Does your project need $10,000? Apply for an ARDPI Mini-Grant!

We wanted to pass on this mini-grant application opportunity from our friends at the Brushy Fork Institute.  For more information, contact Jane Higgins or attend the February 22nd information session at Berea College.

The Appalachian Rural Development Philanthropy Initiative (ARDPI) is a shared effort of the Kentucky Philanthropy Initiative, Endow Kentucky, the Blue Grass Community Foundation, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, The Center for Rural Development, and the Brushy Fork Institute. The organizations in this group share a wealth of knowledge related to philanthropy, community development and leadership development. The group is committed to promoting wealth creation and community transformation through a concerted effort that builds civic, human and financial capacity around local philanthropy. This work involves creating an infrastructure that engages local people in communities and builds the capacity of the region through prudent stewardship of resources, thus supporting the growth of local wealth through permanent community endowments.

The Center for Rural Development and The Brushy Fork Institute will offer a mini-grant option related to ARDPI for Prospect Communities.  Prospect Communities are those that are in the planning stage of philanthropy work and need to build capacity. 

Eligible counties for the January 2012 Mini-Grant cycle are: Adair, Bath, Breathitt, Carter,  Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Green, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Lewis, Lincoln, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Robertson, Rockcastle, Russell, Wayne, and Wolfe. Qualified applicants may request a maximum $10,000 in ARC funds for an ARDPI community foundation capacity building mini-grant project.

Expected impacts of mini-grants for Prospect Communities

The communities who receive an ARDPI Mini-Grant should be advancing their community in developing a culture around philanthropy by one or more of the following:

  • Forming an organized committee or an advisory board for community philanthropy, representing a cross section of the community,
  • Setting up a fund devoted to the community with an existing community foundation,
  • Becoming an affiliate of an existing community foundation, or
  • Engaging in other activities that specifically advance their community philanthropy goals.

Community Foundations and other Partners in ARDPI and roles for mini grants

Communities will be encouraged to consider existing or established community foundations as a local resource and engage them in helping move the community forward during this process.  Other ARDPI partners should be viewed as additional resources.

Critical Mini-Grant Components

Each mini-grant must address the following three components.

  1. Demonstrate Community Capacity Building

Each ARDPI Mini Grant project should represent a broad-based community.  The projects should build community capacity to mobilize local resources, gain leadership experience and strengthen the community’s philanthropic capabilities.

  1. Demonstrate Community Philanthropy Focus

Each ARDPI Mini Grant project needs to demonstrate a community philanthropy focus.

Community Philanthropy is a community-led approach that creates locally controlled assets and invests them to strengthen rural places.  It unites the tools of community, economic and resource development, engaging citizens to come together with their voices, ideas, strategies, talents and giving.

  1. Declare project impact.

Each mini-grant needs to declare at least one measurable impact from the expected impacts section above.


Appropriate philanthropic capacity building activities might include:

  • Convening public meetings and workshops in the community for capacity building activities.
  • Training and education for local leaders to increase knowledge and skills related to building community philanthropy.
  • Technical assistance in forming an advisory board or committee for community philanthropy.
  • Exploring options of forming a community foundation or becoming an affiliate of an existing foundation.
  • Activities to encourage area development districts, community foundations, and other local/regional providers to become more involved in local philanthropic capacity building.
  • Use of professional services to offer consulting advice on strategic planning related to community philanthropy.

Ineligible Activities

Ineligible use of ARC ARDPI mini-grant funds includes administrative expenses (including personnel and fringe benefits) and indirect costs.  Except under unusual circumstances, equipment purchases are not suitable for this program.  ARC monies may not be used for challenge grants, endowment funds or for attorney fees.  Regarding non-ARC match, administrative expenses and allowed equipment purchases may be counted toward the non-ARC match.  Generally, challenge grants, endowment funds and attorney fees may not be used as non-ARC match.  Non-ARC match must occur/be expended during the mini-grant period of performance in order to be counted as non-ARC match.

Mini-Grant General Application Requirements

  • Eligible applicant/Fiscal Agent

Must be a non-profit or unit of government from a 2011 Kentucky ARC designated distressed ARDPI Prospect County.

  • Timeline

Projects must be designed on a six-month timeline; beginning April 1 through September 30, 2012.

  • Capacity building/community philanthropy

The majority of the project work should center on building community philanthropy. The project should include at least one of the expected impacts listed above.

  • Connection with existing community foundations

If applicable, describe your community’s recent efforts to work with established community foundations, including the ARDPI partners.

  • Scope of work

Clearly describe your scope of work for the proposed six-month project.  In this description address who your project serves, how it builds community capacity especially related toward community philanthropy.

  • Description

Describe the activities during the project that are directly related to community engagement around philanthropy.

  • Line item budget

Describe each budget item clearly, giving rationale for expenses, itemizing expenses showing how funds will be spent and how you derived that budget item.

  • Match

Applicants must provide and document a minimum match of 20% of the total project cost.  Match can be a combination of in-kind and cash.  Cash match is encouraged.


Performance Measures

Each project must be designed with specific, quantified outcomes and measurable impacts.

  • Provide outputs (activities) and outcomes (successes) for your project.
  • Examples of anticipated outputs and outcomes are:
  • Output:  4 meetings were held to inform the community of the move toward community philanthropy and to recruit a diverse group of 10-12 to serve as the advisory board.
  • Outcome: The advisory board of 12 members was formed, meeting once a month and moving forward to advance the work local community philanthropy including setting up a fund with a community foundation.
  • Provide any statistical information that helps document the outcomes of your project.
  • Successful proposals will explain performance measures the applicant will use to measure the success of the project. Performance measures are quantifiable impacts expected from the project. The proposal should address both outputs and outcomes in terms of performance measures.

Timeline of RFP’s

Proposals are due to The Center for Rural Development by March 2, 2012.  The review committee will meet in the middle of March to approve proposals. Notification of approval will be given by March 30, 2012.

Application Process

Submit the final proposal by mail to:

The Center for Rural Development

Attn: ARDPI/Patti Simpson

2292 S Highway 27

Suite 300

Somerset, KY 42501


For questions, contact:

Jane Higgins                            The Brushy Fork Institute Phone: 859-985-3436    Email:


Patti Simpson                          The Center for Rural Development, Phone: 606-677-6110   Email:


Kristin Tracz

About Kristin Tracz

Kristin Tracz served MACED’s Research and Policy team from 2009-2012 working on clean energy policy, energy efficiency programs and the Appalachian Transition Initiative. She joined MACED after finishing her Master of Environmental Management degree at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She now lives and works in Washington, DC.