Core Grant Overview
- Requests up to $50,000
- Focus on People Attraction: Population growth, retention, and tourism
- Preference given to capacity building opportunities alongside material purchases
- Payment provided upon acceptance of the grant award with follow-up reporting required within 12-months of receiving funds
- Coaching opportunities provided by the DRA and community partners throughout the grant cycle
- Application Available: Monday, May 8, 2023
- Application Deadline: Friday, May 19, 2023
- Grant Award Announcement: Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Focus for Grant Applications
Applications should tie to the mission of People Attraction: Population Growth, Retention and Tourism. This aligns with the DRA’s mission of providing social, economic and community betterment and lessening the burden of Dubuque city and area government, as well as our vision of being a dynamic community resource, acting as a catalyst to enhance the quality of life and financial well-being of the tri-state community.
Capacity Building vs Material Purchases
Historically, the DRA has funded mostly material items, in 2022 we shifted this model and funding preference will be given to applications with capacity building alongside of material purchases.
What is Capacity Building?
Capacity building is the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, processes and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt and thrive in a fast-changing world.
Examples of capacity building activities and potential projects:
- Planning Activities: Organizational assessments, strategic planning, creating a development plan/strategy.
- Donor Development: Marketing/communications, online donor portals, improvements to the donor experience.
- Strategic Relationships: Strengthening relationships with professional advisors and/or nonprofit partners.
- Internal Operations: Improvements to donor database/financial management system, volunteer management, organization website.
- Professional Development: Staff, contractor, or affiliate volunteer(s) attendance at regional/national conferences, local or online trainings.
- Financial Audits: First time audits which can open additional funding opportunities for the organization.
- Organization Marketing: Website creation/design, marketing materials, materials to help promote the organization externally.
Types of Organizations that Can Apply
Nonprofit organizations that meet eligibility requirements are encouraged to submit a grant application. The DRA considers each unique application on a case-by-case basis, with the overall goal of people attraction: population growth, retention, and tourism.
Applications will be considered from organizations in all sectors including:
- Arts & Culture
- Civic & Community Development
- Emergency Services
- Health & Human Services
The DRA’s geographic focus is the tri-state area. The primary focus being Dubuque and contiguous counties, including Grant, Lafayette and Iowa counites in Wisconsin and Jo Daviess county in Illinois.
- Applicants must be a non-profit, tax-exempt organization that has received 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)5, 501(c)6, 501(c)(7), 501(c)(8), 501(c)(10), or 501(c)(19) designation from the Internal Revenue Service or must be a unit of political subdivision (i.e., Conservation Districts).
- Organizations are not allowed to share or borrow a 501(c) status with another organization. The name on the application must match the name on the IRS-issued letter.
- Only one application per 501(c) or equivalent tax-exempt organization will be accepted.
- Individual schools, churches, and volunteer fire departments will not need a 501(c) letter. They are either exempt by law or fall under a blanket exemption because of their ties to a municipality.
- Cities/villages/towns/counties are allowed one application. A statement of support from the city/county administrator endorsing the project must be included with the application.
- School applications must be submitted through the district office. If there is no district office, submission must be approved by the school principal or administrator.
- One district application should be submitted to encompass all schools within the district.
- School Districts including Dubuque Community Schools, Western Dubuque Community Schools, Holy Family Schools, Maquoketa Community School District and Monticello Community School District: one application should be submitted on behalf of the entire school district. While individual projects at each school will be considered, we encourage an application that can benefit the entire district.
- If an affiliated organization is applying on behalf of the school, the affiliated organization must hold a 501(c) in its own name and a letter from the principal/administration must be included with the application. The letter must state that the school/district does not intend to submit an application and the organization is applying on their behalf.
The DRA will not fund the following though the core grants:
- Capital campaigns
- Political causes, candidates and lobbying efforts
- Individuals, including scholarships and personal benefits
- Debt incurred or purchases made prior to calendar year 2023
Applications will be scored on the following:
- Alignment with the DRA Mission: People Attraction (population growth, retention, tourism)
- Alignment with their organizations Mission
- Is there a clear plan on how to incorporate Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into their work
- Nature of Need: Is the program/project unique or are other organizations doing the same thing
- Partnerships: Other organizations/groups you work with to accomplish the overall goal of the program/project
- Overall Impact: What is the impact for the community and is there sustainability beyond initial award of fund
Recognition of Funding
The DRA has created guidelines to assist organizations with properly recognizing the DRA for funding this includes, but is not limited to:
- Press Release
- Social Media Post
- Logo Lock-up