AARP Wisconsin: Now accepting 2022 Community Challenge Grant applications

Contact: Jim Flaherty, Communications Director
Office 608/ 286-6308 – Cell 608/ 698-0928, [email protected]

MADISON, WI – AARP Wisconsin invites local organizations and governments across the state to apply for the 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant program, now through March 22. These grants fund quick-action projects that help communities become more livable in the long-term by improving public spaces, transportation, housing, civic engagement, coronavirus recovery, diversity and inclusion, and more.

Now in its sixth year, the grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live.

“AARP Wisconsin is excited to kick-off the Community Challenge again in 2022 to continue helping communities across Wisconsin become great places for people of all backgrounds, abilities and ages, especially people 50-plus,” said AARP Wisconsin Interim State Director Christina FitzPatrick. “The program has proven that quick-action projects can lead to long-lasting improvements right where Wisconsinites live.”

AARP will prioritize proposals that support residents age 50 and over, are inclusive, address disparities, directly engage volunteers and aim to achieve one or more of the following outcomes for all residents, especially people age 50 and older:
 Support communities’ efforts to build engagement and leverage funding available under new federal programs through laws like theAmerican Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and more.

 Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.
 Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.
 Support a range of housing options that increases the availability of accessible and affordable choices.
 Ensure a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion while improving the built and social environment of a community.
 Increase civic engagement with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion.
 Other community improvements, including health services, community development, and coronavirus pandemic recovery.

AARP Wisconsin works in collaboration with communities across the state, bringing people together, and providing resources and expertise to help make Wisconsin’s counties, towns and cities great places to live for people of all ages. Wisconsin communities that have received these grants in previous years include: Appleton, Ashland, Bayfield, Beaver Dam, Berlin, Chilton, Cuba City, Deer Park, Ellsworth, Gays Mill, Goodman, Green Bay, Greendale, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Sheboygan, and Spooner.

The Community Challenge grant program provides direct support to all community types, with nearly 40% of past projects benefitting rural communities, 20% going to suburban locations and 40% improving urban places.

Granted projects have demonstrated an ability to help garner additional funds or support from public and private funders, encourage replication and overcome local policy barriers, and receive greater overall awareness and engagement.

The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations are considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to tens of thousands for larger projects.

The application deadline is 4:00 p.m. CT, March 22, 2022. All projects must be completed by November 30, 2022. To submit an application and view past grantees, visit