When you talk, VLCT listens.
Consistently, respondents to our annual Member Survey have cited funding, access to grants, research and writing, as top areas for needing help. It was the #1 service need for 67.7% of respondents in 2022! We understand that capacity is a major concern for towns of all sizes. Lack of paid staff and often only a small group of elected officials to shoulder all the work are challenging. Developing smart, sustainable projects – big or small – takes time, planning, resources, sustained commitment, and expertise. It starts with prioritizing local needs, assessing the funding landscape, and creating an implementation plan. In this watershed moment of federal funding opportunities, now is the time to turn your ideas into actions, but you need help. Whether for taking the very first step or removing a stumbling block along the way, VLCT can provide added capacity that allows your important projects to access additional funds and successfully complete.
VLCT has created the Federal Funding Assistance Program (FFA) with this at the forefront of our minds. Modeled after our highly successful ARPA Assistance and Coordination Program, FFA takes our work with ARPA under its wing and expands it to include the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL, aka Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, IIJA), the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). and other new and existing state and federal grant programs. We do the work of sifting through the tsunami of information and working with our broad network of state, federal, statewide, and national partners to be your voice in their processes and to curate only programs and resources for which you are eligible and that are applicable to our Vermont scale. We know that no two projects are the same, but most have a lot in common. Creating consistency and support systems gives us bandwidth to work with you on drilling down to your unique challenges.
Yes! Since ARPA is federal funding, it is now nested under the Federal Funding Assistance Program and there is still a dedicated webpage for it HERE, since it is a big topic impacting all members, as well as a specific ARPA FAQ page HERE and ARPA Compliance and Reporting page HERE. The ARPA@vlct.org email box is still active and you can send your inquiries related to ARPA to it.
Sometimes a simple, small piece of information can make all the difference in saving valuable time, frustration, and even money. One tip, trick or piece of advice can result in a more competitive grant application, a more successful compliance audit, a project budget staying on track or on budget, etc. Information is power. Knowing the rules and how to play the game is critical to success in the arena of public funding. Our Tips of the Week are designed to help you have an advantage.
Are your project documents (meeting agendas, event flyers, published reports, maps) accessible? Platforms like Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe include an Accessibility Checker that will find most accessibility issues, explain why they might be potential problems, and suggest how to resolve them. Theses checkers can help you meet your municipality's legal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. They also help you engage and include people, regardless of ability. 24% of Vermonters have some type of disability, and the percentage is growing as our population ages.
Want to learn more about creating accessible documents, presentations, meetings, and websites? The State of Minnesota IT Services has an excellent webpage series focused on accessibility. Use the Quick Cards for reminders or complete online trainings at your own pace.
Need one-on-one help?
Grab 30 minutes with us for a "Consults on Call"* appointment! Whether your project is just in the idea phase, has started to gain momentum, has stalled completely or you just need help prioritizing projects before you get started, let us help you.
If you think you need more than 30 minutes, please email FFA@vlct.org to schedule a longer time slot.
1 PM to 3 PM
7 PM to 8 PM
Member Only Service
Available only to individuals with an official role (selectboard, town manager/administrator, clerk, treasurer, library trustee, or director planning commissioner, etc.) with a VLCT member.
Federal Funding Assistance Program Topics
Use the quick links below to navigate to topics commonly of interest to those looking for federal funding.