Neighborhood Development Grant Program
- To demonstrate collaboration with community groups and organizations
- To develop leadership within the neighborhood
- To encourage neighborhood residents to participate
- To enhance partnerships between community organizations and the city
- To improve neighborhood appearance
- To integrate arts and cultural activities into our neighborhoods
- To promote healthier, safer and cleaner neighborhoods
Grant applicants may be asked to attend an RNA meeting to present and answer questions. If you have any questions concerning application opening and closing dates please contact the Neighborhood Services Coordinator at [email protected] or 540-853-6006.
The City of Roanoke's Office of Neighborhood Services, in partnership with the Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates (RNA) is proud to offer the Neighborhood Development Grant Program. The program creates opportunities for neighborhood organizations to make their neighborhoods safer, cleaner, and healthier by providing them with the resources to achieve their goals. Previously, the City primarily supported the neighborhood development grant program with HUD CDBG funds, but now the grant program is entirely supported by city general funds.
Who Can Apply
Neighborhood groups are not required to provide a match in the form of in-kind donations, volunteer services, and/or cash. However, when an application is being evaluated by the RNA, special consideration will be given to projects that leverage or combine funding from sources that contribute to the project and thus do not rely solely on financial assistance from the city. Eligible groups include: neighborhood and community associations and crime watch groups (a list of groups recognized by the City can be found at https://www.roanokeva.gov/1198/Links-to-Neighborhoods). Ineligible groups include: educational institutions, individuals, private or for-profit businesses and corporations, and religious institutions.
Neighborhood Development Grants are for Roanoke neighborhood associations and organized community watch groups. The grants fund activities and projects that promote neighborhood awareness, pride, and public facilities; develop organizational capacity; and eliminate blight. To apply, click here.
The RNA reviews Neighborhood Development Grant applications and recommends recipients to City Council four times per fiscal year (the City’s fiscal year begins in July and ends in June. For example, fiscal year 2023 began July 1, 2022 and ended June 30, 2023):
- Applications received in July will be reviewed in September.
- Applications received in August, September, and October will be reviewed in November.
- Applications received in November, December, and January will be reviewed in February.
- Applications received in February, March, and April will be reviewed in May.
The City does not accept new neighborhood development grant applications in May and June.
Eligible Projects / Examples
The Neighborhood Development Grants typically max out at $5,000 per project, but larger grant requests may be considered for projects that would provide an exceptional or particularly significant community benefit, as determined by the RNA. Neighborhood physical improvements may include:
- Tree planting
- Community gardens
- Pocket parks
- Gateway signage
- Art/cultural activities
- Projects that address neighborhood preservation, blight, safety, and/or security
Neighborhood organizations and community watch groups are encouraged to apply for funding to support projects that complement their organization's business plan, the city's neighborhood plans, the 2040 Comprehensive Plan, and/or the City's Arts and Cultural Plan.
Previously Funded Projects
A Spark Plug Grant is a mini Neighborhood Development Grant. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Neighborhood Associations were forced to stop meeting, resulting in significantly decreased participation and membership. The Spark Plug Grants are intended to jump-start new, stagnant, and lapsed neighborhood groups.
Who Can Apply
Neighborhood groups are not required to provide a match in the form of in-kind donations, volunteer services, and/or cash. The same groups that may apply for Neighborhood Development Grants are eligible for Spark Plug Grants. Additionally, groups that are not yet recognized on the City website may submit a Spark Plug Grant application requesting up to $500. However, such groups must demonstrate they are in the process of forming a City of Roanoke recognized neighborhood watch, organization, or association to be eligible for funding.
Spark Plug Grant funds are to be used as “start-up” funds. The projects they support should increase or create a sense of community identity and raise awareness about the existence of and ways people may participate in their neighborhood group. Spark Plug Grant applications must stand alone.
The City accepts Spark Plug Grant applications all year, except during the months of May and June. The Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates (RNA) review grant applications and make funding recommendations to City Council.
Eligible Projects / Examples
Applications must demonstrate that the applicant/group is well-structured and that it or the proposed project provides a benefit to the community/residents. Spark Plug grants range from $250 to $1,000 and may be used for the following kinds of projects/expenses:
- Advertising/Printing: For instance, social media advertising, creation of signs, general and special meeting notices, flyers, postcards, newsletters, etc.
- Event and Meeting expenses: Associated with set-up, reservations, equipment, games, and entertainment. This can include food, but not alcohol.
- Administration/postage: 501(c)(3) applications or reinstatement fees, State Corporation Commission applications fees, social media costs, postage for mailing newsletters, postcards, other notices publicizing the neighborhood associations meetings or other business, copies, and supplies used in the conduct of neighborhood association administration.
- Education/training: Hosting workshops, attending leadership or neighborhood conferences.
- And other activities or services approved by the Roanoke Neighborhood Advocates or City of Roanoke staff.