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2011 Heart & Soul Community Planning Grants

Community Building and Development Grants

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Orton Family Foundation

Deadline Date:

07/20/11 12:00 AM


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Grants for up to $100,000 for small towns and cities that engage in a unique form of community planning to create new and enhanced changes by identifying local values, building a vision from them, and prioritizing actions. The purpose of these grants is to encourage communities to create positive changes and enhancements while still preserving their unique and distinct features (i.e., the people, places, and customs) that make them stand out, make them desirable, and promote cultural, social, and economic success.

Participating municipalities and their partner organizations are expected to play the primary role in project design, management and implementation. The lead partners must demonstrate that they have the leadership and capacity to: ensure successful community engagement, carry out project activities, and be responsible for implementing recommendations that result from the project.

The Foundation will select project concepts that align with the core elements listed below, and will support project teams that demonstrate the capacity for effective leadership, project management, and communications. The five core elements that projects must include are as follows: (A) broad community engagement; (B) identifying shared community values; (C) using values to drive decision making; (D) realization of the vision that includes but is not limited to the update of plans, policies and bylaws; and (E) a plan to continue the work beyond the Foundation’s involvement.

In addition to monetary funding, the Foundation will also provide staff support, technical assistance, training workshops, and tools to assist with the evaluation of the project. Communities will be expected to provide a 1:1 match through a combination of in-kind resources and a minimum $25,000 cash match.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 125263

Number of Grants:

The Foundation will select four communities: two in New England and two in the northern Rocky Mountain West.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $100,000

Term of Contract:

2 years

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Communities must be located in either New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, or VT) or the northern Rocky Mountain region (CO, ID, MT, WY).

The Foundation will support projects at a municipal or neighborhood scale. Project applicants must include an incorporated municipality (city or town) and at least one local or regional partner (public, private or non-profit). (The Foundation will consider a joint application from “twin city” municipalities if they share a common identity.)

The municipality must have no more than 30,000 residents, and must have either (1) a full-time town planner or (2) a community economic development staff or (3) a town manager that will fully participate in the project and help implement results.

In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, a successful applicant will demonstrate:
1. Clearly defined need for and timeliness of this project that can lead to measurable impacts.
2. Commitment and ability to put values and vision into action, plans and/or policies and to steward these commitments over the long term.
3. Strong commitment from the municipality and community partners to participate in the project and provide matching resources, technical assistance, participation and guidance.
4. Commitment to and readiness for a high level of diverse citizen engagement, youth participation, and shared decision-making based on an understanding of who lives and works in the community.
5. Clear and achievable project concept that includes the five core elements of the Heart & Soul approach, with a willingness to experiment with new tools and processes.
6. Realistic preliminary budget with adequate match and demonstrated capacity within the community to successfully complete the project and implement the results.
7. Capacity for effective project communications and coordination.
8. Commitment to evaluate and share results of the project and the likelihood that results will inform the Foundation’s Heart & Soul Community Planning program and will be useful to community planning efforts in other communities.

Pre-proposal Conference:

There will be an informative call session that will help you understand the essential elements of Heart & Soul and what you need to prepare a proposal on Wednesday, July 6, 2011, 1:00-2:00 p.m., EDT.

Orton Family Foundation staff will be available for one hour to answer any questions related to the Request for Proposals and the application process. There will not be any planned programming; please come with your questions.

This call is geared specifically toward communities interested in responding to the RFP. It will include an opportunity to ask questions about the RFP and application process.

Please note that you must register for this call at:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

please contact us at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Colorado;   Connecticut;   Idaho;   Maine;   Massachusetts;   Montana;   New Hampshire;   Rhode Island;   Vermont;   Wyoming