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Grants to USA Nonprofits and IHEs to Advance Business Development in Rural Communities

Rural Cooperative Development Grants (RCDG)


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Rural Development (RD)
CFDA Number: 10.771
Funding or PIN Number: RBCS-RCDG-2023
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

Important Dates
Deadline: 06/26/23 11:59 PM Eastern Time Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations and IHEs to expand business development in rural communities. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended to support the establishment and operation of centers for cooperative development that assist individuals and businesses in rural areas. Project funds may also be used for programs providing for the coordination of services and sharing of information among the centers.

The Rural Cooperative Development Grant program improves the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers. Grants are awarded through a national competition. 

Grant and matching funds can be used for developing and operating a Rural Cooperative Development Center. Examples of technical assistance and other services the Centers provide are:

  • Conducting feasibility studies.
  • Developing business plans.
  • Providing leadership and operational improvement training.
  • Facilitating strategic planning.

A Center can be located in any area, but the individuals and business assisted must be located in an eligible rural area.

The primary objective of the RCDG program is to improve the economic condition of rural areas by assisting individuals or entities in the startup, expansion or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other business entities. Grants are awarded competitively on an annual basis to Rural Cooperative Development Centers who in turn provide technical assistance to individuals and entities.


  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Nonprofit corporations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for this program. A Center can be in any area, but the individuals and business assisted must be located in an eligible rural area. Contact your local RD office for details.

Public bodies, cooperatives, for-profit business and individuals are NOT eligible.

Funding Restrictions can be found at

Pre-Application Information
Completed applications must be submitted electronically by no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, June 26, 2023.

Prior to official submission of applications, applicants may request technical assistance or other application guidance from the Agency, if such requests are made prior to May 26, 2023.

Twenty-five (25) percent of total project costs (5 percent for Native American tribally-controlled colleges and universities that were granted land-grant status under an Act of Congress in 1994).

Only one application can be submitted per applicant.

Before you apply:
- Register your organization with the System for Award Management (SAM) if you aren’t already registered. The registration is free. You need to complete several steps. It’s a good idea to start the registration process at least a month before any application deadline. Before you start the registration process, we suggest reading through the HELP materials available on the SAM website. Then, you’ll need to create an account. After you create your account by setting up a user ID and password, you can register your organization. Also, make a note of your Commercial And Government Entity (CAGE) code and expiration date because you’ll need those for your application.

- UEI Unique Entity ID - Effective April 4, 2022, USDA will look for the UEI instead of the DUNS from an applicant as the DUNS will no longer be required for recipients of federal financial assistance. The UEI (SAM) is assigned automatically to all active registered entities.

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Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
The maximum award amount per grant is $200,000.

Term of Contract
Your application must include no more than a one-year grant period, or it will not be considered for funding. The grant period should begin no earlier than October 1, 2023, and no later than January 1, 2024. Applications that request funds for a period beginning after January 1, 2024, will not be considered for funding. Projects must be completed within a one-year timeframe.

Contact Information
If you have questions, you can contact your nearest Rural Development office:

For further information, contact:
Lisa Sharp
Program Management Division
Rural Business-Cooperative Service
(202) 720–1400

United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Mail Stop–3226, Room 5160–South
Washington, DC 20250–3226

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