The following pages provide many resources to assist you in your search for outside funding for parks and recreation. Some grant opportunities offer funds to assist with facility construction, while others offer assistance to purchase equipment or hire staff to implement programs. Please let us know if you have an additional funding link or resource to add to the list.
Grant Writing Resources
Places and Spaces
Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF)
Provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants to local governments for park and recreation purposes. Funding for acquisition, development or renovation. Visit the RRS grant pages for PARTF and LWCF for additional information on those two programs
Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)
A federal grant program managed through the National Park Service and the NC Division of Parks and Recreation. The program began in 1965 and has funded 874 park projects in North Carolina providing close to $75 million in federal grant funds for parks and recreation.
Clean Water Management Trust Fund
CWMTF will fund projects that (1) enhance or restore degraded waters, (2) protect unpolluted waters, and/or (3) contribute toward a network of riparian buffers and greenways for environmental, educational, and recreational benefits.
NCDOT – Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative
The NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation and the Transportation Planning Branch created an annual matching grant program – the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative – to encourage municipalities to develop comprehensive bicycle plans and pedestrian plans. This program was initiated in January 2004 and is currently administered through NCDOT-DBPT.
North Carolina Trails Program
Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant is a Federal program designed to help states provide and maintain recreational trails for both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail use. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration. RTP is a reimbursement grant program. Funds must be spent and then reimbursed upon completion of deliverables. Eligible applicants must be a state, federal or local government agencies or qualified nonprofit organization.
North Carolina Forest Service Urban & Community Forestry Grant Program
The U&CF Grant Program funds projects which lead to a more effective and efficient management of urban and community forests, and improve public understanding of the benefits of preserving existing tree cover in communities. Any units of local government, public education institutions, and approved nonprofit 501(c)(3) and other tax exempt organizations are eligible to apply.
EPA Smart Growth and Local Foods, Local Places
The EPA Office of Sustainable Communities occasionally offers grants to support activities that improve the quality of development and protect human health and the environment.
North Carolina Arts Council – ARTS Grants
Various grants for organizations and artists/individuals
Playground grants to help communities build safe places for kids to play
Health and Wellbeing
Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina
BCBSNC grants invest in organizations for an established period of time to further the work of organizations, collaborations, and communities across the state. We do not have a traditional grant cycle, but rather announce opportunities to apply for grant funding on a periodic basis. Our grants range from small-dollar grants to larger, multi-year partnerships
Travel and Tourism Partnerships
NC Department of Commerce
Funds to help North Carolina communities build the necessary infrastructure to attract more businesses to their area.
The Conservation Fund – Resourceful Communities – Creating New Economies Fund
A specialized program of the conservation fund, Resourceful Communities supports a network of community groups, faith-based organizations, small towns and resource providers.
The Creating New Economies Fund provides small grants to support community projects that implement the “triple bottom line” — environmental stewardship, economic development and social justice.
Golden LEAF Foundation
The Golden LEAF Foundation is committed to using the funds entrusted to it for projects that show the most potential for strengthening North Carolina’s long-term economy, especially in tobacco-dependent, economically distressed, and/or rural communities. This program is for Economic Development projects in the areas of Agriculture, Economic Development, Workforce Preparedness, Healthcare, Education and Community Vitality. Eligible applicants are governmental entities and 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations.
National Park Service – State, Tribal and Local Plans and Grants (STLPG) Division
The STLPG supports historic properties and place-based identity, key components to the social and economic vitality of our communities. Preservation assistance is provided through a number of programs that support the preservation of America’s historic places and diverse history.
Good Sports gives all kids the lifelong benefits of sport and physical activity by providing equipment, apparel and footwear to those most in need.
Baseball Tomorrow Fund
The Baseball Tomorrow Fund (BTF) awards grants to non-profit and tax-exempt organizations involved in the operation of youth baseball and/or softball programs and facilities.
National Alliance for Accessible Golf Program
National Alliance for Accessible Golf, funded by the United States Golf Association, is expanding its efforts to provide financial assistance and resources to help make the game of golf more accessible to people with disabilities.
U.S. Soccer Foundation-Safe Places to Play
The U.S. Soccer Foundation awards grants on both an annual basis (Program grants) and through a rolling process (Safe Places to Play grants) to support soccer programs and field-building initiatives nationwide. Grants are provided to support all aspects of the beautiful game — from assisting programs with operational costs to creating Safe Places to Play.
US Tennis Association
The USTA Foundation awards program grants twice a year to programs that support at-risk youth and people with disabilities through tennis and education programs designed to improve health, build character and strive for academic excellence.