28 Aug 2023

Utilizing Grants and Funding to Develop Your Community

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Enhance the quality of life in your community through transformative economic growth. From infrastructure enhancements to empowering local businesses, grants play a pivotal role in creating a thriving community.

Discover one of the key ingredients to boosting your community’s economic growth and development. This blog aims to explain why grants and funding opportunities should be on your radar. Grants can have a significant impact on creating prosperous communities by igniting new and innovative ideas, improving infrastructure, enhancing the community, and empowering local businesses.

Let’s dive in…

1. How can grants and funding support community development financially?

Grants and funding provide financial support to individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities, allowing them to pursue their goals and projects without the burden of financial constraints. Grants often cover expenses such as research, equipment, salaries, training, and operational costs. With over 86,000 grantmaking entities, there are many opportunities to fund just about any project.1

2. In what ways can grants and funding lead to an increase in available resources for community development projects?

With foundation grant applications taking an average of 15-25 hours and Federal grant applications taking over 100 hours, funders will sometimes offer more than just financial support for a project to succeed.2

Grants and funding often come with additional resources, such as mentorship programs, networking opportunities, and access to specialized expertise. These resources can enhance the success and impact of the funded projects, providing valuable guidance and support.

3. What role do partnerships and collaborations play when leveraging grants and funding for the growth of your community?

Many grants and funding opportunities encourage collaboration and partnerships among different stakeholders. These conversations and partnerships offer a sense of community and collective effort, allowing for the exchange of ideas, resources, and expertise. Collaborative projects often have a greater impact and can address complex challenges more effectively. A few stakeholders that are great partners include educational institutions, government agencies, and economic development authorities.

4. How do grants and funding encourage innovation and experimentation within your community’s initiatives?

Grants and funding often prioritize innovative and experimental projects that have the potential to bring about positive change. This allows individuals and organizations to explore new ideas, leading to breakthroughs and advancements in various fields.

5. What significance does the validation and credibility brought by grants and funding hold for the advancement of your community’s objectives?

Receiving grants and funding can validate the importance and potential of a project or organization. It demonstrates that external entities recognize the potential impact of the work being done, which can enhance credibility and attract further support from other sources. A community that understands the importance of obtaining multiple funding sources is the City of Douglas.

In the past two months alone, one of our Georgia Energy Cities, the City of Douglas, secured $11,500 to support community development. In June, the Douglas-Coffee County Board of REALTORS received two Placemaking grants from the National Association of Realtors totaling $10,500 to support the development of their downtown pocket park.3

The grant funds will be used towards assisting in the second phase of the previously unused space, including the purchase of a portable professional stage. In the following month, July 2023, Douglas was also awarded Walmart’s Local Community Grant in the amount of $1,000.4 Due to Douglas’ commitment to quality-of-life improvements and the creative plans for the pocket park, Douglas continues to secure funding for their community.

Each month, ECG’s Department of Economic and Community Development posts a monthly newsletter highlighting relevant grant opportunities for our partnered Georgia communities.