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Rural Innovation Grant Program

Empower Rural Iowa

Supporting Creative Projects in Rural Iowa

Rural Innovation Grant Program

The Rural Innovation Grant program seeks to support creative ideas that address current issues and challenges faced by rural communities associated with the themes of community investment, growth and connection. The word "innovation" is derived from the Latin verb innovare, which means to renew. So at its root, innovation means to improve or to replace something, such as a process, a product, or a service. It is the concept of bringing creativity into implementation with a definitive outcome. This grant is designed to support the implementation stage of projects.

Watch the Grant Informational Recording Here

  • Iowa businesses, colleges and universities, city or county government, federally tax-exempt nonprofit agencies and foundations
  • Applicants that are not a local government must include a letter of support from the mayor or a resolution from the city council.
  • Projects/programs must exist in and benefit a community in Iowa with a population of 20,000 or fewer and not contiguous to a city with a population of 40,000 or greater. If a countywide project, must be in one of the 88 least populous counties.
  • Application Window Opens June 28, 2023 on
  • Please review the Grant Guidelines found in the Resources area below for additional information on eligibility requirements, use of funding, reporting requirements and the review process. A copy of the scoring rubric has also been provided.
  • The deadline to apply for funding is 11:59 p.m., August 30, 2023. Applicants must submit applications via, the online application portal. Applications will not be accepted in any other format. Late, incomplete or ineligible applications will not be accepted. Applicants must create a login to view the full application for the program.
For more information, contact:

Liesl Seabert