How Nonprofits Can Access ARPA Funding

Nonprofit Association of Washington is here to support nonprofits seeking ARPA funding as well as advocating on your behalf with state and local government (see Resources for Government Partners to learn more about our advocacy for inclusive priority-setting and effective funding distribution).
The resources below, along with upcoming educational workshops, will help you decide whether to apply for ARPA funding available via federal grants, state or local government grants and contracts. We cannot guarantee that our listings of available funding will be comprehensive, so we list places where you can do additional grants research as well.
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ARPA Grants

Below is a list of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants available to nonprofits in Washington of which we are aware. This list will include federal grants and state and county level grants as they become available. If you are a funder, please share your funding opportunity with us so we can help spread the word. Nonprofits, read below for additional information and guidance regarding how to explore ARPA funding opportunities. Don’t miss the link to our google sheet (All Washington ARPA Funding Opportunities button above) tracking currently known grant opportunities.

Federal ARPA Grants

A good deal of ARPA funding will be distributed directly by the federal government. It is not easy to complete a federal grant proposal — they can be very time — consuming and usually are only worthwhile for larger nonprofits making substantial requests. There are specific compliance requirements as well, and it is important to go into the process with your eyes open.

If you have not received federal funding in the past, we recommend you view our government grant workshop series to better understand the general requirements and evaluate whether it is a good fit for your organization at this time. Washington State and local grant and contracting opportunities are typically much easier to apply for and manage (see below).

Where to do additional research on federal grant and contracting opportunities:

Washington State & Local ARPA Grants

It is difficult to keep up with how ARPA funding is flowing through state and local governments. We will continue to share what we are learning, and we urge you to do additional research relevant to your field of service as well. Here are a few things to know:

State of Washington

The State of Washington’s ARPA funds are largely being allocated by the legislature as a part of the budgeting process, providing extra resources that will be distributed by a number of different state agencies (Department of Social and Health Services, Department of Health, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, etc.). The money is coming to the state in two parts: a total of $3.5 billion was awarded in May 2021 and allocated as shown in the graph below. The second part will arrive around May 2022, and there may still be opportunities to influence how this funding is invested.

To access this chart on mobile, please use this link.

These allocations are based on the National Conference of State Legislatures data tables. Hover your cursor over the graph for specific dollar amounts allocated to each subsector, listed in millions.

If your mission is aligned with the work of any state agency, now is a good time to get on their mailing list (visit their website and look for a subscription option) to hear about future funding opportunities. You should also register in the Washington Electronic Business System (WEBS) to receive notices of state contracting opportunities.

County and City Governments

County and City Governments in Washington State are receiving a total of $2.25 billion through an ARPA program called the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Each local government has significant latitude in how to invest these funds, within the general framework of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Each entity has a different timeline and different priorities, but in many cases, there are still opportunities to influence how your county or city distributes ARPA funds. Note that they may or may not use a traditional grant process or Request for Proposals (RFP), and the money may or may not be clearly labelled as ARPA funding. Use the spreadsheet below and reach out directly to your local government officials to better understand their strategy and timeline.

Where to do additional research on local government grant and contracting opportunities:

“National Conference of State Legislatures” ARPA State Fiscal Recovery Fund dashboard – Tracks how much ARPA funds are being invested into different categories by state.

Association of Washington Cities – Scroll down to see specific ARPA plans by a number of cities in Washington State.

Grant Writing Help

We recently presented a three-part workshop series titled “Get Ready for ARPA” in collaboration with the Puget Sound Grantwriters Association. The series covers preparation for applying for government grants (especially federal grants), proposal writing, and compliance issues. You can access recordings of these webinars here.

If you are located in Empire Health Foundation’s region in Eastern Washington, we recommend you connect with Empire Health Foundation’s Building Equitable Economies project, which is providing assistance to nonprofits applying for ARPA funding.

Nonprofit Association of Washington has general resources available on grant writing and offers workshops regularly. Here are a few of these general resources:

Other Resources

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