How would a City-funded project help foster, enhance, and renew the characteristics that make your neighborhood and the City of Fort Collins a great place to live and work?
New in 2017, the Vibrant Neighborhoods Grant (VNG) is a progressive and innovative program which offers funds in support of neighborhood projects that are envisioned, developed, and driven by the residents and local stakeholders through a collaborative process.
Projects that improve a neighborhood or help to foster community building. Eligible projects must be implemented within the limits of the City of Fort Collins. Review the evaluation criteria to help understand if a project is likely to be approved. Here are a few ideas to help your neighborhood start brainstorming a great project:
|Commissioning Public Art Installations||Installing Bike Parking or Repair Station|
|Establishing a Community Compost||Community Events|
|Community Gardens||Neighborhood "Do-it-Yourself" Library|
|Upgrading porch lights or bulbs to support Night Skies||Path Connections|
|Updating a Neighborhood Pool||Improvements to Pedestrian Access|
Projects that primarily benefit the neighborhood itself will be eligible to receive up to $20,000 in funding. Examples include improvements to a small local park, efficiency upgrades, or hiring professional facilitators and planners to help you and your neighbors develop a plan for the future of your neighborhood.
Projects that provide benefits extending outside the neighborhood and provide substantial benefit to the City and its residents as a whole are eligible to receive up to $50,000 in funding. Examples include infrastructure improvements on through-streets and path connections.
Grant funds should be used to improve upon or align with existing objectives, projects, or plans developed or implemented by the City of Fort Collins. Consider reviewing these resources as a starting point:
Incorporating Preferred Project Attributes may help to create a more competitive application.
All applicants must participate in a collaborative brainstorming process in their neighborhood to qualify for grant funding. A collaborative brainstorming process is one in which public forums are held to discuss what could be beneficial for the future of the neighborhood and discuss projects and plans that align with the future your neighborhood envisions.
We can help!To help with the collaborative brainstorming process the VNG program offers a free Meeting in a Box kit to any interested neighborhood. The kit includes supplies for brainstorming and planning including guides, paper, pens, and markers, and also a City staffer or facilitator who will assist participants in discussing ideas and building consensus.
The Meeting in a Box can be supplemented with a micro-grant to provide funds to pay for the cost of food or meeting space in amounts of up to $300. A short application must be completed to utilize the micro-grant. You are strongly encouraged to utilize the Meeting in a Box and micro-grant as the initial step in your process.
Click here to register for the Meeting in a Box and apply for a micro-grant
Collaborative forums may be hosted in local restaurants or cafes, public meeting spaces, internet forums, backyards, or anywhere that is accessible and welcoming for neighbors and local stakeholders to participate and deliberate. Stakeholders may include residents, property owners, business owners, employees, HOAs, neighborhood associations, community organizations, non-profits, or other persons or organizations which are able to demonstrate an existing connection to the geographic area.
Applicants must use the Collaborative Brainstorming Session Participant List to demonstrate their process.
Include completed Participant List(s) when you submit your final application. The Participant List helps demonstrate that a group of neighborhood stakeholders were engaged in developing project ideas. You should consider all of the ideas that neighborhood stakeholders propose.
We recommend that you and your neighbors do not delay starting this process. You may find that more than one meeting is necessary to gather and consider ideas for your neighborhood. During your meeting or meetings you should identify project managers who can work together to ensure everyone in the neighborhood is engaged and welcomed to participate.
Once your brainstorming process has been completed your neighborhood should submit a Letter of Intent. The purpose of the Letter is to concisely state that a neighborhood is committed to filing a grant application, and to provide a basic description of the project(s) that your neighborhood wishes to implement. We recognize that your neighborhood may be considering multiple project ideas, therefore your Letter may include up to three project ideas. However, only one project idea may be submitted in your final application.
Click here to review the Letter of Intent form or to submit your Letter
Projects which do not submit Letters of Intent by July 12 may still submit a final application for funding, but they will only be considered if funds remain available after awards are given to qualifying projects which did submit a Letter of Intent by the due date.
Your project will be assigned a staff member to help your neighborhood as you develop a design, implementation plan, and budget based on the information provided in your Letter of Intent. Staff will help provide consultation, facilitation, and general assistance. The refinement phase should focus on ensuring that your application follows the specified format and meets or exceeds the criteria outlined in the evaluation.
During the refinement phase, it will be essential that you petition your neighbors and other stakeholders to demonstrate that they have been engaged and to determine if they support the proposed project.
Additional information regarding the petition process will be available in mid-June.
Your neighborhood will be responsible for crafting and submitting a final application to the Vibrant Neighborhoods Grant Evaluation Committee. This committee will evaluate grant applications and consider projects for funding using the evaluation criteria.
If your application is selected, the City will work with you and your neighborhood to quickly and efficiently implement your project.
If your project is not selected, please do not be dismayed. We are ecstatic that you and your neighbors have collaborated to improve the vision and future of your neighborhood. You and your neighbors can further refine your ideas and application for resubmittal in 2018!
The application form and evaluation criteria will be published in mid-June.
If you have any questions about this program please contact:
Thomas Fahey, Program Assistant
(970) 416 - 4358
Please note that information regarding the Vibrant Neighborhoods Grant is subject to change.