City of La Crosse ARPA Nonprofit Funding – RFP

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Nonprofit Funding – Request for Proposals

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) Program of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) is intended to provide a substantial infusion of resources to State and Local governments to help turn the tide on the COVID-19 pandemic, address its economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery.

The City of La Crosse has allocated $2,000,000 specifically for nonprofits located in the City of La Crosse meeting pandemic response needs and/or building a stronger and more equitable community. La Crosse Community Foundation was hired as a contracted partner to help ensure an equitable, transparent, and user-friendly process. The foundation will set up a new review committee to oversee grant decisions, and all grant awards will come from the City of La Crosse.

Purpose of this grant

The City of La Crosse is seeking proposals that fit the criteria of one of two Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds Program of the American Rescue Plan Act grant programs for nonprofits:

Project-based requests that address public health, and/or provide services to disproportionately impacted communities

Unrestricted requests for nonprofits to recover from the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic


The organization, award and reporting requirements for both types of funding opportunities are:

  • Applicant organization must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to apply. For the project-based grant, organizations can use a fiscal sponsor who is a 501(c)3 to serve as the “applicant”
  • Applicant organization must have a bricks and mortar physical presence and/or office in the City of La Crosse and serve primarily residents of the city
  • Applicant organization must have no outstanding financial obligations to the City of La Crosse (i.e. property taxes, utility bills, past due bills, etc.)
  • Applicant organization must be an established organization in operation for at least one full year prior to the start of the pandemic (March 2020)
  • Award must be used by grantee and cannot be used to make additional grants to other organizations
  • Applicant organizations must be able to comply with federal reporting guidelines, including but not limited to: Grantees who receive $50,000 or more will be required to submit quarterly project and expenditure reports. At a minimum, all grantees will be required to provide annual grant reports.

Eligible Use of Funds and Additional Requirements – by Grant Type


Unrestricted Requests

Requirements (in addition to those listed in the general “Requirements” section above):

  • Applicant must be able to demonstrate COVID-related negative economic impacts
  • Applicant must be a 501(c)3 to apply and cannot use a fiscal sponsor

Examples of eligible use of unrestricted funding includes, but is not limited to:

  • Grants to mitigate financial hardship such as declines in revenues or impacts of periods of business closure; for example, by supporting payroll and benefits costs, costs to retain employees, mortgage, rent, or utilities costs, and other operating costs;
  • Grants, to implement COVID-19 prevention or mitigation tactics, such as physical plant changes to enable social distancing, enhanced cleaning efforts, enhance ventilation, barriers or partitions, or COVID-19 vaccination, testing, or contact tracing programs; and
  • Grants for technical assistance, counseling, or other services to assist with business planning needs
  • Grant awards can be used to cover expenses dating back no further than March 3, 2021
  • Grant awards can cover up to two years of support from the award date of February 15.


Project-Based Requests

Requirements (in addition to those listed in the general “Requirements” section above):

  • Applicant organization must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to apply. Organizations can use a fiscal sponsor who is a 501(c)3 to serve as the “applicant”
  • Applicant must have a DUNS number and be registered in SAM.gov
  • Applicant organization must be located within a Qualified Census Track (QCT), -OR- applicant’s project must serve individuals and/or families who live in a QCT
  • All requests must address at least one of the following federal expenditure categories: public health, or services to disproportionately impacted communities
  • All funding requests must be for expenses incurred after February 15, 2022 and can cover up to two years of support


  • New projects or strategic expansion of existing projects
  • Evidence-based and peer-reviewed projects with citation providing context of how the project is proven to lessen disparities and/or improve health outcomes

Examples of eligible use of project-based funding includes, but is not limited to:

  • Addressing health disparities and the social determinants of health, including: community health workers, public benefits navigators, remediation of lead paint or other lead hazards, and community violence intervention programs
  • Building stronger neighborhoods and communities, including: supportive housing and other services for individuals experiencing homelessness, development of affordable housing, and housing vouchers, assistance relocating to neighborhoods with higher levels of economic opportunity and enhancing or building safe recreational opportunities in disproportionally impacted communities
  • Addressing educational disparities exacerbated by COVID-19, including: early learning services, increasing resources for high-poverty school districts, educational services like tutoring or afterschool programs, and supports for students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs and
  • Promoting healthy childhood environments, including: child care, home visiting programs for families with young children, and enhanced services for child welfare-involved families and foster youth

APRA Grant Timeline

The RFP process will include an informational webinar that will be recorded to provide an overview of grant guidelines and to answer questions organizations may have about applying. Technical assistance will be available on an on-going basis to organizations who want to receive assistance in preparing their application.

RFP announced:                             Nov 1, 2021

Applications Open:                        Nov 1, 2021

Informational webinar:                Nov 8, 2021 at noon (email ARPA@laxcommfoundation.com to register)

Technical assistance:                    Ongoing, schedule a time

Proposals due:                                December 8, 2021

Awards announced:                      February 1, 2022

Grant period begins:                     February 15, 2022

Applying for a Grant

All grant applications must be submitted using La Crosse Community Foundation’s online grant portal. The form will open November 1, 2021 and an access code will be required to apply. Applications are due by 11:59 PM December 8, 2021. No late applications will be accepted.

Please contact ARPA Grant Director Annie Berendes to get started. She will:

  • Qualify your organization as eligible to apply
  • Confirm access to La Crosse Community Foundation’s grant portal, and
  • Provide the access code for the correct application form

She can also:

  • Answer questions you have about the application
  • Review your proposal and provide feedback, if requested at least one week prior to the deadline

ARPA Grant Director Contact Information:

Annie Berendes | ARPA@laxcommfoundation.com | (608) 782-3223 ext. 26

Click here to schedule a meeting with Annie

Review and Evaluation Process

A special ARPA Grant Evaluation Team of nine community members will be assembled to evaluate grants. Team members will be selected based on their understanding of nonprofit financials, public health and community awareness, and experience with nonprofits. Six team members will be selected by La Crosse Community Foundation and three by the City of La Crosse. No current members of the La Crosse Community Foundation staff, board of directors, or grants committee will join the ARPA Grant Evaluation Team. The committee will score proposals and meet to make grant award recommendations to the City, who will ultimately approve or deny requests.

Preview the Questions:

ARPA Project-Based GrantARPA Unrestricted Grant

Click here to download the RFP