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Grant News Grab Bag: Rural Focus, March 2015


There's been a lot of discussion of rural issues in the news lately, from potential cuts to the farm bill and SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) to threats to rural early education opportunities. For this Grant News Grab Bag, these issues are brought to the fore.

Highway Trust Fund Bankruptcy Would Hurt Local Governments

The Importance of USDA Rural Development Programs


The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development operates a broad range of grant and loan programs that are critical to rural counties. These programs include grant funding and loan financing for water/wastewater infrastructure, community facilities, broadband, electric, telephone, housing, renewable energy and business development.  

Broadband Adoption: Lessons Learned from Local Government

Last week I discussed the issue of expanding broadband to disadvantaged populations and how this infrastructure requires both the support of the target community and improved “digital literacy” in communities. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) hosted a lessons learned webinar on May 20 to relate the successful strategies of the Recovery Act-funded Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and to provide a broadband adoption toolkit for local governments interested in replicating successful projects. This follow-up article highlights some of the inspiring examples provided by the BTOP presenters, who spearheaded projects that creatively assessed community needs and harnessed partnerships to improve economies and communities alike.

BTOP Webinar: Thinking Outside the Broadband Box

How many Americans lack access to high-speed internet service?

Municipal Collaborations: Doing More with Less

Fire Department Grants: Don’t Just Look to FEMA

If you’re a fire department in search of grant funding, the first place you likely turn toward is FEMA grant opportunities—namely the Assistance to Firefighter Grant (AFG) general program and Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) program, and the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) opportunity. These are proper choices, of course, as these are multimillion-dollar programs whose awards provide a major boon to the grant winners. But there are several other grant opportunities your department might want to look into, including other public and even foundation sources, especially if you have small volunteer fire departments under your wing. Here are some funding opportunities to get the ideas rolling:

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