The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is once-in-a-generation legislation that will help strengthen communities that faced heavy economic losses during the pandemic. In addition to the $65 billion in direct relief allocated to all 19,000 cities, towns and villages, ARPA also offers cities billions of dollars in federal grants for local housing, health care, technology modernization, education, workforce, transportation, and economic development needs.

Applying for these competitive grants can be complex and challenging, particularly for small and medium-sized municipalities. To address these challenges, the National League of Cities (NLC) has launched a free grant navigation program to assist your government’s staff in collecting the necessary data and applying for federal grants available under ARPA.

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NLC’s ARPA Grant Navigation Program will assist your city’s staff through four key steps needed to successfully secure grant funding available through ARPA:

  1. Conduct a Data-Driven Needs Assessment
    Using digital tools developed by NLC, the program will help your city measure which areas have the greatest needs, including nutrition, housing, and employment assistance.

  2. Match your Community’s Needs with ARPA Funding Streams
    The program will help your city identify which ARPA grants can best address the needs of your community, using the Social Progress Index framework focused on addressing basic human needs, foundations of community wellbeing, as well as economic opportunity and mobility.

  3. Apply for Federal Grants through ARPA
    The program will pair your city with a local navigator highly experienced in municipal government to assist you with completing competitive grant applications to access federal funds available through ARPA.

  4. Collect the Necessary Information for Treasury Department Reporting
    Your local navigator will ensure you are collecting and keeping the relevant data needed to fulfill the Treasury Department’s reporting requirements once grant funding is awarded.

By participating in the program, not only will your city receive specialized, one-on-one assistance, but you will also be contributing to a robust nationwide collection of data that will help inform policymakers on how to maximize the impact of federal dollars. In the long term, the data you help us collect will help us ensure that federal grant dollars for local governments are used in a fiscally responsible manner and provide the greatest value for residents going forward.

NLC’s ARPA Grant Navigation program is free of charge, and your city will incur no costs in participating.

Additionally, your city will be organized into a cohort of other municipalities based on size, needs, and ARPA funding streams. The program will facilitate monthly meetings with members of your cohort to share resources, strategies, and tactics for successfully securing federal grant awards. Cohort members also have access to a private communications platform to share additional information and resources.

Who Is Eligible?

Currently, the NLC ARPA Grant Navigation Program is conducting a pilot in the Great Lakes region, with cities in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota. Eligibility may expand to additional regions once the program is scaled to facilitate higher volume. The program is open to both NLC members and non-members.

How Can I Sign Up?

To begin your participation in NLC’s Grant Navigation Program, please complete this form.

ARPA Grant Navigation Program

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NLC is a strategic partner for local leaders and municipal staff, serving as a resource and advocate for communities large and small. Click the button to learn how NLC can help deliver for your city.