Community Improvement & Outreach Grant

Please Note: HAND is currently not accepting applications for the Community Improvement & Outreach Grant. We appreciate your interest, please check back in winter 2016 for updates on this program. Thank you.

Salt Lake City has allocated $187,000 in grant funds for community non-profits, neighborhood groups, and neighborhood business districts as part of the Community Improvement & Outreach Program.

This program is designed to quickly and efficiently improve the quality of Salt Lake City's communities and neighborhoods. With the help of residents & local organizations these funds can be used towards public safety projects, recreation and education projects, sustainability projects, neighborhood improvements, neighborhood-school partnerships, local project developments, and more.

Grants will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Small Neighborhood Improvement Grants: $12,000 for grants to community organizations for smaller neighborhood projects with a maximum award of $2,000 each.
  • Large Neighborhood Improvement Grants - $90,000 for grants to community organizations for larger neighborhood improvement projects with a maximum award of $10,000 each.
  • Community Outreach Grants - $20,000 for grants to community organizations for community organizing or outreach efforts with a maximum award of $1,000 each.
  • Neighborhood Matching Grants: $65,000 for grants to community organizations for permanent physical improvement projects with a maximum award of $5,000 each. 
All groups/persons awarded money will be required to match the City’s contribution with a one-to-one match of in-kind volunteer labor valued at $18.19 per hour and/or a cash match.
The application period is currently closed. For more information contact 801-535-7712 or
Grant Requirements
The program is a matching grants program for neighborhood groups, community nonprofit and neighborhood-based organizations to improve the quality of life in their communities.  The program awards funds to eligible organizations for projects that will make neighborhoods better places to live, work, play, and shop. Non-profits, neighborhood groups, community-based organizations, and neighborhood business district organizations are encouraged to apply.
Eligible projects must meet the following criteria: 
Be located within Salt Lake City limits
Provide a public benefit 
Enlist community participation
Physical improvement project applications must show that 51% of the neighborhood supports the project
Is highly visible to the general public
Be compatible with city plans, policies and permitting processes 
Use goods and services from Salt Lake City based businesses when possible 
Ineligible projects include:
Requests from individual property owners on their own behalf
Equipment for improvement projects
Overhead costs
Construction projects that do not have community involvement
Association dues
Refreshments for regular organization meetings
Political campaigns
Projects that require city resources for ongoing maintenance and repair costs
Projects that conflict with existing City policies
Grant funds may be used for the following types of projects:
  1. Crime and Public Safety projects to reduce crime and increase safety in neighborhoods.  Programs that involve residents working together to make their neighborhood a safe place and to watch out for one another, creating a sense of community security and well-being.  Project examples include neighborhood watch signs, citizen patrol development, crime prevention activities, and fire safety educational programs.
  2. Culture, Recreation, and Education projects to improve the overall enrichment of the community’s residents.  These programs are a great opportunity to engage members of the community in activities that can help them grow personally and in turn help the community grow.  Project examples include after school and tutorial programs, programs for senior citizen, music or art enrichment programs, neighborhood/business district festivals and block parties, and outdoor or recreational activities.
  3. Energy and Sustainability projects to help neighborhoods/business districts curb energy consumption and protect natural environments.  These initiatives build partnerships to strengthen a community’s natural well-being and quality of life.  Project examples include neighborhood/business district sustainability plans, home or business energy audits, bicycle racks and lanes, walking trails, encouraging healthy lifestyles, recycling programs, neighborhood/business district clean-up activities, and open space improvements.  
  4. Neighborhood or Business District Improvement projects to include physical improvements to public areas that the entire community can access and benefit from.  Every community in Salt Lake City should be a beautiful place in which to live, work, and shop.  Project examples include decorative street lights, landscaping and neighborhood/business district beautification, community gardens, neighborhood/business district entrance signs, small playgrounds, and murals and public art projects.
  5. Neighborhood-School Partnership projects to encourage partnerships between neighborhoods and the schools within them.  Neighborhoods and schools are interdependent – the quality of one affects the quality of the other.  The goal of these projects is to build a sense of community and shared vision between schools and neighborhoods.  Project examples include school-community gardens, honor roll recognition programs, service projects on school grounds or in the community, book drives, teacher appreciation events, community festivals, tutoring and mentoring programs, and family nights.
  6. Organizational Development projects to assist in increasing the overall effectiveness and improving operations of neighborhood-based organizations or neighborhood business district organizations.  One of the most effective ways to impact change in your community is through having well-organized and committed organizations.  Project examples include leadership or board training and development, membership recruitment campaigns, and outreach tools such as newsletters, websites, meeting signs, and brochures and directories. 
Grant Award Guidelines
  1. Applicants must be a neighborhood group, community-based organization, neighborhood business district or non-profit agency.  Awards cannot be made to businesses, institutions, political groups or government agencies.
  2. Projects must demonstrate a commitment from the applicant and the surrounding community. For physical improvement projects, applications must show that 51% of the neighborhood supports the project.
  3. Applicants are fully responsible for completing the projects.
  4. Applicants who fail to start their project within thirty (30) days of receipt of the grant award (does not apply to Community Outreach Grants and Neighborhood Matching Grants) or who fail to complete their projects within project dealines may be required to return or forfeit the grant award. 
Application Review and Selection Criteria
Applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of five members representing the Mayor’s Office, City Council Office, Housing and Neighborhood Development Division, Economic Development Division, and the Engineering Division.  
The committee may elect to meet with any or all applicants discuss the application and proposed projects.
Upon receipt of a complete application, the committee will conduct a thorough review and notify applicants upon final decision.  The committee will consider the demonstrated need for the project and how it will positively contribute to the neighborhood, the applicant’s ability to complete the project, and the applicant’s capacity, if necessary, to maintain the project with non-City resources. The committee will also evaluate the locations of the awards in an effort to reach all areas of the City.  The committee reserves the right to determine the amounts awarded.  Funds are limited and award amounts may not be for the full amount requested depending on the number of proposals received. Applications must include project contingency plans in case they are not fully funded through the grant.
Disbursement of Grant Funds
The grantee shall provide invoices of Grant expenses to the Housing and Neighborhood Development Division to be reimbursed by the City to the vendor.  If necessary, the City will reimburse the grantee for invoices paid by the grantee.  The City will make no direct payments to the grantee.  The grantee agrees to indemnify the City and hold it harmless for any costs or expenses incurred in excess of the grant amount.  The project cannot be modified or substituted without the consent of the Committee.  Failure to comply may result in the grant being rescinded. If grant funds are awarded, applicants may be subject to an audit by City internal auditors.
Project Completion Summary
Upon completion of the project, the grantee is required to provide the City with an overview of its implementation including any lessons learned and how the project enhanced and strengthened the community.  The grantee shall also document any in-kind donations, volunteer work, or other contributions made to the project.  Photos may also be included.  This will help the City evaluate the usefulness of the Grant program and make revisions if necessary to make it more effective and user friendly.  Submit the project summary including the following information to  
Applications are due to the address below by December 2 at 3:00 pm.  Any applications received after this time will not be considered.
Projects must be completed within 120 days of grant award.  Community Outreach and Neighborhood Matching Grants must be completed within one year of the grant award.
The Project Completion Summary must be turned into the City no later than 30 days after the completion of the project at 3:00 pm.
Final payments will be made approximately two weeks after project completion and submission of all required project documentation.

451 S. State Street, Room 406

PO Box 145488

Salt Lake City, UT 84114

(801) 535-7712

Grant requirements, examples of eligible projects, timelines for completion, selection criteria.

This list will be updated as questions are submitted. If you have any questions please call (801) 535-7712 or email

  1. What constitutes a neighborhood for 51% support for permanent physical improvement projects?

    a. You must define the area, neighborhood or business district that will benefit from the physical improvement and gain 51% support.
  2. If our Community Council district is broken up into several area leaders, can I get 51% support of the area leaders and use that as my support basis, or do we need to actually approach residents in the affected areas?

    a. You can use the Community Council District Leaders to show that you have defined the area and that you have the 51% support. However, it is a good idea to make sure that the residents in the affected area are aware of the proposed project and any benefits or impacts it could pose.
  3. Can a Community Council submit an application without neighborhood support?

    a. A Community Council can submit a project on behalf of the community(s) they serve. However, it is a good idea to make sure that the residents in the affected area are aware of the proposed project and any benefits or impacts it could pose.
  4. Do Neighborhood Organizations need to have a bank account with structured fiduciary responsibility?

    a. No, a bank account with structured fiduciary responsibility is not required to participate.
  5. How do I get reimbursed for my out of pocket expenses for the project? Does the City only pay vendors?

    a. Out of pocket expenses can be submitted through your project coordinator to the City. The City will reimburse the project coordinator for eligible expenses at regular intervals or at the completion of the project, depending upon the length of the project. Vendor invoices may be submitted for payment at any time as long as it is accompanied by appropriate backup documentation.
  6. Can the City be a Vendor?

    a. Yes, some communities will be working closely with various City Departments and Divisions on projects. Just make sure that you have coordinated with these Departments or Divisions and they have agreed to be the vendor. Please include a letter from them stating the estimated project costs and their commitment to act as the vendor.
  7. Can the time used to prepare the application be applied as match?

    a. Absolutely. Many community members will spend time putting together the application, getting cost estimates and meeting with vendors and City departments.
  8. Can project timelines be adjusted as some projects cannot be completed within a short amount of time due to weather, etc?

    a. These grants are meant to have an immediate impact. Projects must be completed within the prescribed time frame of the grant category. Look over the categories carefully and choose the one that works best for execution and completion.
  9. Are only nonprofit groups allowed to apply for CIOG Small Grants, or can anyone apply?

    a. Community groups, business district groups are encouraged to apply for any of these grant funds. No individual or singular business can apply for a grant alone. Every group has to show how the project they are proposing is of benefit to the area they are located in. Projects should be highly visible or experienced by the surrounding area or larger defined community.
  10. Can nonprofits apply for all types of CIOG funds?

    a. Yes, but remember every group and organization has to show how the project they are proposing is of benefit to the area they are located in. Projects should be highly visible or experienced by the surrounding area or larger defined community.
  11. What is considered permanent physical improvements? Is a sign considered permanent?

    a. A permanent physical improvement is an object or installation that is not intended to be removed within a short period of time. It is sited to perform a function.
  12. Is match required for all types of funding under CIOG?

    a. Yes, all four grant categories have a match requirement.
  13. If match is required for all of the CIOG funding types, why does only one say “Neighborhood Matching Grant”?

    a. All of the grants require a match. The funding for these various grant categories was combined from other funds for this pilot program.
  14. When does the contract timeline start/end?

    a. In January contracts will be sent out to the various groups (grantees). Once the contract is sent back to HAND and it is recorded the clock starts. You will then have 120 days or one year depending on the category of the award to complete the project, and 30 days after that to submit the required summary/documentation.
  15. If doing a project that is not a permanent physical improvement, do you still need 51% support?

    a. No, only projects involving a permanent physical improvement (under any grant category) will require the organization or group define the area or community and provide evidence of 51% support.
  16. Can I submit more than one application for different categories under CIOG?

    a. Yes, any group or organization can submit more than one application. Just make sure that the individual applications are not dependent upon one another in case they are not all funded to accomplish your goal. You must submit a separate application for each category.
  17. How does the City feel about online signatures?

    a. You will not be able to submit the application or documentation online. Applications must be filled out in the online pdf, printed and then signed. There are instructions on the website. .
  18. 18. Can I use this grant in conjunction with other City grants or funding sources?

    a. If you are submitting an application for City Special Events grant to as well, you will not be eligible to receive other City grant funds for that same event. Please check all grant guidelines for eligibility and conflicts.
  19. If my project or program is already in progress, can I submit a CIOG application? Or does it have to be a new project or program?

    a. This really should be stand alone project or program component that can be accomplished within the prescribed time frame of each grant category.
  20. If I am working on a project that has received Federal grant funds, can I apply for CIOG funds.

    a. If you mingle CIOG funds with any Federal or State grants you are required to follow the regulations and requirements of the more restrictive funding.

  21. If I am working on a larger project, can I apply for CIOG funding for a portion of that larger project or does it have to fund the project in its entirety?

    a. This really should be stand alone project that can be accomplished within the prescribed time frame of each grant category.

  22. Can I submit my application by mail?

    a. Yes, but it has to arrive by 3:00pm on December 2, 2013. Late applications will not be considered.

Frequently Asked Questions.