Grant Details

Rural Innovation Grant Program (Iowa)

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    Funder Type

    State Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    Iowa Economic Development Authority


    The Rural Innovation Grant program seeks to support creative, non-traditional ideas that focus on current issues and challenges faced by rural communities associated with the themes of community investment, growth and connection. This program is a result of the Governor's Empower Rural Iowa Initiative's 2018 Recommendations. The program focus areas include:

    • Growing Rural Iowa - Grant to support community leaders as they think holistically and act collaboratively to inform and connect leaders to rural issues; grow vibrant community gathering places; and develop tools to train and educate the next generation of leaders. Examples of eligible projects under this focus area include:
      • Entrepreneurship Leadership Program
      • Community Welcome Wagon
    • Investing in Rural Iowa - Grant to support projects that develop creative, scalable development solutions, including but not limited to projects that address rural housing solutions; infill and reuse strategies; and affordable, sustainable designs. Examples of eligible projects under this focus area include:
      • Neighborhood Façade Beautification Program
      • Community Clean-Up 
    • Connecting Rural Iowa - Grant to support projects that improve and expand opportunities for diverse members of Iowa's rural communities to utilize high-speed broadband service. Examples of eligible projects under this focus area include:
      • Main Street Wi-Fi 
      • School Bus Hotspot Project

    Eligible use of funds for Rural Innovation grant awards include, but are not limited to the following:

    • Construction
    • Land acquisition
    • Major renovation and repair of buildings or appurtenant structures
    • Park, trail or permanent design exhibits  
    • Site development
    • Engineering, planning and design costs
    • Community training program development and implementation
    • Materials
    • Equipment and electronics
    • Marketing
    • Personnel time dedicated to the project (Applicant must demonstrate how personnel time is specifically dedicated to the proposed project. Personnel benefits are not eligible.

    History of Funding

    FY 2020 awards

    Additional Information

    Funding for existing projects or programs that do not include the significant expansion of the project or program are ineligible. The Rural Innovation Grant Program does not support ongoing expenses for existing programs or projects. Ineligible expenses include, but are not limited to: 

    • International or Domestic travel (outside of Iowa)
    • Insurance
    • Conference or Training expenses for program providers
    • Routine, reoccurring maintenance
    • Ongoing utilities
    • Budget shortfalls
    • Fundraising or benefit event activities
    • Lobbying activity and prizes and awards


    Liesl Seabert

    Liesl Seabert


  • Eligibility Details

    Iowa businesses, colleges and universities; city or county government; and private 501(c)3 nonprofit agencies and foundations are eligible to apply. 

    • Projects/programs must exist in and benefit a community in Iowa with a population of 20,000 or fewer and not contiguous (sharing a common border) to a city with a population of 40,000 or greater.
    • Any eligible applicant is allowed to submit one application per funding announcement. An applicant who has applied as the principal entity for an application may also be named as a partner on additional applications submitted but may not be named as a primary entity on additional applications.

    Deadline Details

    Applications are to be submitted by April 16, 2021. A similar deadline is anticipated annually.

    Award Details

    Award amounts range from $1,000 to $20,000. 1:1/2 cost matching is required. Cost matching must be in cash.

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Top 10 Local Grant Programs You Won't Want to Miss in 2015 - Sponsored by Sprint - Playback Available
    • Funding IT Security in Government and Education - Sponsored by VMware - Playback Available
    • Funding Technology-Fueled Innovation in State and Local Government - Sponsored by NetApp and Avnet Technology Solutions - Playback Available


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