THE LAURA JANE MUSSER FUND wants to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education.
PRIORITY IS PLACED ON PROJECTS THAT:
Bring together a broad range of community members and institutions
Provide the opportunity for diverse community members to work together
Contain measurable short-term outcomes within the first 12 to 18 months
Include community members actively in all phases of the process
Work toward an outcome of positive change within their community
PROJECTS MUST DEMONSTRATE:
Support from a diverse cross-section of community members and institutions
Matching financial and/or in-kind support from the local community
Significant volunteer participation
Reasonable plans to complete the project within 18 months or less
LIMITS OF GEOGRAPHY:
Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas (Hidalgo, Cameron, Willacy, and Starr counties only), and Wyoming may apply
The applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or fewer and must be able to demonstrate rural characteristics of their location
FUNDS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR:
Planning (up to $5,000) – These funds may support costs like: consultant or staff time, meeting costs, mailings, secretarial support, refreshments, local travel, childcare, etc. Note – this stage is optional and not a required phase prior to applying for or receiving an implementation grant. If an organization receives a planning grant from the Musser Fund, this in no way implies a commitment on the part of the Musser Fund to provide the organization with any subsequent implementation grant. But organizations that receive a planning grant may apply for subsequent implementation support after their planning activities are completed.
Implementation (Up to $25,000) – These funds are available to implement community based rural projects that originate in, have been planned by, and involve diverse people from the local community. The projects should result in a tangible outcome within at least the first 18 months.
Projects will be eligible for either planning or implementation funds during any one grant period.
WHAT THE PROGRAM WILL COVER:
New programs or projects within their first three years
A planning or implementation phase
WHAT WILL NOT BE FUNDED:
Capital campaigns and large capital expenses
General operating support
Ongoing program support
WHO CAN APPLY:
Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
Local units of Government