Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Suggest an update

Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $50,000

Anticipated deadline: Jan 31, 2020 8:00pm PST

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Training / Capacity Building, Capital Project, Project / Program

Location of project: United States

Location of residency: United States

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?

About this funder:




RTC launched a new grant program in 2015 to support organizations and local governments that are implementing projects to build and improve multi-use trails. Under the Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund, RTC will award approximately $85,000 per year, distributed among several qualifying projects, through a competitive process. The fund was established with an $80,000 grant from Jeff Doppelt of Great Neck, New York, a long-time supporter of RTC and the development of rail-trails in the United States, and an additional $20,000 donation from an anonymous donor.

In 2019, RTC will award $105,000 of the Doppelt Fund to organizations and local agencies that are working to improve and connect trails across the country. A wide range of projects and activities are eligible under two grant types:

Community Support Grant

3-4 grants awarded in the $5,000 - $10,000 range

This grant type acts as capacity building for local nonprofit organizations or “Friends of the Trail” groups that need critical funding to help get trail development or improvement efforts off the ground. Examples of this type of grant include, but are not limited to:

  • promoting a local trail project in the local media,
  • conducting feasibility studies or
  • adding personnel or volunteer coordination capacity.

Project Transformation Grant

1-2 grants awarded in the $15,000 - $50,000 range

The Project Transformation Grant is intended to have a substantial impact on an organization’s ability to complete a significant trail development or improvement project. These funds, where appropriate, will serve as a catalyst to start such large projects and could be used to leverage other funding sources through matching opportunities. Activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • new trail construction,
  • trail facility/infrastructure (e.g., trailheads, bathrooms),
  • land acquisition,
  • trail signage,
  • improvements to existing trails and significant maintenance tasks.

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


  • While applications for projects on rail-trails and rails-with-trails will be given preference, rail-trail designation is not a requirement.
    • However, the trail must serve or plan to serve multiple user types (e.g., bicycling, walking/hiking) and be considered a trail, greenway, multi-use trail or shared-use path.
  • The project must advance trail development, help establish corridor connections or improve current conditions on the trail.
  • Eligible grantees include:
    • nonprofit organizations;
    • state, regional, local or tribal government agencies; and
    • other organizations. 
  • Projects must be initiated by December 2019.
  • All applicants must join RTC’s Trail Expert Network to apply.
  • Only one application per group/agency will be accepted.


  • Private individuals may not apply.