2021 Leadership in Community Resilience Grant Program  

The Leadership in Community Resilience (LCR) grant program supports and enhances local capacity among elected leaders and staff, communities, and community-based organizations as they pursue coordinated climate resilience efforts. Since 2017, 33 cities have participated in the LCR program.   

Climate impacts and other shocks such as Covid-19 have converged with existing stresses such as racial and socio-economic inequities or aging infrastructure to create seemingly insurmountable challenges for local governments. NLC recognizes the ever-growing need to support cities as they prepare for extreme events. Many communities are collaborating closely with local partners to take a holistic, proactive approach to tackling climate impacts by developing robust and equitable programs that also address the stresses that weaken local economies and damage the social fabric of communities.

This year, NLC is proud to partner with the Resilient Cities Network to apply their holistic resilience framework to more cities across the country and share lessons and strategies from their global network of Chief Resilience Officers.

Applications now open

City plans and programs designed to increase community resilience and connectivity in advance of climate shocks and other events can save lives and reduce recovery costs. These efforts can take many forms including community engagement, regional collaboration, reducing resident vulnerability to climate impacts, or capacity building for staff and elected officials. Applicants should be able to achieve a substantial portion of their proposed project in one year.  

Program begins in March 2021 and ends in December 2021.

LCR Grant Program Details

Who should apply?
Who should apply?
  • Cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more are encouraged to apply.  
  • Lead applicant must be a municipal government, represented by a department head, other city staff, or elected official (mayor, council member, commissioner, etc.).  
  • Local nonprofits and community-based organizations may apply in partnership with a city.  
  • Cities may apply on behalf of or in conjunction with a regional climate collaborative. 
What do grantees receive? 
What do grantees receive? 

Grantees receive the following: 

  • $10,000 in grant funding 
  • Customized support from NLC staff (1:1 consultation, research, case studies, best practices, network outreach)
  • Training and professional development opportunities from the Resilient Cities Network and NLC staff
  • Mentorship Opportunities with Chief Resilience Officers from the Resilient Cities Network
  • Access to partners providing a wide array of in-kind and low-cost services and resources 
  • Peer-learning opportunities with other grant-recipient cities in the cohort
What is the selection criteria?
What is the selection criteria?

Any of the following (but not limited to): 

  • Proposal quality: the proposal has clear project goals, and the applicant has responded to all the questions. 
  • City projects that prioritize racial equity and frontline communities are strongly encouraged to apply.  
  • Cities are strongly encouraged to partner with a community-based organization or local nonprofit. 
  • Commitment at the highest level: is the proposed project a clearly identified priority of the city’s elected officials and/or other executives?  
  • NLC Membership is preferred, but not required. 
What issue should proposal focus on?
What issues should proposals focus on?
  • Disaster preparedness and hazard mitigation (e.g., to heat, drought, smoke/wildfires, sea level rise, flooding, etc.)  
  • Embedding equity in city resilience plans/programs 
  • Water infrastructure/green infrastructure  
  • Climate migration, retreat, and associated impacts/opportunities  
  • Resilient renewable energy + storage projects 
  • Nature-based solutions  
  • Emissions reduction strategies 
What can the funding be used towards?
What can the funding be used towards?

Funding is flexible and may be used towards most costs associated with virtual events, convenings, and workshops, including community engagement programs or processes, trainings for city staff or elected officials, and regional convenings.  

Funds may not be used towards salaries of city staff or partners.  

Will the 2021 program differ due to Covid-19?
Will the 2021 program differ due to Covid-19?

While it is possible that by mid-2021 physical distancing precautions and limits on travel will not be necessary, we have decided to avoid these uncertainties by eliminating NLC staff site visits. Cities and their partners are encouraged to include virtual engagement in their project design as opposed to larger, in-person events. We do not plan to host an in-person Resilient Cities Summit.  

Timeline and key dates

Timeline and Key Dates

  1. Submit proposal by Wednesday, December 23, 2020. 
  1. Finalists will be contacted for interviews in January 2021. 
  1. All notifications will be sent by February 12, 2021. 
  1. Program begins March 2021 and assistance continues until December 2021. 
new for 2021

New for 2021

Grantees will receive customized support and mentorship opportunities from the Resilient Cities Network (RCN), and will have more access to external partners and subject matter experts than in previous years. Additional partners include Climate Access, Urban Land Institute (ULI), NOAA, Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management (I-DIEM), American Society of Adaptation Professionals (ASAP), ICLEI, NASA, Thriving Earth Exchange (TEX), ecoAmerica, and more. 

Apply now for LCR!

Apply for the Leadership in Community Resilience Grant Program now by clicking the button to the right.

Past LCR Grant Cohorts

We have a rich history of achievement through the Leadership in Community Resilience grant program. Read the stories of success to learn more about the LCR impact.