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Grants to Florida Nonprofits, IHEs, Agencies, and Tribes to Increase Organizational Capacity to Serve Rural Communities

FY 2023-2024 Rural Community Assets Fund (RCAF)


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Volunteer Florida (VF)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Florida: RAO Communities and Counties

Important Dates
Deadline: 09/20/23 5:00 PM EDT Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $10,000 to Florida nonprofit organizations, IHEs, agencies, and Tribes in eligible regions to increase organizational capacity to serve rural communities. Funding is intended for organizational and training support for applicants serving communities in the Rural Areas of Opportunity (RAO).

Rural Community Assets Fund grantees will receive and be required to attend Volunteer Florida Foundation trainings to establish or strengthen volunteer programs. Additionally, grantees will receive ongoing technical assistance and coaching.

Applicants need not have an existing volunteer program. Volunteer activities may be in-person or virtual.

Allowable grant costs include the following:

  1. Training- Funds may be used to purchase memberships, subscription services, materials or other training opportunities/resources specifically to strengthen the organization’s capacity and ability to engage volunteers (staff training) or properly train volunteers to support the applicant’s programming (training for volunteers).
  2. Digital Media Resources- Funds may be used for the promotion of volunteer programming and communications with volunteers. Additional digital media resources aligned with the grant’s purpose and performance measures may be included.
  3. Volunteer and Promotional Resources- Funds may be used for materials to support branding for volunteer engagement efforts. Items must be clearly justified as beneficial for volunteers and volunteer engagement. Examples include, but are not limited to, tabling materials (banners, tablecloths, etc.) that will be used primarily to recruit volunteers, t-shirts that will be used repeatedly, nametags that will be used repeatedly, materials for volunteers so that they can engage in volunteer activities, like relevant school supplies, materials to assist an individual or training manuals, etc.
  4. Vetting Resources- This category includes criminal background/history checks, or other critical vetting needs required by the grantee or any partner organization(s), if relevant to the funded project.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
1) The applicant must be a public or private 501c(3) nonprofit organization, including faith-based and other community organizations; institutions of higher education; government entities (e.g., states, cities, counties, school systems, etc.); or Indian Tribes. If another entity serves as the project’s fiscal agent, it must be an established IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that agrees to accept donations on behalf of a group that does not have IRS exemption.
2) The applicant must be a Florida-based organization.
3) The applicant must establish or have a service location in, or volunteers deployed to an eligible rural area.
4) RCAF funds may only be used to support individuals residing in eligible rural areas.
5) Proposed budget line items relevant to volunteer engagement work completed outside of the eligible rural area may be included if they directly contribute to the achievement of grant performance measures in the eligible rural area chosen by the grantee.
6) Geographic locations eligible for RCAF funding must be part of one of the designated “Rural Areas of Opportunity (RAO)” as authorized by the Governor and outlined in F.S. 288.0656:

RAO Communities:
- Pahokee, Belle Glade, South Bay, Immokalee
- The area within the city limits of Freeport
- Walton County north of the Choctawhatchee Bay and intercoastal waterway

RAO Counties:
Baker, Bradford, Calhoun, Columbia, DeSoto, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Okeechobee, Putnam, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Washington

Food and travel are not an eligible budget expense for this grant.

Pre-Proposal Conference
The Volunteer Florida Foundation will host a technical assistance conference call for the Rural Community Assets Fund FY 2023-2024 funding opportunity on Thursday, August 24, 2023, 10:00am EDT. The call will be recorded and available online after the live session.

To register for the live session, click here:

Pre-Application Information
Anticipated Timeline:
- Notice of Funding Availability application submission opens – Friday, August 19, 2023
- Application technical assistance call – Thursday, August 24, 2023, 10:00am EDT
- Applications due to the Volunteer Florida Foundation – Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at 5:00 EDT
- Application review and scoring – Monday, October 2, 2023 – Friday, October 13, 2023
- Clarification provided to applicants –Wednesday, October 18, 2023
- Final applications/budgets with clarification changes due to Volunteer Florida Foundation – Friday, October 27, 2023
- Contracts provided to successful applicants – Monday, November 6, 2023
- Letters to applicants not receiving funding (as applicable) – October 31, 2023

The applicant must provide a one hundred percent (100%) cash or in-kind match (or combination), to be verified during the contract period.

The Volunteer Florida Foundation hosted a technical assistance webinar for the Rural Community Assets Fund FY 2023-2024 funding opportunity. To view a recording of the webinar, please click here:

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant
Applicants may request between $5,000 and $10,000.

Term of Contract
The grant period is 12 months from contract execution.

Contact Information
Apply online:

To ensure that this funding process is carried out in a fair and equitable manner, all questions concerning the application must be submitted to

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