Cycling Grants are grants that fund projects aiming to enhance the cycling infrastructure of a community or city. Cycling, a sustainable and healthy mode of transportation, has seen a notable surge in popularity in recent years. Whether it’s to decrease our carbon footprint, improve physical health, or simply indulge a newfound hobby, more individuals are turning to bicycles as a preferred method of transportation.
This article seeks to demystify the world of cycling grants, offering a guide on how to access these funding opportunities, with real-life examples and a list of twenty organizations to help you get started on your cycling journey.
Importance of Cycling Grants
As more urban landscapes strive to be bicycle-friendly, there is a corresponding rise in the demand for funding to support cycling initiatives. Cycling grants serve as a crucial financial boost, helping initiate cycling infrastructure projects, educational programs, community events, and safety training.
These grants are integral in promoting the cycle culture, making cities safer for cyclists, and encouraging more individuals to switch to this green mode of transportation.
Understanding Cycling Grants
Cycling grants come in various forms and sizes, catering to a wide range of needs. Some grants focus on community-level projects, such as bike share programs or infrastructure enhancements, while others target individual endeavors, like competitive cycling or research on cycling safety.
Understanding the different types of cycling grants available and their eligibility criteria is key to securing the right funding for your project.
These are grants that fund projects aiming to enhance the cycling infrastructure of a community or city.
Examples of such projects include constructing bike lanes, developing cycling trails, and installing bike racks. One such practical example is the ‘Better Bikeways’ initiative, funded by the PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program. The project aimed to improve the bike lane network in a local city, making commuting safer and more convenient for cyclists.
Educational grants support initiatives that spread awareness and education about cycling, its benefits, and safety measures.
A notable example is the ‘Cycle Safety First’ program funded by the Active Transportation Alliance, which aims to educate school children on cycling safety measures, encouraging them to take up cycling as a healthy and eco-friendly habit.
Competitive Cycling Grants
These grants are aimed at supporting competitive cyclists, cycling clubs, or organizations that promote competitive cycling.
An excellent example is USA Cycling’s ‘Race Clean Program’ that provides funding for anti-doping initiatives in cycling events.
Key Funding Organizations
Various organizations offer cycling grants based on different focus areas and eligibility criteria. Here are twenty organizations that fund such grants:
1. PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program: This program funds infrastructure and advocacy projects that make communities safer and more accessible for cyclists.
2. Active Transportation Alliance:This organization offers grants to projects aimed at making streets safer for cycling.
3. USA Cycling Foundation: They provide grants for competitive cycling, athlete development, and anti-doping initiatives.
4. Bicycle Colorado: This organization supports initiatives that aim to promote and improve cycling in Colorado.
5. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy: They fund projects that convert old railway lines into multi-use trails.
6. The Bikes Belong Foundation: They provide grants for infrastructure improvements and educational programs.
7. Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival: This UK-based organization funds projects aimed at encouraging more people to cycle.
8. Specialized Foundation:They offer grants to schools for implementing cycling programs in physical education.
9. SRAM Cycling Fund: This organization offers funds to projects that improve cycling infrastructure and safety measures.
10. REI Co-op: They fund numerous outdoor activities, including projects aimed at making communities more cycle-friendly.
11. The Can’d Aid Foundation’s Treads + Trails initiative provides grants to increase access to bikes and outdoor activities.
12. East Bay Community Foundation: This foundation funds programs that encourage bike use in East Bay, California.
13. Safe Routes to School National Partnership: They offer grants for initiatives that make walking and cycling to school safer for children.
14. Trek Foundation: The Trek Foundation funds projects that create bike-friendly communities and encourage bicycling as a means of combating climate change.
15. Clif Bar Family Foundation: They offer small grants to initiatives that promote outdoor activities, including cycling.
16. Cycling Fund of Greater Cincinnati: This fund provides support for improving cycling conditions in the Greater Cincinnati area.
17. The Primal Wear Advocacy Grant Program: This program funds projects promoting the use of bicycles for transportation and fitness.
18. Laura Jane Musser Fund: They fund initiatives that encourage cooperative efforts within the community to promote biking.
19. Bikes for Kids Foundation: This foundation provides grants to organizations seeking to give bikes to kids who couldn’t otherwise afford one.
20. Outdoor Foundation: They offer grants to initiatives that inspire future generations to enjoy outdoor activities, including cycling.
How to Apply?
Applying for a cycling grant involves several steps, the first of which is to identify the right grant for your project or initiative. Make sure your project aligns with the funder’s objectives and eligibility criteria.
Most applications require a detailed proposal outlining the project, its goals, the projected budget, and its potential impact. It’s crucial to articulate how your project encourages cycling, improves safety, enhances infrastructure, or meets the specific objectives outlined by the funding organization.
Always remember, the more specific and detailed your proposal is, the better your chances of securing funding.
If you’re applying on behalf of an organization, it’s often beneficial to demonstrate community involvement or support for your project. Data supporting the need for your project can also strengthen your application.
Cycling grants provide a tremendous opportunity to augment cycling in our communities, whether by improving infrastructure, promoting safety education, or supporting competitive cycling.
These funding sources are an essential tool in making our cities safer, healthier, and more sustainable. Armed with the knowledge of the types grants and the organizations that provide them, we hope you’re ready to embark on the rewarding journey of enhancing cycling in your community.
Remember, the best applications are those that can effectively articulate the project’s potential to impact the cycling community positively.
So, put your best foot forward (or rather, your best wheel forward) and get started on your cycling grant application today!