Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Hoosier Enduring Legacy Fund (HELP)

Grants to Indiana Communities to Improve Capacity and Infrastructure
and Address Needs During the Coronavirus Crisis

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

10/01/21 4:00 PM ET


Request a Grant Writer

Grants to Indiana communities to improve capacity and infrastructure for the benefit of local residents. Funded projects include assistance necessitated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Funding is intended to enhance connectivity services, promote community wellness, improve environment and community infrastructure, and boost the local economy.

The Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program supports communities directly by building capacity, creating a peer network system between communities participating in the program, developing a strategic investment plan and providing access to set-aside funding. Through HELP, OCRA and its partners will employ community engagement, prior planning efforts, and asset building strategies to reengage communities in preparing for the future while building local leadership capacity. The program will amplify the impact of the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, or CLFRF, of which $1.28 billion has been allocated directly to Indiana communities through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA.

HELP is a 52-week process culminating in a dynamic Strategic Investment Plan rooted in four pathways:
  • Advancing e-Connectivity: Seeks to aid communities by increasing or improving broadband access services, promoting digital inclusion, and supporting businesses and organizations that focus on broadband access and technological innovation. Possible initiatives include Digital Adoption Support,  Digital Ready Businesses, and Intelligent Communities.
  • Promoting Community Wellness: Seeks to expand and improve infrastructure and initiatives related to people. Public health is important to overall community wellness. Possible initiatives include Mental Health, Parks and Trails, Healthy Food Markets in Food Deserts, ADA accessibility, Walkability/Bike Lanes/Public Transit to healthcare, Childcare, and Blue Zones.
  • Enhancing Quality of Place: Focuses on improvements to the built environment and community infrastructure. Possible initiatives include Arts and Culture, Housing, Community Facilities, Historic Preservation, Youth Engagement, Gateway Beautification, and Main Street Redevelopment.
  • Strengthening Local Economies: Helps communities grow and support robust local and regional entrepreneurship cultivation through innovative programs and capital investments. Possible initiatives include Entrepreneurial Ecosystems, Economic Gardening, Small Business Revolving Loan Fund, Business Retention and Expansion, Workforce Development, Business Networks, and Co-Working Spaces. 

The HELP process and implementation of the resultant Strategic Investment Plan ultimately seeks to build long-term capacity, develop attainable projects and leave a legacy in the community. 

Expected Program Impact:

  • Building Community Capacity through a local Community Coordinator position to guide the community through the program process and SIP implementation
  • Welcoming Your Community Back Home by reconnecting to the larger community through creative engagement opportunities
  • Peer Networking with other HELP Communities as well as various state agencies
  • Strengthening ARPA Confidence through in-depth training on eligible uses of CLFRF with OCRA
  • Training and Technical Assistance from OCRA, institutions of higher education, and statewide leaders in community development
  • Strategic Investment Plan & Dashboard that includes high-quality data prepared about your community
  • Access to set-aside funding for participatory budgeting project and SIP implementation from OCRA and other statewide partners

Local Unit of Government Responsibilities:

  • Building a Core Team, as well as four separate Pathways Teams with input from the Core Team
  • Planning, promoting and hosting a Community Forum and other diverse community engagement opportunities

Funded projects:

  • A response to the public health emergency caused by or the negative impacts directly attributable to COVID-19;
  • Any provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue;
  • Providing premium pay to essential workers;
  • Necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure; and
  • Direct aid to Qualified Census Tracts (QCTs) or other communities adversely impacted by the public health crisis.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 198028

Number of Grants:

In total, this program will assist 12 communities/regions (no more than 4 communities or regions in each of the 3 cohort groups).

Estimated Size of Grant:

OCRA will be providing $20,000 to each selected community to fund the position of community coordinator in the first year.

Term of Contract:

HELP is a 52-week process, with implementation ongoing until December 2026.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any incorporated Indiana community of any size that is not entitled to direct Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding through U.S. HUD is eligible to apply. (See list of 21 entitlement communities and 2 entitlement counties in Indiana at

Eligible Communities
- OCRA will be designating no more than 4 communities or regions in each of the 3 cohort groups. Each cohort group will have program start dates spaced 6 months apart. In total, this program will assist 12 communities/regions.
- Cities, counties, and non-entitlement units of government, or NEUs, that received a CLFRF allocation are eligible to apply as an individual community or as a region.
- Regional Applicants: While NEUs and their respective counties may apply as a group, due to the distribution of CLFRF, regional applicants may not cross county lines. Regional applications are restricted to those within a single county.

Pre-proposal Conference:

An Informational Webinar will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 18, from 3:00 to 4:00 EST.

Join a live Q&A Session on OCRA's Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program hosted by Director of Strategic Initiatives Andrea Kern.

To register for the Webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

- Program Opens – Tuesday, Aug. 10
- Informational Webinar – Aug. 18
- Applications Open - Monday, Sept. 6
- Applications Due- 4 p.m. ET Friday, Oct. 1
- Cohorts Announced- Friday, Nov. 5

Applications will be submitted via the online eGMS system beginning September 6, 2021.

Applicants are encouraged to initially contact their respective Community Liaison to discuss the program; or you may connect with OCRA's HELP Program Director, Andrea Kern, to discuss program eligibility and competitiveness.

Participation by the Local Unit of Government is key to the success of the program. Communication with all State partners will be essential throughout the 12 -month process.

The timeframe of the 52-week process will ideally be broken down into four phases:
- 26 weeks of Team and Community Collaboration
- 14 weeks of Pathways Assessments & Project Identification
- 12 weeks of SIP Development
- Implementation ongoing until December 2026

- Communities are required to supply a $20,000 local match to fund a Community Coordinator position, and they are encouraged to provide a minimum $40,000 to support this position in subsequent years for SIP implementation.
- Proof of Match and intent to create this position through an adopted local resolution is required with application submission.
- Minimum 30% of the community’s CLFRF allocation to projects in the SIP
- OCRA will match the community investment 1-1 for the implementation of SIP projects (up to $1 million).

CDBG and CARES Act funds from OCRA, as well as other funding sources from our state partners, will be available for SIP implementation to communities who complete HELP.

Contact Information:

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

Andrea Kern
HELP Program Director

For a list of Community Liaisons, see

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Indiana

Suggested Grants:

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Address the Climate Crisis and Reduce Inequality

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to USA nonprofit organizations to reduce social inequality and promote solutions to the climate crisis. Eligible programs will address the areas of racial and economic justice, corporate and political accountability; voice, creativity, and culture; and an inclusi

GrantWatch ID#: 123756

Grants to USA and Canada Nonprofit Charitable Organizations to Impact Public Policy in a Var...

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to USA and Canada nonprofit charitable organizations to impact public policy in a variety of national and international issues. In previous years, grants have been awarded for general operations and project support to think tanks, national councils, judicial orga

GrantWatch ID#: 125864

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Protect Natural Resources

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to USA nonprofit organizations to protect natural resources on land and water in locations around the world. Funding is intended to ensure that activities to acquire metals, gemstones, and corals for design use do not have an adverse impact on the area of origin.

GrantWatch ID#: 126162

Grants to Indiana Nonprofits to Address Community Needs in Eligible Regions

Deadline 03/01/22

Grants to Indiana nonprofit organizations in eligible regions for projects and capital campaigns that address community needs. Applicants requesting support for a capital campaign are asked to contact the funding source prior to submitting an application. Projects are e

GrantWatch ID#: 126506

Grants to Indiana Nonprofits, Agencies, and Public Schools for Educational and Youth Project...

Deadline 01/01/22

Grants of up to $2,500 to Indiana nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and public schools for educational and youth projects that benefit residents in eligible regions. Funding is intended to support projects and services in the areas of arts and culture, recre

GrantWatch ID#: 127129

Grants to Indiana Organizations and Artists in Eligible Areas for Community Arts Projects

Deadline 10/29/21

Grants of up to $2,000 to Indiana artists and arts organizations in eligible areas for arts projects that benefit the local community. Funding is intended to support projects that encourage public appreciation of art, demonstrate innovation and creativity, and promote d

GrantWatch ID#: 127897

Grants to USA and Canada Nonprofits for Projects to Protect Wildlife and Natural Habitats

Deadline 05/01/22

Grants of up to $3,000 to USA and Canada nonprofit organizations for projects to protect wildlife and natural habitats. Funding is intended for campaigns to save specific species and ecosystems. Eligible activities include public policy work, litigation, advocacy, and d

GrantWatch ID#: 129644

Grants to Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky Nonprofits, Agencies, and Schools in Eligible Coun...

Deadline 11/01/21

Grants to Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky nonprofit organizations, state and municipal organizations, and public schools in eligible counties for programs benefiting local communities. Funding is intended to support programs primarily in the areas of education, communit

GrantWatch ID#: 129843

Grants to Indiana Nonprofits and Agencies for Programs to Benefit the Local Community

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to Indiana nonprofit organizations and government agencies to benefit local residents in eligible locations. Interested applicants must contact program staff prior to submitting an application. Funding is intended to support impactful programs and projects to be

GrantWatch ID#: 130031

Grants to Indiana Nonprofits for Community Benefit Programs and Services

Deadline Ongoing

Grants to Indiana nonprofit organizations in eligible communities to meet local community needs. Consideration will be given to programs in the areas of education, health, cultural affairs, community improvements, and charitable services. Eligible organizations serve Ve

GrantWatch ID#: 130114