Diversity and Inclusion while improving the built and social environment of a community
- Other community improvements. In addition to these areas of focus, AARP wants to hear about local needs and innovative ideas for addressing them
For information, please visit the AARP Community Challenge webpage here.