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  Funding Opportunity Details
 
 -347467-Rural Innovation Grant
  Rural Revitalization
  Application Deadline: 06/05/2020 11:59 PM
 
 
Award Amount Range: Not Applicable
Project Start Date: 07/01/2020
Project End Date: 06/30/2021
Award Announcement Date:
Eligible Applicant: Iowa businesses, colleges and universities, city and county government, and non-profit agencies.
Program Officer: Liesl Seabert
Phone: 515-348-6154 x
Email: Liesl.Seabert@iowaeda.com
Categorical Area: Community Development, Economic Development, Rural Issues
 
 
Description
 
 

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:

  • Focus Area 1: 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.
  • Focus Area 2: 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.
  • Focus Area 3: 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.

The program, defined in Iowa Administrative Code, is administered by the Center for Rural Revitalization, a division of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, in consultation with the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Forces.

Funding

Grant Request Amount

Applicants may request funding for eligible one-time project expenses that are incurred and expended within the eligible funding period.

  • Minimum Grant Request: $1,000
  • Maximum Grant Request: $20,000

Match Requirement

Applicants are required to demonstrate investment in projects by providing a minimum of 1:1/2 cash match. The cash match must be secured, dedicated to eligible expenses, a legitimate part of the proposed project and must be expended within the eligible funding period. The 1:1/2 match requirement may be raised through a combination of public and private sources but may not include in-kind donations of goods or services, unsecured funding, or loans. For example, an applicant that requests $10,000 in grant funds must have at least $5,000 in cash match. While the minimum match requirement is 1:1/2, competitive proposals will demonstrate broad-based financial support for their project and that public funding sources have been adequately leveraged to seek and obtain private dollars.

  • Cash match constitutes actual cash contributed to direct project expenses by the applicant or other funding sources.
  • Funding from state government that is already being used as match from another program, including other funds from the Iowa Economic Development Authority, cannot be used to meet the match requirement.

Funding Period

All project activities and incurred expenses must occur within the eligible contracted funding period of May 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. Funding is awarded to grant recipients on a reimbursement basis after expenses have been incurred for approved project activities within the eligible funding period. Expenses that are incurred before or after the eligible funding period are not eligible for reimbursement.

Disbursement of Funds

Disbursements will be made on a reimbursement basis. Disbursement claims must be for an amount equal to or greater than $500 per request. All claims must be made through Iowagrants.gov. When submitting a claim, the following items are required:

  • An invoice including:
    • A detailed description of the expenditures and the corresponding amounts
    • Product invoices and proof of payment for any equipment, supplies or materials purchased
    • Receipts for any Iowa travel expenses
    • Invoices and proof of payment for any subcontractor payments
    • Timesheets for any personnel time requested
    • The IEDA may request additional documentation as needed 
  • A status report for the claim period. Status reports must be received once a quarter. If no funds are requested, recipients should still file a status report.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible Applicants

Iowa businesses, colleges and universities; city or county government; and private 501(c)3 nonprofit agencies and foundations are eligible to apply. A single entity must be selected to serve as the primary applicant for grant funding applications, however the project should include collaboration between a consortium of partners.  The selected primary applicant must meet the definition of eligible applicant. The applicant will be responsible for submitting eligible material during funding application process and will be the entity legally obligated to the terms of an agreement if awarded funding. Partners and collaborating entities are not subject to the eligibility requirements but may be subject to financial and programmatic review during the selection process.

  • 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 may submit an application that includes one or more partners.
  • Any eligible applicant will be 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.
  • Applicant is local government entity (Mayor or City Council) or applicant has included letter of support from the Mayor or resolution from the City Council.
  • Federally tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization incorporated and physically located in Iowa.
    • Physical location of the organization is defined as maintaining a current home office and registered agent address in Iowa defined by Iowa Code 490.501 as well as maintaining a primary staff presence physically located and working in Iowa.
  • Public and private schools that serve grades pre-K through 12 and are physically located in Iowa
  • Nonprofit institution of higher education physically located in Iowa.
  • Unit of local, county or federally-recognized tribal government physically located in Iowa
  • For-profit corporation or business located in Iowa.
    • A business will be considered an Iowa business if the business is incorporated in the state of Iowa or authorized to do business in the state of Iowa.

Eligible Project Requirements

Project Requirements for Rural Innovation grant awards include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Applicants shall demonstrate how the project aligns to the mission of the program. 
  • Applicants shall demonstrate they are eligible applicants. 
  • Applicants shall demonstrate the capacity for grant administration. 
  • Applications shall demonstrate the feasibility of completing the proposed activities with the funds requested and contract period. 
  • Applicant is local government entity (Mayor or City Council) or applicant has included letter of support from the Mayor or resolution from the City Council.
  • Applications shall identify and describe any other sources of funding for the proposed activities.
  • Applications shall describe how the project will be a replicable model.
  • Applications must provide a 1:1/2 cash match (grant can be up to 66% of total project cost).

Online Application Submission

Applicants must submit applications via IowaGrants, an online application portal. Applications will not be accepted in any other format.  Late, incomplete or ineligible applications will not be accepted. Applicants must create a login to view the full application for the program.

Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by staff for completion, eligibility, and adherence to published guidelines.  Applications are reviewed as submitted. New application information or subsequent application clarification submitted after a program deadline is not considered. Eligible applications will be referred to a competitive review by a volunteer panel that will include Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Force members and expert professionals (Grant Review Committee). The Grant Review Committee reserves the right to recommend conditional funding and partial funding of projects. Funding recommendations will be submitted by the Grant Review Committee to the Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority for consideration and approval. The applicant’s authorized official will receive award notification. All funding decisions are final.

Scoring Rubric

Eligibility Review

Applications must demonstrate evidence of the following:

  • Applicant is an eligible candidate
  • Funding request meets eligible project and expense requirements
  • Request is for no less than $1,000 or more than $20,000
  • Request includes proof of 1:1/2 cash match for grant request
  • Project duration does not exceed contract period
  • Application is complete and submitted through IowaGrants.gov
  • Applicant is local government entity (Mayor or City Council) or applicant has included letter of support from the Mayor or resolution from the City Council.
  • Primary Applicant is not named as Primary Applicant on any other applications. They can, however, be named as partners on additional applications

Extra consideration is provided to projects that have been endorsed by the Iowa Great Places Citizen’s Advisory Board (Additional 5 points added to score total) as well as those located in a community of 5,000 or fewer (Additional 5 points added to score total).

Additional Information

Additional information, including guidlines and factsheets are available on the Empower Rural Iowa web site at https://www.iowaeconomicdevelopment.com/empowerruraliowa.

 
 
 
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