The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) periodically posts information about grant and fundraising opportunities that are available for park and recreation agencies and affiliated friends groups and 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
Current NRPA Grant Opportunities
Grant Opportunity for Park Access and Environmental Resilience and Health
NRPA is excited to announce funding and coaching to advance community-driven, systems-level strategies for equitable park access that improves the resilience and health of communities. Funding will support projects that advance community-driven, systems-level strategies for equitable park access that improve the environmental resilience and health of communities. The grant program will support park and recreation professionals in partnership with leaders from community-based organizations. Projects should address system-wide park access planning, data collection/analysis, policies and/or capital improvements with a focus on creating climate-ready parks. NRPA will fund 6 to 10 communities at $300,000 to $500,000 each for a total of 2.5 years. Applications are due April 23, 2021. Learn more!
Other Grant Opportunities
VA Adaptive Sports Grant
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will provide up to $16 million for adaptive sports activities for veterans and members of the armed forces with disabilities. Up to $1.5 million will be awarded for proposals providing equine therapy targeted for veterans and members of the armed forces with disabilities related to mental health issues. VA awards grants to qualifying organizations to plan, develop, manage and implement programs to provide adaptive sports, provider training and other opportunities for veterans and members of the armed forces. With the use of these grants, VA is helping community organizations promote community reintegration through sports. Applications are due March 31. Learn more and apply here.
Thriving Cities Challenge
The Salazar Center's Thriving Cities Challenge will identify and support breakthrough projects that use innovative nature-based solutions to advance climate resilience, advance racial equity, and strengthen cities and urban communities. Eligible applications must include at least one 501(c)(3) nonprofit and at least one organization that is (or its governing board represented in the project team) led by a Black, Indigenous, or other Person(s) of Color. Projects must be innovative, place-based, and community led, and must focus on building capacity and scaling impact. Five finalists will be selected for additional support to refine and pitch their idea, and one winning team will receive a $50,000 prize. An optional webinar will be held on March 15. Applications are due April 15. Learn more and apply.
RePlay Grant Program
ESPN and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are offering Planning Grants and Implementation Grants to revitalize vacant lots into places for sports, recreation and play. Local community-based groups and other qualified organizations are eligible to apply for funding and technical assistance for early stage projects, support of capital improvements, and to close funding gaps for projects that are in the implementation phase of projects. Applications are due April 30. Learn more and apply.
Rite Aid Foundation KidCents Regional Grants
KidCents Regional Grants ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 are available in select counties and states for out-of-school time programs that improve nutrition, physical fitness or academic success. Eligible projects must include an educational component, and priority will be given to programs that deliver quality out-of-school services to children and youth in high-need families. Eligible applicants are limited to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations serving eligible service areas. Letters of interest are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply.
Waste Management Charitable Giving
Waste Management offers charitable gifts to promote civic pride, economic development and revitalization. Waste Management primarily supports environmental initiatives, including promoting parklands and green spaces for people to enjoy and play, and environmental education initiatives targeted at middle and high school students. Eligible entities include 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and public organizations. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Learn more and apply.
Lisa Libraries Grant Program
Nonprofit organizations that serve low-income or underserved areas are eligible to apply for in-kind donations from The Lisa Libraries. The Lisa Libraries provides donations of free books for community facilities to host their own small libraries or to operate programs where children can take the book home. While book donations are free, The Lisa Libraries requests that recipients cover the shipping and handling costs, which are based on the destination and quantity of books. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Learn more and apply.
The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation Grant Program
Municipal entities, local nonprofits and public schools are eligible to apply to support the planting of fruitful trees and plants to alleviate hunger, combat global warming, strengthen communities and improve the surrounding environment. Trees can be planted at community gardens, city and state parks, low-income neighborhoods, Native American reservations, schools, and other locations where they will serve the greater community. The Foundation provides high-quality trees and shrubs, equipment, on-site orchard design expertise and oversight, horticultural workshops, and aftercare training and manuals. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Learn more and apply.
Baseball Tomorrow Fund/Major League Baseball Field Maintenance Education Program
This program provides the opportunity for Major League Baseball groundskeepers to share tips and techniques with other professional sports turf managers, coaches, parents and volunteers who are involved in the maintenance of youth baseball and softball fields. In conjunction with the clinics, the Baseball Tomorrow Fund awards a $10,000 grant to a local organization selected by the participating club. The grant funds are used for the purchase of field maintenance supplies, equipment or services. Learn more and apply.
Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program — Rural Communities
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides grants, low-interest direct loans, and/or combinations of the two to develop essential community facilities in rural areas, including public facilities, community support services, and local food systems such as community gardens and food hubs. Public entities, nonprofit organizations and tribal entities in rural communities are eligible to apply. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply.
Keep America Beautiful’s Community Restoration and Resiliency Fund
Keep America Beautiful’s Community Restoration and Resiliency Fund benefits Keep America Beautiful Affiliates that serve communities directly affected by natural and environmental disasters. The fund provides immediate and long-term support for initial and ongoing cleanup efforts and helps rebuild vital public spaces: parks, greenways, community gateways, main street/downtown areas, open spaces and more. Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply.
United States Tennis Association (USTA) Facility Services Program
The USTA offers business development, advocacy, technical and financial support to improve or construct tennis facilities across the country. In addition, each applicant will be appointed a project consultant from the USTA national staff who will deliver personalized support and service. Service applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Learn more and apply.
Fundraising and Marketing Resources
When looking for funding and grants, there are many resources available on the internet. Below are just a few suggestions on where to start your research.
- Foundation Center: Provides both training and research information on corporate and foundation grant programs. The grants database is a collection of thousands of grants.
- Guidestar: An excellent source of IRS 990 forms for foundations and other nonprofit organizations.
- Yearly offers a free tool to create engaging, digital annual reports, donor reports and event recaps to impress your stakeholders. Yearly is a fun and easy way to design unlimited reports and integrate your stories, videos, social media posts, polls and more. Yearly is currently offering their basic level of service to agencies for free.
- Chronicle of Philanthropy: The Chronicle is a newspaper for nonprofit news publishing, fundraising trends, resources, and recent grants.
- NRPA Crowdfunding Toolkit
- Nonprofit Times: Nonprofit management newspaper.
- Hoovers: Profiles millions of U.S. companies. It is a great source for employee contact information.
- Fortune Magazine: A resource for identifying companies by state and industry.
- Leadership directories
- Google, Yahoo Finance and other general search engines.
- Newspapers and magazines like the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, New York Times.
If you are interested in learning more about NRPA's fundraising resources please contact Cassie Pais at 703.858.2151.