Jan 25, 2022
AARP Accepting 2022 Community Challenge Grant Applications
The annual program aims to make local communities more livable for people of all ages

WASHINGTON—AARP invites local organizations and governments across the country to apply for the 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant program, now through March 22. Grants fund quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public spaces, transportation, housing, civic engagement, diversity and inclusion, and more. Now in its sixth year, the program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live.

“By 2030, one out of every five Americans will be 65 or older, but many communities may not be ready to support the needs of residents of all ages and abilities,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer. “The AARP Community Challenge has proven that by supporting local leaders and organizations’ efforts to strengthen their communities, we can improve the quality of life for the very young, the very old and everyone in between.”

This year the program will include a special focus on helping communities leverage funding available under new federal laws like the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Since 2017, AARP has awarded more than $9.3 million to over 800 projects through the Community Challenge to nonprofit organizations and government entities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The program provides direct support to all community types, including rural, suburban and urban communities with a special focus on the needs of those 50 and older. Previous projects have enabled long-term progress by garnering additional support from public and private funders, encouraging similar improvements throughout the community, advancing local policy, and generating engagement among residents and local leaders to advocate for change.

AARP will prioritize proposals that are inclusive, address disparities, directly engage volunteers, support residents age 50 and older and aim to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Support communities’ efforts to build engagement and leverage funding available under new federal programs through laws like the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and more.
  • 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, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.
  • Support a range of 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 civic engagement with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion.
  • Other community improvements; including health services, community development, and coronavirus pandemic recovery.

The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations are considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to tens of thousands for larger projects.

The application deadline is 5:00 p.m. ET, March 22, 2022. All projects must be completed by November 30, 2022. To submit an application and view past grantees, visit www.AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.orgwww.aarp.org/espanol or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.

For further information: Madison Daniels, mdaniels@aarp.org, 202-531-9026; Alex Guerin, aguerin@aarp.org, 202-710-0472