Some local governments shy away from seeking funding resources because they believe that that the grant process is complicated, time consuming, and may not yield results. Yet, in times of tight funding and economic difficulty, it is especially important for local governments to seek alternative funding to finance programs to build healthy communities. Federal grants, state grants, local funding strategies (e.g., assessments, bonds, fee-in-lieu programs), foundations, and private corporate support can serve as supplemental sources of funding. Many federal and state agencies, non-profit organizations, and private businesses can also provide technical assistance that can help a local government maximize its resources.
It should be noted that the grant process is much more than identifying a funding source and writing a proposal. A local government needs to establish strategic partnerships with funding agencies and organizations that share a common interest in order to build community support, catalyze change, and sustain a successful, long-term healthy community initiative. Together with strategic partners, a local community can pool or leverage its resources to make better use of taxpayer funds, enhance its competitive advantage to compete for funding, and ultimately “get more bang for the buck.”
To effectively seek and leverage funding resources, a local government needs to network to share and obtain ideas, plan to involve all stakeholders in the program or project, and seek technical or professional assistance to collaborate on a proposal to bridge a gap in resources to achieve community goals.
This section of the resource guide contains information on technical assistance and funding programs offered by the federal government, state of Delaware, private foundations, and corporate/community foundations. For each funding source listed, a brief program description and website link is provided. (Please note that because many financial and technical assistance programs are subject to change based on federal or state legislation, appropriations, or budget allocation decisions, the website links may change or become inactive.)