Community Connectors Grants

Supporting leaders in small and mid-sized communities—in and out of government—to repair the damage of divisive infrastructure.

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Smart Growth America in collaboration with Equitable Cities, the New Urban Mobility Alliance, and America Walks have created the Community Connectors program to help advance locally driven projects that will reconnect communities separated or harmed by transportation infrastructure and tap available federal and state funds to support them. 15 teams from small to mid-sized cities (between approximately 50,000 and 500,000 in population) will be selected to receive a capacity-building grant to advance these projects.

Public entities and nonprofit organizations may apply together as small teams to receive grants of up to $130,000 each for capacity building to advance these projects.

In addition to the grant, the selected teams will also receive customized technical assistance and participate in a learning exchange program over the subsequent 18-24 months, which includes a required convening in Atlanta, GA in November 2023.

Applications are due before July 15, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.

APPLY NOW Learn more: Read the full application

Learn more about the Community Connectors Grant program

Join us for a webinar to learn more about the Community Connectors Grant program on Tuesday, June 6th at 2 pm ET.  At the webinar, we’ll take a closer look at the program’s guidelines and requirements, go over the program in more detail, and answer any questions that will help you and your partners put together a strong application.



Community Connectors: Free tools for advocates

While only 15 teams/cities will be selected for this program, anyone advancing similar projects can tap Transportation for America’s Community Connectors portal of resources. (Transportation for America is a program of Smart Growth America.) Whether trying to stop a divisive, destructive, and unaffordable freeway expansion, steer more resources to transit, or advance a Reconnecting Communities project to remove an old highway or make wide, dangerous arterial roads a little safer for people to cross, the Community Connectors portal decodes the processes, explains common terms, clarifies the important actors, and inspires with helpful real-world stories.

Dig in at 

Guidelines and requirements

  • Community size: Teams representing cities between ~50,000 and ~500,000 in population.
  • Eligible entities: Government agencies (including US territories), tribes, non-profit community-based organizations, and academic institutions. Each team will identify a lead organization for the application. *For-profit entities are permitted to be part of a wider project team but are not eligible to receive any of the funds directly or indirectly disbursed through the grant.
  • Convening: Teams are required to be able to participate in a convening and learning exchange in Atlanta sometime during the week of November 13, 2023 where projects and technical assistance will be co-designed and scoped. Travel and hotel costs will be covered for ~six members from each team.
  • Eligible funding uses: The capacity building grants are intended to build a community’s capacity—including the capacity for community members and community-based organizations to participate in this work—to advance these kinds of projects. Grant funds may be used for staff salaries, consultant fees, data collection and analysis, meetings, supplies, funding support for community-based organization participation, initiative-related travel, other direct expenses, and other expenses not named here but approved during the scoping process
  • Ineligible funding uses: In keeping with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation policy, funds may not be used to support clinical trials of unapproved drugs or devices, to construct or renovate facilities, for capital costs of any kind, for lobbying-related activities and expenses, for political activities, or as a substitute for funds currently being used to support similar activities.
  • Assent to participate in evaluation: An independent research group selected and funded by RWJF will conduct an evaluation of this program. As a condition of accepting this assistance, grantees agree to participate in the evaluation.
  • Reporting requirements: Grantees will be expected to provide narrative and financial reports periodically as well as information needed for overall project performance monitoring and management. Teams will be required to participate in periodic meetings and give progress reports on their capacity-building grants. Each team will be expected to provide a written report(s) on their project.
  • Budgeting guidelines: After selection, while developing the scope for the capacity-building grant, the team will collaborate on a schedule and a budget that specifies how and when the funding will be spent. This guidance will be provided in the fall.

For full information about how to apply, who can apply, what the grants can be used for, and other questions, visit our application page.

Community Connectors program partners

Apply to the Community Connectors grant program

Apply to the Community Connectors grant program

Our new Community Connectors grant program will help advance locally driven projects that will reconnect communities separated or harmed by transportation infrastructure and tap available federal and state funds to support them.

Read More ›
Building consensus: Congress takes on zoning

Building consensus: Congress takes on zoning

On April 28, 2023, SGA attended the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in their hearing, “Building Consensus to Address Housing Challenges.” At the hearing, senators recognized the housing crisis and the need to address it, and witnesses testified to various approaches to solving housing problems and delivering more much-needed housing affordable to … Continued

Read More ›