Rural Initiative Grant Program

Laura Jane Musser Fund

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Grant amount: Up to US $25,000

Anticipated deadline: Oct 3, 2020

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Wyoming, Counties in Texas: Angelina County Show all

Location of residency: Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Wyoming, Counties in Texas: Angelina County Show all

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About this funder:

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Overview:

The Laura Jane Musser Fund wants to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education.

Priority is placed on projects that: 

  • Bring together a broad range of community members and institutions
  • Provide the opportunity for diverse community members to work together
  • Contain measurable short term outcomes within the first 12 to 18 months
  • Include community members actively in all phases of the process 
  • Work toward an outcome of positive change within their community

Projects must demonstrate:

  • Support from a diverse cross-section of community members and institutions
  • Matching financial and/or in-kind support from the local community
  • Significant volunteer participation
  • Reasonable plans to complete the project within 18 months or less

Funds will be available for

  • Planning (up to $5,000) - These funds may support costs like: consultant or staff time, meeting costs, mailings, secretarial support, refreshments, local travel, childcare, etc.
    • Note - this stage is optional and not a required phase prior to applying for or receiving an implementation grant. If an organization receives a planning grant from the Musser Fund, this in no way implies a commitment on the part of the Musser Fund to provide the organization with any subsequent implementation grant.
    • But organizations that receive a planning grant may apply for subsequent implementation support after their planning activities are completed.      
  • Implementation (Up to $25,000) - These funds are available to implement community based rural projects that originate in, have been planned by, and involve diverse people from the local community.
    • Capital campaigns will not be supported.
    • The projects should result in a tangible outcome within at least the first 18 months.
  • Projects will be eligible for either planning or implementation funds during any one grant period.

What the Program will Cover:

  • New programs or projects within their first three years
  • A planning, and/or implementation phase

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

Eligibility:

  • Who can apply: 
    • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
    • Local units of Government 
  • Limits of Geography:
    • Only programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Wyoming, and limited counties in Texas may apply.
      • Eligible counties in Texas are located in the Rio Grande River Valley (Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties), Deep East Texas (Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler counties), and the Brazos Valley (Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, and Washington counties).
    • The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or less and must be able to demonstrate rural characteristics of their location

Ineligibility:

  • What will not be funded:
    • Capital campaigns and large capital expenses
    • General operating support
    • Ongoing program support
    • Advocacy