Age-Friendly Funding Reminders: AARP Community Challenge Grant and More!

Jan 31, 2024

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is pleased to promote the following funding opportunities that help promote and support inclusive age-and dementia friendly communities:

The AARP Community Challenge provides small grants to fund quick-action projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. In 2024, 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.

The Executive Office of Elder Affairs announced a new $4.5 million grant opportunity to increase the capacity of Supportive and Social Day Programs throughout the Commonwealth. Funding is provided by the American Rescue Plan Act Home and Community-Based Services. Grants of up to $50,000 are available for planning, and grants of up to $300,000 are available for expanding or launching a program.

EOEA will host a Bidder’s Conference on Thursday, January 18, 2024 from 10:00 – 11:00 AM to provide more information and answer questions about the Supportive and Social Day Program Expansion Grant. Please email to receive information about the Bidder’s Conference.

Apply online before Friday, February 16, 2024 using the MassGRANTS application portal.

  • The Connection, Health, and Equity through Food (CHEF) Program

The CHEF Program is a collaborative network of organizations and volunteer initiatives across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Upstate New York that are focused on increasing older adults’ equitable access to healthy food and social connection.

CHEF grants will provide funding to increase older adults’ equitable access to food and social connections in their communities. Grants will allow awardees to make investments in programmatic infrastructure, sustainably expand current programming and/or launch innovative, new programming that supports the food and social connection needs of older people. Priority will be given to projects and programs that serve diverse older people, veterans, and older people living with disabilities. Funds can also be used to help find solutions to the root causes of food insecurity and social isolation, including but not limited to poverty, transportation, rurality, and language barriers. Eligible applicants will operate in or near communities served by a Hannaford store in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York.

CHEF grant FAQs are available here. Applications, deadlines and further information are available here.

  • 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.


Interested organizations are encouraged to attend an information session to learn about the modified application timeline and process in 2024. Virtual information sessions will be held on Tuesday, January 23 at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, February 8 at 10:00 a.m. with time set aside for Q&A with attendees during these sessions and afterwards during posted office hours. Please complete the Info Session Registration Form to sign up for an information session. A recording will be available upon request. Please contact Foundation staff in advance if language assistance or other accessibility accommodations are needed.

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 Special Initiatives grant program provides organizations with a one-time grant of up to $50,000 to pilot or launch a new project over a one-year period. This grant is intended to fund projects that empower communities to advance health equity. Projects should positively impact the health or health care related needs of those Massachusetts residents who have been economically, socially, culturally, or racially marginalized. The goal of this grant program is to help these projects be sustained, scaled, and potentially replicated.

More info on this opportunity is available here.