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The League of American Bicyclists is delighted to announce its second year of Community Spark Grants to support the growing number of local grassroots changemakers and organizations across the country working to improve their communities through bicycling. Generous support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will fund 8 awards, as part of the CDC’s Active People, Healthy NationSM Initiative, which is working to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027. Separately, generous support from General Motors will fund an additional 10 awards.
In 2023, the League’s Bicycle Friendly America program will award Community Spark Grants, up to $1,500 each, to 18 total organizations for projects and programs that spark change and catalyze a community’s ability to create places where bicycling is a safe, easy, and more accessible option. Our desire is for organizations to propose projects that help create Bicycle Friendly Communities and build capacity for local leaders and influencers by uplifting the community and creating inclusive coalitions that can shed new light on current issues.
Eligible organizations are nonprofits and public or government organizations/agencies. Of the 18 organizations to receive awards, 10 must be in GM home communities. (See the list of eligible GM Communities here.) We are seeking proposals for projects that can be completed by the end of this calendar year (December 31, 2023). We are open to other deadlines, but preference will be given to applicants who can commit to completing the project by the end of the calendar year.
Funds may support a wide range of bicycling-related projects such as but are not limited to, short-term pop-up events, education campaigns, tactical urbanism demonstrations, educational events or resources, accessibility audits, or street safety improvements. We are especially looking for projects with new perspectives that increase opportunities for healthy and active ways to get around, focus on issues faced by people from ethnic or racial minority groups, and include authentic engagement with the community.
The Community Spark Grant application will open on Monday, March 6, and the deadline to apply for a Community Spark Grant is April 7, 2023, at 11:59 pm PT. Awards will be announced in early May.
- Application Opens: March 6, 2023
- Application Deadline: April 7, 2023
- Spark Grant Awards Announced: Early May 2023
- Funds Sent to Awardees: Mid-May
- Project Progress Reports Due from Awardees: Quarterly until December 31, 2023, or until project end.
- Public or Government Agencies/Organizations (e.g. Library, Parks and Rec Department)
- Non-Profits - 501(C)(3), 501(C)(4), and 501(c)(6)
- Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis
- U.S.-based organization
Eligible GM Home Communities
Thanks to the support of General Motors, 10 of the 18 Community Spark Grant awards in 2023 will be available to GM communities or surrounding regions. See the complete list of GM cities here. If you have questions, please contact email@example.com.
Fundable projects should be in one of the following categories:
- One Time Event
- Series of Events
- Classes/Educational Opportunity
- Pop-up Infrastructure/Traffic Calming*
- Placemaking/Tactical Urbanism*
- End-of-Trip Facilities (bike parking/fix-it stations, etc.)
- Giveaways or subsidies for bicycle equipment and/or accessories (e.g. lights, helmets, bells, locks, etc.)
- Bike audit, count, survey, or other evaluation/assessment effort (must have follow-up/community involvement to be eligible)
*Funding can only support temporary/non-permanent structures and materials such as paint, vertical delineators, bollards, and signage. For questions on if a structure or material is allowable, please email Anna Tang at firstname.lastname@example.org
See here for example projects and links to resources to help you brainstorm project ideas.
What is not eligible for funding:
- Most permit-required infrastructure, such as sidewalks or concrete for road widening.
- Bike racks or bike fix-it stations would be allowable but need to show broader community context and impact.
- Temporary structures or demonstration/quick builds including paint, vertical delineators, bollards, and signage would also be allowable.
- Funding for personal use.
- Funds used solely towards covering a staffer’s salary.
- Petitions or signature gathering.
- Funds only used for advertising or promotional materials.
This online application system allows multiple users to collaborate on an application together. There is a “manage collaborators” button at the top of the online application where applicants can manage who has access to the form and allow for more than one person to fill out answers. We encourage communities and organizations who are applying for a grant to work with others in their local community to submit one joint application. See our application portal FAQs page for more information about collaborating on the application.
If you have questions, please email Anna Tang at email@example.com