Arkansas Department of Rural Services: Rural Community Grant Program

Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Grant amount: Up to US $15,000

Next anticipated deadline: Mar 7, 2019

Later anticipated deadlines: Aug 9, 2019

Applicant type: Government Entity

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, Capital Project

Location of project: Arkansas

Location of residency: Arkansas

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Through the Arkansas Rural Community Grant Program (RCGP), the Arkansas Rural Development Commission and the Division of Rural Services strive to enhance quality of life in the state by providing incentive grants on a matching basis. The Rural Community Grant Program can assist with the improvement of local fire protection, including related emergency services and construction, along with the development and improvement of community facilities.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Incorporated cities and towns and unincorporated communities in rural areas of less than 3,000 in population (verifiable by current U.S. Census information) are eligible to apply for assistance through the Arkansas Rural Community Grant Program.
    •  A rural area is defined, for the purpose of this program, as “all the territory of the State of Arkansas that is not within the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the latest federal census or within such a city’s or town’s neighboring urbanized areas.” 
  • Projects eligible for funding consideration under the Rural Community Grant Program include, but are not limited to:
    • Renovations, new construction, new equipment, or additions to parks and other publicly owned recreational facilities such as
      • baseball or softball fields
      • landscape or beautification projects
      • park and picnic areas
      • jogging/walking trails, and etc.
    • Renovations, new construction or additions to publicly owned buildings such as civic or community centers, senior or youth centers, libraries, museums, and etc.
    • Purchase of storm sirens or construction of publicly owned storm shelters accessible to the citizens of the entire community.
    • Renovations, new construction, or additions to fire facilities.
    • The purchase of fire protection equipment and vehicles.
    • The rehabilitation and/or retrofitting of newly acquired equipment and vehicles.
  • Applicants with no changes to their application may re-apply by forwarding a letter signed by the local governing official to the Division of Rural Services.
  • An application can be resubmitted for the next two scheduled funding cycles for a total of three submissions (original plus two additional cycles.
  • The match ratio on the program is 50/50. Communities wishing to apply for projects under the program must provide one half of the cost of the project as match. 
    • See full matching requirement details here.


  • Projects not eligible for funding consideration underthe Rural Community Grant Program include, but again are not limited to:
    • Municipal buildings such as:
      • courthouses
      • city halls
      • police stations
      • sheriff’s offices, and
      • city or county jails
    • Cemetery and other city or county facility fencing and maintenance
    • Chatting and paving of driveways, parking lots or roadways
    • Fairground and rodeo construction owned by incorporated associations.
    • Any costs associated with normal day-to-day operations or maintenance
    • Debt financing of any type, new or existing.
      • Debt financing is defined for the purpose of this program as reimbursement of new or existing loans, loan payments, or reimbursement for equipment, facilities, labor, or property already purchased or constructed.
    • Training, travel, or any other personnel related expenses
    • contingency or emergency fees
  • Due to the limited amount of funds available for rural communities, the Arkansas Rural Development Commission has elected to make the following entities and projects ineligible for grant funding:
    • county health units
    • schools/preschools
    • transfer stations
    • water projects
    • elections
    • private, non-profit associations
  • Applicants are not eligible for a Rural Community Grant if the community/city has an RCGP grant currently open.
    • Once the grant has been closed out, applicants are eligible to apply.