USDA released their Rural Community & Economic Development Funding Resources on 4/20/18.

Rural Community & Economic Development Funding Resources Listing



The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Activating Community Opportunities Using Museums/Libraries as Assets Program — Purpose: Support projects that address significant challenges and opportunities facing the library, archive, and museum (LAM) fields and that have the potential to advance theory and practice. Eligibility: Libraries, museums, institutions of higher education, and community organizations that support LAM entities. Funding: Individual grants of up to $150,000. Application Deadline: May 14, 2018.

USDA Rural Development Community Connect Broadband Grant Program — Purpose: Establish broadband infrastructure in unserved rural communities. Eligibility: Most state and local governments, federally-recognized tribes, nonprofits, and for-profit corporations. Funding: Grants range from $100,000 to $3 million. Application Deadline: May 14, 2018.

Universal Service Administrative Company Healthcare Connect Fund — Purpose: Assist healthcare providers with eligible expenses related to broadband connectivity. Eligibility: Rural public or nonprofit healthcare providers or consortia. Funding: Flat rate discount of 65% on eligible broadband connectivity expenses; annual spending cap of $400 million. Application Deadline: May 31, 2018.

USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Program — Purpose: Develop essential community facilities—such as health clinics, schools, or fire departments—in rural towns with a population of 20,000 or less. Eligibility: Public bodies, nonprofits, and federally-recognized tribes. Funding: Loan amounts vary. The maximum grant amount is typically $50,000; applications for innovative projects seeking to address the opioid epidemic may qualify for grants of up to $150,000. Application Deadline (opioid reserve): June 1, 2018.  Application Deadline (general): Applications are accepted on an on-going basis.

USDA Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program — Purpose: Overcome the effects of remoteness and low population density in rural communities through the unique capabilities of telecommunications to link teachers or medical service providers in one area to students or patients in another area, with priority given to telemedicine projects with the primary purpose of providing opioid prevention, treatment, or recovery services or distance learning projects that offer access to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses. Eligibility: Most state and local government entities, federally-recognized tribes, nonprofits, for-profit businesses, and consortia of these entities. Funding: Grants range from $50,000 to $500,000. Application Deadline: June 4, 2018.

NTCS-The Rural Broadband Association Smart Rural Community Showcase Award — Purpose: Honor rural communities that have achieved high levels of broadband activity and have used it to support innovative practices in industry sectors, such as healthcare, safety and security, and economic development. Eligibility: Current NTCA members. Funding: Honorary award. Application Deadline: July 1, 2018.

Indian Health Service (IHS) Loan Repayment Program — Purpose: Repay educational loans in return for full-time clinical service in Indian Health Service programs. Eligibility: Health professionals and those in the final year of clinical training who are U.S. citizens and make a two-year service commitment to practice in health facilities serving American Indian and Alaska Native communities beginning September 30, 2018. Funding: Loan repayment up to $40,000 for two years of service. Application Deadline: August 15, 2018.

American Hospital Association (AHA) Rural Hospital Leadership Award — Purpose: Help small or rural hospital administrators or chief executive officers attend an AHA Annual Meeting or Health Forum Leadership Conference. Eligibility: Chief executive officers, presidents, or administrators of AHA member hospitals located in rural areas. Funding: Individual stipends of $1,500. Application Deadline: August 31, 2018.

Walmart Foundation Community Grant Program — Purpose: Support hunger relief and healthy eating, health and human service, quality of life, education, community and economic development, diversity and inclusion, public safety, or environmental sustainability. Eligibility: 501(c)(3) nonprofits; local government entities; faith-based organizations; and K-12 public or private schools, charter schools, community or junior colleges, and state or private colleges or universities. Funding: Grants range from $250 to $5,000. Deadline: December 31, 2018.

Surdna Foundation Thriving Cultures Program — Purpose: Support efforts that provide artists with business training and financial resources enabling them to be, and create, valuable economic assets for their communities. Eligibility: Nonprofits. Funding: Varies. Letter of Inquiry Deadline: Letters of inquiry are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Housing Assistance Council (HAC) Affordable Housing Loans for Low-Income Rural Communities — Purpose: Support the development of affordable housing for low-income, rural communities through short-term loans at below market interest rates. Eligibility: Nonprofits, for-profits, and government entities. Funding: Varies. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

CPR Savers and First Aid Supply Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Grant Program — Purpose: Help organizations purchase AEDs. Eligibility: Community-based organizations that can demonstrate a need for an AED. Funding: Varies. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Hearst Foundations — Purpose: Support well-established nonprofits that address issues within four major areas: education, health, culture, and social service. Eligibility: Well-established nonprofits, generally with an operating budget of $1 million or more. Funding: Varies. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Community Facilities Fund — Purpose: Help develop and improve essential community facilities (such as hospitals, healthcare centers, educational facilities, etc.) in rural areas. Eligibility: Nonprofits and public entities; facilities must be located in rural areas with a population under 20,000; preference will be given for high-poverty or persistent poverty areas. Funding: Individual awards of $100,000 to $8 million. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Rural LISC Loans — Purpose: Support rural communities by helping local groups bring developing projects to fruition, including economic development, housing, education, health, community facility, business, and nonprofit projects. Eligibility: Varies. Funding: Varies. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA Rural Development Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program — Purpose: Bolster the availability of private credit by guaranteeing loans for rural businesses that will help develop or acquire a business, expand a business, purchase land or equipment, or refinance debt in order to create or save jobs in rural areas. Eligibility: Federal or state-chartered banks, savings and loans banks, farm credit banks, and credit unions. Funding: Loan guarantees ranging from 80% on loans of $5 million or less to 60% on loans of more than $10 million up to $25 million. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program — Purpose: Fund clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas. Eligibility: Most state and local government entities, private nonprofits, and federally recognized tribes. Funding: Long-term, low-interest loans and limited grants; amounts vary. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA Rural Development Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees Program — Purpose: Provide loan guarantees that helps private lenders provide affordable financing to qualified borrowers to improve access to clean, reliable water and waste disposal systems for households and businesses in rural areas. Eligibility: Most state and local government entities, private nonprofits, and federally recognized tribes. Funding: Up to a 90 percent loan guarantee. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC) Community Facilities Loan Program — Purpose: Help develop and improve essential community facilities (such as public and nonprofit office buildings, treatment centers, emergency and transitional housing, assisted living, human services, public safety, child care, education, and cultural facilities) in the rural West through short-term loans for early property acquisition and pre-development, interim construction costs, and long-term permanent financing. Eligibility: Priority given to loan applications for projects that incorporate significant green methods and materials. Funding: Varies. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Department of Commerce (DOC) Economic Development Administration (EDA) Economic Development Assistance Programs — Purpose: Support economic development, foster job creation, and attract private investment in economically distressed areas of the United States. Eligibility: Native American tribal governments or organizations, state governments, private institutions of higher education, nonprofits (other than institutions of higher education), special district governments, county governments, public and state controlled institutions of higher education, city or township governments, and others that vary by program. Funding: Awards range from $100,000 to $3 million. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program Purpose: Provide communities with a source of financing for economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities, and physical development projects, including improvements to increase resilience against natural disasters. Eligibility: Metropolitan cities and urban counties (Community Development Block Grant or CDBG entitlement recipients), non-entitlement communities that are assisted in the submission of applications by states that administer the CDBG Program, and non-entitlement communities eligible to receive CDBG funds under the HUD Small Cities CDBG Program. Funding: Loans range from $500,000 to $140 million. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

Small Business Administration (SBA) General Small Business 7a Loans — Purpose: Provide loans to small businesses (including small healthcare practices) for working capital, equipment purchase, real estate purchase, building construction or renovation, business acquisition, and debt refinancing. Eligibility: Dependent upon specific aspects of the business and its principals. Funding: The average loan amount is $371,628; the maximum loan amount is $5 million. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Ford Family Foundation Children, Youth, and Families — Purpose: Increase the number of children who are healthy, kindergarten ready, and later will succeed in school and beyond. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations, projects must be predominately (60% or more) for the benefit of residents of rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, CA, communities with populations of 35,000 or less. Funding: Grants typically range from $2,000 to $500,000;. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Ford Family Foundation Technical Assistance Grants — Purpose: Assist efforts to develop leadership expertise, engage in planning efforts, or advance collaborations. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations, projects must be predominately (60% or more) for the benefit of residents of rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, CA, communities with populations of 35,000 or less. Funding: Grants typically range from $1,000 to $5,000; a 20% cash match is required. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Ford Family Foundation Community Building Grants — Purpose: Support efforts to build the future of rural communities by increasing connections, building capacity, and taking community-led action. Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations, projects must be predominately (60% or more) for the benefit of residents of rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, CA, communities with populations of 35,000 or less. Funding: Grants range from $500 to $25,000. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Ford Family Foundation Community Building Spaces Grants — Purpose: Fund the development of public spaces, including through land acquisition, purchasing buildings, construction and renovations, among other activities. Eligibility: 501(c)3 Small or rural communities with populations under 35,000. Funding: Grants range from $50,000 to $250,000. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Ford Family Foundation Good Neighbor Grants — Purpose: Address unexpected needs or simple projects. Eligibility: Small or rural communities with populations under 35,000. Funding: Grants range from $1,000 and $10,000. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

BNSF Railway Foundation Grants — Purpose: Support the communities served by BNSF Railway and in which their employees live and work by supporting civic services concerned with the environment and local community issues; performing, visual, and fine arts that offer opportunities for underserved children to experience cultural learning; institutions providing educational opportunities, primarily at the college level; health and human services with a focus on chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spouse and child abuse, women’s and children’s aid, and transitional shelters; youth organizations; federated organizations; and federally recognized tribal governments. Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations, divisions of local government, and schools or universities that operate near a BNSF railway line. Funding: Grants generally range from $1,000 to $10,000. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grants — Purpose: Provide assistance with a specific emergency, including fire, flood, or an unexpected medical issue. Eligibility: Artists in the disciplines of painting, sculpture, or printmaking. Funding: One-time grants up to $15,000. Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) National School Lunch Afterschool Snack Program — Purpose: Help schools and residential child care institutions provide afterschool snacks to low-income children who participate in the National School Lunch Program. Eligibility: Public or nonprofit private schools of high school grade or under and public or nonprofit private residential child care institutions. Funding: Cash reimbursement for each snack served at the rate of $0.88 for free afterschool snacks, $0.44 for reduced-price snacks, and $0.08 for paid snacks. Application Deadline: Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.

*To receive updates on other funding opportunities, consider subscribing to email alerts for your particular area(s) of interest.


USDA Opioid Webinar (April 23 @ 12:30 pm) — Learn about USDA prioritization of investments to address the opioid crisis in rural America and currently funding opportunities.


Delivering Community Benefit: Healthy Food Playbook — Created with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Care Without Harm’s playbook inspires and supports hospital community benefit professionals and community partners in developing initiatives to promote healthy food access and healthy, local, and sustainable food systems. The playbook offers resources to address diet-related community health needs throughout the community health engagement process. The playbook features case studies from leading hospitals across the country and 25 guidance resources.

Number of Stores Authorized to Accept USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)      Benefits Grew by Over 50 Percent in the Last Decade — As of September 2016, over a quarter million food retailers were authorized to redeem SNAP benefits. From 2007 to 2013, the number of SNAP-authorized stores grew by 53 percent. This increase coincided with a sharp rise in the number of SNAP participants that was largely due to the economic downturn, including the Great Recession of 2007-2009, which increased demand for food assistance.

Multiple-adult Households without Children Account for Over a Quarter of U.S. Food-insecure Households — The prevalence of food insecurity varies across U.S. demographic groups. While some types of households may be less likely to be food insecure, the household groups could be so large that the households in the groups who are experiencing food insecurity make up a large share of all food-insecure households. In 2016, multiple-adult households without children accounted for 27 percent of all food-insecure households; single-mother households accounted for 20 percent; and single-father households accounted for 4 percent.

Households that Buy Fruits and Vegetables Directly from Farmers Tend to Possess Health-oriented Attitudes and Behaviors — A recent USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) study analyzed spending on fruits and vegetables by the 4,826 households that participated in USDA’s National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS). The researchers found that purchasing fruits and vegetables at a direct-to-consumer outlet was positively associated with several healthy practices.

Nearly 40 Percent of U.S. Farms Run by Multiple Operators — Commercial-sized farms often require more management and labor than an individual can provide. Additional operators can offer these and other resources, such as capital or farmland. Having a secondary operator may also provide a successor when an older principal operator phases out of farming. In 2016, nearly 40 percent of all U.S. farms had a multiple operators.

SNAP Policy Index Captures Trends in State Policies for Administering SNAP — For much of the program’s history, administration of SNAP was largely uniform across states. However, welfare reform legislation in 1996 and subsequent legislative and regulatory changes have allowed states increased flexibility to administer some components of the program. ERS researchers recently developed an index that reflects how accommodative state policies are to enrolling individuals in SNAP.

Elder Veterans Relied More on Agriculture for Employment while Working Age Veterans Relied More on Manufacturing — About 21 percent of elder rural veterans reported currently working or having last worked in the agriculture industry. By comparison, less than 3 percent of working-age veterans reported the same. Instead, working-age veterans relied more on the manufacturing industry for employment.

Information aggregated from newsletters and email, including:

Foundation Center Request for Proposals Service – Click here to subscribe or unsubscribe, or to change your e-mail address.

Rural Assistance Center (RAC) Health Listserv – Click here to subscribe.

Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Rural Entrepreneurship News (electronic newsletter) – Click here to subscribe.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Newsletter – Click here to subscribe.

Blue Avocado Nonprofit Magazine (a newsletter on boards and nonprofit management) – Click here to read the current issue or subscribe.

Rural LISC e-Newsletter – Click here to read the current issue or subscribe.

National Association for Development Organizations (NADO) – View the website here.

USDA Economic Research Service (ERS provides a notification service fpr charts of note and other research to keep you informed of the latest and most relevant research on the topics that interest you) – Click here to subscribe.

Orton Family Foundation Emails – Click here to subscribe.

Department of Labor Email Subscription Service – Click here to subscribe.

aha! Process (for a listing of free webinars) – View the website here.

This listing of current national, regional, and local funding opportunities through a variety of providers is compiled by USDA Rural Development approximately every month as a public service to our stakeholders and may not capture all funding opportunities that may be available or relevant to rural community and economic development efforts.

If you have a national level or multi-state rural community and/or economic development funding opportunity to include on these listings, please contact or