In 2023, the AARP Community Challenge is accepting applications across three different grant opportunities, two of which are new this year. (See Attachment C for examples of previous AARP Community Challenge funded projects.) Organizations are eligible to apply for more than one grant opportunity and may submit multiple applications.
Important Dates in 2023
- January 18: Application window opens
- February 8: Public Q&A Webinar at 2 p.m. (ET) Click here to register
- March 15: Applications are due by 5 p.m. (ET)
- Mid-May: All applicants will be notified by email of their status
- June 28: Public announcement of the selected grantees — and work on the projects begin!
- November 30: All funded projects must be completed
- December 31: Deadline for after-action reports
1. Flagship Grants
The flagship AARP Community Challenge grants have ranged from several hundred dollars for smaller, short-term activities to tens of thousands of dollars for larger projects. Since 2017, AARP has funded projects ranging from $500 to $50,000 with an average grant amount of $11,900 (83 percent of grants have been under $20,000.) AARP reserves the right to award compelling projects of any dollar amount.
We are accepting applications for projects that benefit residents — especially those age 50 and older. Projects can:
- 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, and access to public and private transit
- Support housing options that increases the availability of accessible and affordable choices
- Ensure a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion while improving the built and social environment of a community;
- Increase digital connections by expanding high-speed internet and enhancing digital literacy skills of residents
- Support community resilience through investments that improve disaster management, preparedness and mitigation for residents
- Increase civic engagement with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion
- Improve community health and economic empowerment in support of financial well-being and improved health outcomes
2. NEW! Capacity-Building Microgrants
By combining $2,500 grants with additional resources — such as webinars, AARP Livable Communities publications, cohort learning opportunities and/or up to two hours of one-on-one coaching with leading national organizations — this new grant opportunity will benefit residents (especially those age 50 or older) in the following categories:
- Walkability: Implement a walk audit to assess and enhance the safety and walkability of a street or neighborhood with support from America Walks, using the AARP Walk Audit Tool Kit.
- Community Gardens: Start or enhance a community garden with support from 880 Cities, using the new AARP publication Creating Community Gardens for People of All Ages.
3. NEW! Demonstration Grants
By supporting demonstration efforts that encourage the replication of promising local efforts, this new grant opportunity will benefit residents (especially those age 50 and older) by:
- Advancing solutions that build capacity towards transportation systems change. This opportunity for grant funding of approximately $30,000 to $50,000 per project is sponsored by Toyota Motor North America.
- Implementing accessory dwelling unit (ADU) design competitions that increase public understanding of this housing option and encourage the implementation of ADU supportive policies. This opportunity for grant funding will provide approximately $10,000 to $15,000 per project.
AARP Vermont works in collaboration with communities across the state, bringing people together, and providing resources and expertise to help make Vermont’s counties, towns and cities great places to live for people of all ages. AARP Vermont is hosting a webinar on Thursday, February 9th between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern, RSVP at events.aarp.org/VTCommunityChallenge. This webinar will describe the 2023 Community Challenge grant program, explain the application process, highlight the work of a few past grantees who jump-started long-term changes in their communities, answer applicant questions, and share a new offering we are providing for eligible small non-profits in the form of grant writing coaches to help with the application process. Join us to learn more about receiving assistance from our Grant Writing Coaches.