Is there a maximum community population to qualify?
Eligible applicants within counties with a maximum of 40,000 population. If your community is located in one of the 10 counties with population over 40,000, you would not be eligible for this grant program. The 10 counties include: Butler, Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Reno, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Wyandotte. However, for rural communities that are in these counties and are working to address a community need, ORP is able to work with you and share the information discussed as we build the playbooks/roadmaps for community projects as they are developed.
What is the “match” requirement?
The grant will be a stipend and will be based on $20/hour for 20 hours/week, approximately $20,800, paid out on a quarterly basis. A 25% match of cash &/or in-kind, approximately $5,000, is required and will also be reported on a quarterly basis. A cash match for additional hours is encouraged. The applicant organization is expected to provide a match through in-kind, including but not limited to, necessary tools to carry out the project (computer, internet, workspace), meeting and registration expenses, travel and mileage reimbursement, etc. The points will be scored according to match, with full cash match receiving maximum points.
Can the Champion be a current employee?
Yes, the Champion can be an existing employee, however, the employee must transition to work exclusively on the project identified. This is intended to build capacity for the community and applicant. An example of an existing employee that could work as the Champion is if there is an intern or administrative position that is underutilized and is looking to increase their duties, knowledge, and skills.
Is there a limit to the number of grants a community or organization can be awarded?
An applicant or community is limited to one project award.
Can multiple organizations from the same county submit applications for different projects?
Because we only have funding for 12 Champions, we will make an effort to spread the funding across Kansas, making it fairly unlikely that we will award more than one Rural Champion grant per county. Organizations are encouraged to collaborate and to possibly look at merging the plans in a way that could still meet the timeline restriction.
Can multiple projects be included in an application?
If the community or organization has multiple areas of interest for a project, this can be explained in the application but are encouraged to have limited to primary focuses. The first quarter of the Champion’s work will be developing the project and planned implementation. During this time, the scope of the project will be narrowed to a single area of focus.
How will the Champion document their time?
The Champion will work with the contracted organization on how to document project time. The host organization will provide quarterly expense reports showing payment to the Champion, as well as any cash and/or in-kind match.
Can multiple communities collaborate on a regional project with a single Champion?
Yes, a regional project with multiple communities or counties would be eligible (as long as all are eligible counties) with a single entity identified as the host organization.
Can multiple organizations collaborate on a community project?
Yes, multiple organizations can work together on a Champion project with one being the lead. Any funds or in-kind committed by each organization goes towards the match, just outline the details in the application.
Can a project have multiple Champions?
No, the Champion would need to be a single person that can be fully dedicated to this project. However, if you pay wages to an additional person as a resource to the Champion on the project, wages you pay that person would count towards the community match.
Would expenses the Champion pays count towards match?
Yes, any travel or expenses that the Champion pays for themselves would count towards match. Documentation and receipts would be to be provided to the host organization to show the match when submitting their reimbursement request for the wages.
Can additional volunteer hours worked by the Champion count as match?
A limited number of hours, worked beyond the 20 hours per week by Champion, can count as match. To get maximum scoring points, a cash or in-kind match from other sources, such as paid wages, equipment, or reimbursements, to meet the 25% required match would need to be provided.
What happens if the project does not take until October 2023 to be completed?
That is fine. When the proposed project has been fully completed, the grant will end at that time. It is encouraged to think broadly about the project when planning for the year. For example, if planning to establish a landbank, do not end after it is created. Plan for implementation, use, marketing, etc.
What if the project includes construction?
If the project includes construction the Champion will have one year to develop the project, plan, funding resources, etc. Construction will need to be initiated before December 2023 and must be completed by December 2024.
Can the grant be used for any other expense?
No, the only expense that the grant can be used for is the stipend for the Champion. Other qualifying expenses paid can go toward the match.
*This list will continue to be updated.*