ARPA Sustainability Grant Program

Icon for ARPA Sustainability Grant Program (2)

Under guidance from the Manchester Sustainability Commission, the Town of Manchester Board of Directors passed a resolution on October 4, 2022 authorizing a total of $500,000 of available American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for grants to nonprofit organizations to promote sustainability, resiliency, and equity. After an initial application period between September 8, 2023 and November 3, 2023, $423,341 was awarded to 13 Manchester-based organizations.

Applications will be accepted as part of a second round of funding starting on February 22, 2024 until March 8, 2024. Once again the Sustainability Commission and Town staff will review all proposals and provide funding recommendations to the Town.

Applications for the Town of Manchester ARPA Sustainability Grant Program (Round 2) are available under "Application Form", below. All applications must be completed no later than 11:59 p.m., on Friday, March 8, 2024.

For more information on the ARPA Sustainability Grant Program, click one of the topics listed below. If you have questions about the grant application or the eligibility of your project, please email (We are responding to email inquiries only; no phone calls please.)

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The COVID-19 pandemic affected everyone across our Town, as well as the State, nation, and world. Particularly, it disproportionately impacted communities of color, hourly workers, small businesses, and the service industry. In addition, without societal interventions to address its challenges, the pandemic will continue to have a lasting impact on the cognitive and social development of youth. These challenges are not unique to COVID-19, and act as barriers to the Town’s ability to respond to future pandemics as well as the growing stressors from the climate crisis.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) was passed by the Congress and signed into law in March of 2021. Among other things, this bill provides unprecedented stimulus to state and local governments across the country to offset the budgetary impacts of the pandemic, and to catalyze actions and programs to enhance resilience through recovery.

The scope of the ARPA funding is broad and includes supporting immediate economic stabilization for households and businesses, and addressing systemic public health and economic challenges that have contributed to the unequal impact of the pandemic. This stimulus has the potential to provide an extraordinary opportunity to build the foundation for a more sustainable and resilient Manchester.

Sustainability Commission

The Sustainability Commission, made up of Manchester residents, is an advisory commission that promotes, encourages, and makes recommendations regarding the development and implementation of sustainability into all Town operations, both internally within Town government and externally via community-wide efforts.

For more information about the Town of Manchester Sustainability Commission, please visit our website.

Grant Purpose

This grant program seeks to enhance the overall sustainability of Manchester in support of recovery from and resilience to current and future disruptions through community-based initiatives and institutions. This grant program seeks to support non-profit organizations such as:

  • Youth development organizations, with a priority for catch-up development for educational and/or social development;
  • Organizations that build social capital (norms, trust, and networks) through meaningful engagement and representation, with a focus on under-served communities and those with higher levels of social vulnerability;
  • Organizations that value and prioritize environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation; and
  • Other community-based charitable organizations (must have 501-c-3 status).

Specific project eligibility and award uses are described in greater detail under other sections.

Grant Timeline

  • 3/8/2024 - DEADLINE for online application at 11:59 p.m.
  • 3/20/2024 - Final decisions will be made and all finalists will be emailed their status shortly thereafter (funded, partially funded, or not funded)
  • 4/1/2024 - Funds will be released, pending receipt of signed letters of agreement
  • 4/1/2024-12/31/2024 - Program, projects, etc. must be implemented and completed with all funds expended during this time frame
  • 2/15/2025- Final reports due

Funding decisions will be based on recommendations from the Manchester Sustainability Commission and the availability of funds. Submitting an application does not guarantee selection. For additional information, please email

Funding/Grant Opportunities

Requests of up to $50,000 will be considered. Approximately $50,000 of the total funding available will be for smaller sustainability grants of $5,000 or less. The amount set-aside is subject to change based on the number and type of applicants received, and total funds available at the time of the award. The two award opportunities are as follows:

RESILIENCY AND EQUITY GRANTS (up to $50,000 per award)

Grants of up to $50,000 will be awarded to Manchester based non-profit organizations for one or more of the following:

a) Facilities, equipment, or supplies.

b) The provision of community based educational or instructional programming.

c) The provision of cultural celebrations and community events.

In awarding grants pursuant to this section, the Town shall consider community resiliency and equity.

For the purposes of this grant, resiliency is defined as improving the community’s ability to absorb disturbances or shocks (environmental, public health-related, or social) while maintaining its primary functions, structures and/or characteristics.  The term equity means the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to under-served communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

SUSTAINABILITY GRANTS (up to $5,000 per award)

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to assist non-profit organizations located in Manchester with one or both of the following:

a) Sustainability related improvements to utility systems, infrastructure, or landscaping.

b) Instructional or educational programming that is focused on sustainability and provided to Manchester residents.

Projects will promote or contribute to sustainability that is aligned with the Town of Manchester’s vision for sustainability.

Eligibility Requirements

1. To qualify for funding:

  • The benefits described in the application must be focused on residents and organizations in the Town of Manchester.
  • The applicant must be a Manchester-based non-profit organization. Partnerships with entities outside of Manchester, CT may be utilized, however any awarded funds must be used to support or serve beneficiaries and/or communities within the Town of Manchester.
  • Eligible entities may submit more than one proposal and/or participate in multiple proposals provided that the proposed projects are separate, and not supplemental to another submitted proposal.
  • The grant application must be completed in its entirety and submitted by the deadline.
  • The initiative or project must fulfill the requirements of one of the funding opportunities stated in the application.
  • Projects must be completed and funds expended by December 31, 2024.


2. Grant money MAY be used for the following:


3. Grant money MAY NOT be used for:


4. If approved for funding, you must:

  • Comply with all grant requirements.
  • Produce quarterly financial reports.
  • Complete a final report at the end of the program.
  • Retain all financial receipts and records for a period of 7 years.
  • Produce any financial receipts and records requested by the Town of Manchester.
  • Report and return any unused funds to the Town of Manchester.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Manchester Sustainability Commission, which will make recommendations to the Town of Manchester Board of Directors. The following rubric will be used to evaluate proposals.

Evaluation Criteria

Maximum Points Awarded*


Sustainability Grant

Up to $5,000

Resiliency/ Equity Grant Up to $50,000

The organization is based in Manchester, CT



The impact described is focused on Manchester, CT



Demonstrated capacity to deliver program



Contribution to promoting equity



Contribution to building resiliency in community



Contribution to sustainability



Clear metrics for impact for beneficiaries served by the program



Clarity and feasibility of budget request and expenses



Integration of other funding sources

Not Scored^

Not Scored^

*Y/N (Yes/No) scored items must be scored as ‘Y’ in order for the application to be considered.

^ Additional funding sources is not specifically scored, but may be used to differentiate similarly scored proposals.


Please note that the word limit for each section is just that, a limit. Do not feel obligated to provide unnecessary information in an effort to get close to the word count; there is no penalty for brevity.

Equitable Grantmaking

The Town of Manchester is committed to ensuring a diverse pool of grant applicants and awardees. The Town will ensure that non-profit organizations from across Manchester are aware of and can participate in this grant process, including organizations representing and serving historically marginalized communities.

Application Form

Applications will only be accepted via the online portal. No applications will be accepted in person or by mail.

Apply Here

For reference, a pdf document of the application questions is provided, below.

Application Question and Answer Sessions

During the first solicitation for applications, the Town hosted two (2) virtual Q&A sessions to provide an overview of the grant program and process (one on October 18, 2023 and one on October 23, 2023). Representatives of the Town were available to offer guidance and answer questions. A copy of the Q&A session presentation, as well as the recording of the first session, are provided below. An additional Q&A session will be held during the week of February 19th for organizations interested in participating in the second round. The exact date and time will be posted to this page in the coming days.

Q&A Session Presentation(PDF, 155KB)

For all questions asked outside of these two (2) Q&A sessions, please submit them via email to (We are responding to email inquiries only; no phone calls please.)

To see the answers to questions submitted through October 24, 2023, refer to the pdf document, below:

FAQ, Revised 10/24/23(PDF, 107KB)

Grant Awards

Award notifications are anticipated to be sent to all applicants shortly after final decisions are made at the March 20, 2024 Sustainability Commission meeting. Notifications will be sent out using the email addresses provided in the grant applications. Pending receipt of signed award letters, funds are expected to be dispersed on or around April 1, 2024.