AARP Alaska 

Apply now for AARP Community Challenge Grant


March 1, 2021 | View PDF

AARP Alaska invites community organizations and local governments across the state to apply for the 2021 Community Challenge grant program, now through April 14. Grants fund quick-action projects that can range from several hundred dollars for small, short-term activities to several thousand or tens of thousands for larger projects. Now in its fifth year, the grant program is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages.

“We are thrilled to bring this grant opportunity back to Alaska in 2021 and we encourage all eligible organizations to apply,” said Teresa Holt, State Director for AARP Alaska. “We’ve seen great results from the Community Challenge grant program in communities from Anchorage to Gustavus, and this year we are focused on projects promoting diversity and inclusion, as well as aid in local recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”

Since 2017, AARP has awarded 560 Community Challenge grants to nonprofit organizations and government entities across the U.S., including 14 in Alaska. Funded projects have demonstrated an ability to garner additional funds or support from public and private funders, encourage replication and overcome local policy barriers, and increase overall awareness and engagement.

AARP will prioritize projects that deliver inclusive solutions for the needs of diverse populations, as well as those that directly engage volunteers, to achieve one or more of the following outcomes:

Create vibrant public places that improve open spaces, parks and access to other amenities.

Deliver a range of transportation and mobility options that increase connectivity, walkability, bikeability, wayfinding, access to transportation options and roadway improvements.

Support a range of housing options that increase the availability of accessible and affordable options.

Increase civic engagement and demonstrate the tangible value of “Smart Cities” with innovative and tangible projects that bring residents and local leaders together to address challenges and facilitate a greater sense of inclusion.

Support local recovery from the coronavirus pandemic with an emphasis on economic development, improvements to public spaces, and transportation services.

Ensure a focus on diversity and inclusion while improving the built and social environment of a community.

Other community improvements. In addition, AARP wants to hear about local needs and new, innovative ideas for addressing them.

The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

In 2020, AARP Alaska awarded Community Challenge grants to the Municipality of Anchorage, the Mat-Su Trails and Parks Foundation, the United Way of Mat-Su, the University of Fairbanks Cooperative Extension, the City of Newhalen, the Clausen Memorial Museum in Petersburg, the Gustavus Community Center, and the Native Village of Unalakleet. Projects ranged from intergenerational gathering spaces and air quality monitoring devices to an artistic trail reflective of community history and fitness equipment.​

The 2021 application deadline is 4 p.m. Alaska time, April 14, 2021, and all projects must be completed by November 10, 2021. To apply or learn more, visit


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