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$20,000 More in Advocacy Advance Grants Available!

This post originally appeared on the Alliance for Biking & Walking’s blog.

Calling all advocates!

It’s legislative season. If your organization is working under a tight timeframe to unlock public dollars to plan, build, maintain, or promote safe walking and biking facilities, we can help. We’re delighted to announced that REI just contributed another $20,000 for Advocacy Advance Rapid Response grants, and that money is available as fast as you need it.

These grants support state and local organizations that find themselves suddenly and unexpectedly in a position to win, increase, or preserve public funding for biking and walking. We helped the Idaho Bicycle & Pedestrian Alliance successfully convince the Idaho Transportation Board to fully fund the new Transportation Alternatives Program under MAP-21; the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin turned its $3,000 Rapid Response grant into $2 million of state bike/ped funding that was in jeopardy of being zeroed out. And just last year, Bike Walk RVA used its Rapid Response grant to shower the Richmond City Council with postcards, phone calls, and emails from the community — and successfully won $4.5 million in the city’s Capital Improvement Plan Budget for bicycle infrastructure.

Sometimes traditional grant processes are too slow for these fast-acting, short-term campaigns, and that’s where Rapid Response grants come in. There are no deadlines: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis so we can be as nimble and quick in our response as communities need to be.

Last year, Advocacy Advance — a partnership of the Alliance and the League of American Bicyclists — awarded over $100,000 in grants to member organizations, in conjunction with resources, technical assistance, coaching, and training to supplement the grants. And the investment has paid off brilliantly: Since 2011, 35 Rapid Response grants have helped win or preserve over $150 million in public funding.

The additional $20,000 that REI is contributing for 2015 will make a big difference, used strategically in targeted, fast-paced campaigns for active transportation funding. With these grants, biking and walking advocates can help preserve the funding and infrastructure to make that possible for millions of people. 

So if your organization needs some extra juice for an organizing campaign, apply for a Rapid Response grant today! 

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