Resource Guide

The Arkansas Department of Education has compiled a variety of privately funded grants related to the arts. Additionally, ADE provides training on grant writing for interested Arkansas educators.

The Mid-America Arts Alliance strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. We achieve this primarily through our national traveling exhibition programs, innovative leadership development, and strategic grant making. The organization is especially committed to enriching the cultural life of historically underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful, and accessible arts and culture programs and services. The Alliance supports and stimulates cultural activity in communities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. M-AAA creates and manages regional, multi-regional, national, and international programs including traveling exhibitions, performing arts touring, and professional and community development.

You can view the M-AAA’s grant programs here.

The Arkansas Department of Education has compiled an extensive list of available grants related to all aspects of education. Additionally, ADE provides training on grant writing for interested Arkansas educators.

K-12 Literacy

Entergy’s Micro Grants Program accepts requests for up to $1,000 in all program areas: arts and culture; community improvement/enrichment; economic development, education/literacy, environment and healthy families. Applications may be submitted online at any time.

For more information visit http://arkansased.org/.

After-School Program

The Arkansas Department of Education has also compiled an extensive resource list for community after-school programs.

After-School Alliance provides information and resources for after-school programs.

Youth.Gov provides information on running a program, keeping current, and planning activities along with other resources.

Arkansas Out of School Network provides resources for information on out of school programs in the state.

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory offers a resource guide for planning and operating after-school programs.

U.S. Department of Education provides resources and links to other information for after-school programs.

Charter Schools 

Public Charter School Startup Grants are funded by the Walton Family Foundation; the application process is extensive and interested parties should thoroughly review guidelines.  

Child Wellness

Sight for Students is a VSP charity that provides free vision exams and glasses to low-income, uninsured children. The program operates nationally through a network of community partners who identify children in need and VSP network doctors who provide the eyecare services. Applications are accepted all year.

Economic Development

Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) offers financing and incentive programs to facilitate competitive financing options to assist businesses with the purchase of land, buildings, technology and equipment to expand operations and provide substantial employment opportunities in Arkansas.

Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) provides low-cost financing and other assistance for small businesses, government, and low to moderate income housing development, healthcare, education and agricultural business. ADFA offers programs such as: Credit Enhancement, Direct Lending, Venture Capital, and the State Small Business Credit Initiative. ADFA also offers affordable housing programs.

Arkansas Venture Capital Investment Program from Arkansas Institutional Fund increases the availability of equity and near equity capital for emerging, expanding, relocating, and restructuring enterprises in Arkansas.

Beginning Farmer Loan Program provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) assists beginning farmers acquire agricultural property at lower interest rates.

Farm Mediation Program provides a forum for farmers and lenders to resolve loan debt service payment problems.

Tourism Development Loan Program offers loans for new business start up or expansion in the tourism industry.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department supports Farmers’ Markets and locally grown foods through a website hosted by the AAD in which individuals may market foods to consumers free of charge. For more information visit www.arkansasgrown.org

The Arkansas Department of Health offers a wide range of services to communities through training programs and grant opportunities.

Arkansas Hometown Health Improvement Program is administered by ADH and provides training to community leaders for the development of local community health programs.

The Rural Health and Primary Care program is administered by ADH and promotes the development of community-based health care services through community training and grant assistance. For more information visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov or call ADH at 501-661-2000.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services offers a variety of programs to assist individual and communities with healthcare, food services, employment, volunteerism/service learning and community development.

The Arkansas Coalition for Obesity Prevention‘s mission is to improve the health of all Arkansas communities by increasing physical activity and healthy eating to reduce and prevent obesity. Visit their website for helpful information, workshops, and tips.

Businesses

The Arkansas Procurement Assistance Center (APAC) works with small and large Arkansas based companies that would like to sell their goods or services to federal, state or local government agencies.  Program Associates can train you and your business associates how to navigate the government procurement process.  APAC collaborates with other agencies in order to ensure the overall economic well-being of the State of Arkansas.  Most of the services are free to clients!

Operation JumpStart is a practical, hands-on program designed to help individuals test the feasibility of their business ideas and launch or expand a small business. The program includes:

  • 36 hours of training focusing on concept development, market research and financial analysis and projections
  • Business support team with local speakers, business coaches and resource providers
  • Trained and experienced facilitators
  • Small group exercises
  • Weekly take-home assignments
  • Opportunity to compete for start-up seed capital, if funds are available

Accion and Lift Fund provide non-profit business loans.

SCORE offers free small business advice.

The Department of Arkansas Heritage, through some of its agencies, makes Arkansas grants available for historic preservation and the arts, as well as Heritage Month events.

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program: Main Street Downtown Revitalization Grant to fix up downtowns. $5,000 to $10,000. Model Business Grants provide matching funds for improvements at a local business that then serves as an example for other downtown businesses to emulate Two Historic Preservation Restoration Grant options are available for rehabilitation of historic structures in Arkansas. One grant offers a maximum of $10,000 and the other offers a minimum of $10,000. County Courthouse Restoration Subgrant – Total available to share among applicants per year is $150,000 – $1,000,000. Contact Joia Burton, 501-324-9880 or visit the AHPP website at www.arkansaspreservation.org/ and click on ‘Preservation Services’ and then ‘Grants’.

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission manages the Community Development Block Grant program for the State of Arkansas.  This federally funded program provides funds for communities with at least 51% low to moderate income population. For more information visit  http://arkansasedc.com/Grants or call 501-682-1121.

Arkansas Department of Emergency Management funds several programs to assist communities with infrastructure and training.

Arkansas Hazard Mitigation Program – Helps fund permanent repair solutions to sites that have had repetitive damage from natural causes such as flooding, wind or earthquakes. Cap on projects – $150,000.00 – 50% state – 50% local.

State Homeland Security Grant Program – designed to address the Homeland Security and response capabilities in Arkansas by providing specific equipment and training to first responders and state agencies.

Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) – reimburses certain eligible expenses, under program guidelines, to support state and local emergency management costs. Requires 50% non-federal match.

Act 833 money – Act 833 funds are to be used for training, firefighting equipment, and initial capital construction or improvements of fire departments. For more information visit www.adem.arkansas.gov or call 501-683-6700.

The Arkansas Forestry Commission provides land/forestry management training and assistance to community leaders.  Also the AFC provides training and 50/50 matching grant funds for volunteer fire fighting departments.

The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department offers a variety of programs working to sustain Arkansas highways and scenic beauty.

Adopt-a-Highway is a volunteer program to reduce litter.

The Historic Bridge Program seeks to document and preserve historic bridges

The Recreational Trails Program reimbursement grant funding for the construction of trails by communities in Arkansas.

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism provides programming and grant opportunities such as:

  • 50/50 Grant – Arkansas city and county governments may apply for annual competitive grants that maybe used acquire park land and/or develop public outdoor recreation facilities. Maximum grant amount is $250,000
  • Fun Park Grant – Arkansas cities with a population of 2500 persons or less (unincorporated rural areas must apply through the county) may apply for $40,000 to develop a localities first park with basic recreation facilities. No match required.
  • Trails for Life Grant – Funds fitness trails up to $35,000. No match required. For all Outdoor Recreation Grants’ information, contact John Beneke at (501) 682-1301, email bryan.kellar@arkansas.gov or visit www.outdoorgrants.com.
  • Arkansas Tourism Attraction Feasibility Study Matching Grant – Helps communities conduct tourism studies. Maximum grant amount is $15,000 with a 50/50 cash match.

For more information and applications visit www.outdoorgrants.com or contact Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism by phone: 501-682-1301.

Delta Regional Authority provides grants for basic public transportation, public infrastructure and business development.

Safe Routes to School from the Arkansas Highway Department provides our types of funding to help improve logistics of children going to school.

The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) is administering the Brownfield Program to redevelop properties with either real or perceived hazardous substance contamination. ADEQ hopes to encourage the development of brownfield as a sustainable land use policy and to discourage the development of Greenfields or pristine properties in the State of Arkansas.

Arkansas GIS Office houses a variety of data (maps, boundaries, environment, health, farming, tools, utilities, ect.). Arkansas GIS Office is also involved in numerous programs.

The Arkansas GIS‘s mission is to advance a common goal by the various agencies and institutions of state, federal, county, and local governments to acquire, apply, and share Geographic Information (GIS) automation technologies to the productive and economic benefit of the State of Arkansas.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers the following programs:

  • Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) – Provides grants to obtain critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards.
  • Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S) – Support projects that enhance the safety of the public and firefighters from fire and related hazards. Examples of the types of projects supported by FP&S include fire prevention and public safety education campaigns, juvenile firesetter interventions, media campaigns, and arson prevention and awareness programs.

State of Arkansas Federal Surplus Property provides at a small cost Federal Surplus vehicles and equipment including trucks, desks, protective equipment, hose, generators, compressors, chairs, etc., to fire departments or other government entities.

Livestock and Poultry Commission offers the following programs:

  • Fair Construction Funds – Used by various fair associations for construction, repairing and improving the facilities and paying existing indebtedness incurred for such purposes. Funding range is $0 – 847,200.
  • Fair Premium Funds – Used by 82 fair associations for the purpose of paying awards to exhibitors on approved entry classifications. Funding range is $ 0 – $676,430.

Leadership Arkansas is a unique program designed to take a comprehensive view of the economic and political challenges that face this State. First introduced in 2005 by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas, our staff, with the guidance of the organizations’ Boards and Executive Committees, recruits highly-motivated individuals to experience first-hand the dynamic interactions between cities, industries, governmental units and the people they serve.

The Lead Arkansas (LeadAR) program is a life-changing event for emerging Arkansas leaders from rural and urban communities. The goal is to increase participants’ knowledge and understanding of the economic and social changes affecting our state through the practical application of leadership skills and development of expertise to address critical problems facing their communities.

The training is focused on basic skills in communications, interpersonal relations, networking, economics, policy formation, role of government, and social and cultural understanding. Men and women in this program explore the legislative process; the long-term effects of our government’s agriculture, trade, and economic policies; and current issues facing our state in education, health, water, economic development, and criminal justice.

The Delta Leadership Institute organizes the Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy, a year-long leadership development program for regional leaders that prepares them to collaborate and address the most-pressing issues of the Delta region. Each of the eight governors and the federal co-chairman nominate community leaders for the program, resulting in an annual class of 50 Delta leaders.

The Arkansas Leadership Academy is a nationally recognized statewide partnership of 51 organizations across the state. The Academy develops leadership skills that bring coherence for everyone in understanding transformational and sustainable system change by managing system components within the big picture. We embrace and model a collaborative learning and work culture to facilitate the development of high-performing individuals and organizations and concentrate on developing adult leadership and learning as strategic drivers for improving statewide learning and performance.

The Arkansas Agriculture Department supports Farmers’ Markets and locally grown foods through a website hosted by the AAD in which individuals may market foods to consumers free of charge. For more information visit www.arkansasgrown.org

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission manages the Community Development Block Grant program for the State of Arkansas.  This federally funded program provides funds for communities with at least 51% low to moderate income population. For more information visit  http://arkansasedc.com/Grants or call 501-682-1121

The Arkansas Forestry Commission provides land/forestry management training and assistance to community leaders.  Also the AFC provides training and 50/50 matching grant funds for volunteer fire fighting departments.

The Arkansas Department of Health offers a wide range of services to communities through training programs and grant opportunities.

Arkansas Hometown Health Improvement Program is administered by ADH and provides training to community leaders for the development of local community health programs.

The Rural Health and Primary Care program is administered by ADH and promotes the development of community-based health care services through community training and grant assistance.

USDA Rural Development: Community Programs – Grant funds and loans for essential public community facilities in rural areas. These facilities include schools, libraries, childcare, hospitals, medical clinics, assisted living facilities, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings and transportation. Contact Stephen Lagasse at (501) 301-3267, email Stephen.Lagasse@ar.usda.gov or visit www.rurdev.usda.gov/ar/

The Arkansas Department of Rural Services works to aid rural communities in economic development and community enhancement.

Community Resource Group, Inc. is a member of the National Rural Community Assistance Program Network. CRG helps low-income rural communities construct, operate and maintain public drinking water and waste disposal facilities. Technical assistance is provided at no cost to communities. This assistance includes compliance with drinking water or pollution control regulations, financing access, development of your project, education to local officials to ensure programs meet federal and state requirements, and training through continuous newsletters.

Rural Community Alliance is an organization of grassroots organizations in Arkansas that focus on helping rural communities.

Planning and Development Districts/Economic Development Districts provide technical support and services to local governments.

Resource Conservation and Development Districts provide technical assistance and grant support for natural-resource-related projects.

Grant Opportunities:

Rural Community Development Grant Program/Rural Fire Protection Grant Program

Applicants from incorporated towns of less than 3,000 in population and unincorporated rural areas are eligible for up to $15,000 in matching funds under this program. The match ratio on the program is 50/50. Communities wishing to apply for projects under the program must provide one half of the cost of the project as match. Match may be comprised of in-kind labor, in-kind materials or cash and must be available at the time of application. Applications for this program are accepted August through March of each year. Communities in the past have received funding for baseball/softball fields, community centers, walking tracks, park and playground equipment, pavilions, picnic tables, and library shelving.  Fire departments have received funding for new fire stations, additional bays for existing stations, turn-out gear, communications equipment, fire trucks, SCBA’s, extrication equipment and brush trucks.

Rural Services Block Grant Program

The RSBGP funds new construction or renovation of community centers, fire stations, or multi-purpose buildings, and the purchase of fire trucks (pumper, tanker, brush or certain service trucks). This grant is made possible through a partnership with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

Applicants are eligible for up to $75,000.  The match for this grant is 10% and may be comprised of in-kind labor, in-kind materials or cash.

Grants are available to incorporated towns and rural communities with a population of less than 3,000.
Additionally, the community population must be at least 51% Low to Moderate income.

NOTE: If your community is not listed on the LMI Percentages by County and City 2000 Census list OR your community has not already completed an LMI Survey, you will be required to conduct an LMI Survey to determine your community’s eligibility. You can request information about conducting an LMI Survey by emailing Rural.Arkansas@arkansas.gov or calling 1-888-787-2527.

Rural Community Development Grant

Funds projects for communities with population less than 3,000. Maximum of $15,000 with 50% match. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, construction or renovation of community centers, baseball/softball fields, walking tracks, park and playground equipment, pavilions and community beautification projects. Visit www.arkansas.gov/drs for an application or contact the DRS RCGP Coordinator at 1-888-787-2527 or 501-682-6011.

County Fair Building Grant Program

County fairs located in counties with a population of less than 55,000 are eligible for up to $4,000 per fiscal year for construction, renovation or general improvements of county fair buildings or purchase of items shown to directly improve the building or the services that the county fair association may provide.

To see the improvements made with past funding follow the link: announcelinkscountyfairgrantees.htm

Wildlife Recreational Facilities Pilot Program

Applicants from incorporated cities and towns and unincorporated rural areas of less than 20,000 in population are eligible for up to $100,000 toward a single project per fiscal year.  Projects include but are not limited to the construction or renovation of the following facilities: community fishing ponds, firing ranges, fishing access piers, archery ranges, fish cleaning stations, canoe or boat launches, observation platforms and blinds.

For information regarding ADRS and grant opportunities visit http://www.arkansas.gov/drs/drsgrants.html or call 1-888-787-2527.

Department of Rural Services County Fair Building Grant

County Fair Associations located in counties of less than 55,000 in population are eligible for up to $4,000 for general improvement projects. Match ratio is 50/50. Visit www.arkansas.gov/drs for application or contact a DRS County Fair Building Grant coordinator at 1-888-787-2527.

Arkansas Department of Agriculture helps develop farmers’ markets and assists in the marketing of agriculture-related products.

Arkansas Department of Health offers the Healthy Communities Program.

Arkansas Department of Heritage runs the Main Street Program and awards historic preservation grants and services.

Arkansas Department of Higher Education is involved in educational issues within communities.

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism supports tourism development at the state and community level, operates the state parks system. Parks and Tourism also offers a variety of grants.

Arkansas Department of Rural Services holds the Arkansas Rural Development conference and offers grant programs for rural communities.

Arkansas Development Finance Authority loans to businesses and for housing.

Arkansas Division of Volunteerism has community volunteer and recognition programs.

Arkansas Economic Development Commission is the main contact for economic development in the state and has a variety of energy programs.

Arkansas Geographic Information Office performs GIS related work for the state.

Arkansas Science and Technology Authority offers grants and support for technology-based businesses.

The Arkansas Department of Information Systems offers a variety of technological services to communities such as data center and server hosting, network services (Internet connectivity), operational services (high volume printing), project management, website development, and data storage, click here for a link to the products and services site.

For more information visit http://www.dis.arkansas.gov or call ADIS at 501-682-2701.

Southwind Analytics is an affiliate of The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group and was established in 2013; it is dedicated to providing business and financial institutions with geospatial intelligence for placing capital in the marketplace through discovery of previously unknown business opportunities.

Information Network of Arkansas manages the website for AR state government, develops websites for counties.

Accelerate Arkansas is a group concerned about Arkansas moving forward in science, technology, education, and math.

Innovate Arkansas supports technology-based entrepreneurship.

Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center helps small businesses across the state with a variety of services.