Grant Assistance

This Grant Assistance Program provides comprehensive assistance on grant tracking, project and proposal development, grant writing, reporting, funding agency engagement, and application evaluation on a wide array of federal and state funding opportunities available to local governments, as well as high-level advocacy support from TJCOG's federal consultant Strategics Consulting

Each participating community is assigned a TJCOG Community Lead who facilitates an initial consultation with key departments and staff to discuss biggest funding gaps, project opportunities, and past experiences with funding agencies. This will also be an opportunity to get insight on competitive projects, long-term funding strategies, and new grants that fit the community’s needs. Communities can then request help for their own grant applications at any time, set up regular meetings with program staff to assist with internal collaboration between departments, discuss potential projects, or guidance on eligible funding sources, and receive routine updates on new funding opportunities.

Program Services:

  • Funding & Grant Tracking – Up-to-date information on upcoming and currently available applicable funding sources that match community priorities, best practices for identifying grants, and regularly-maintained overviews of reoccurring or high-priority local, state, and federal funding sources. After all, who really has time to read through notices of funding?
  • Project Development & Consultation– A dedicated staff person to help strategically think through potential projects and make connections to the most relevant funding source(s). Staff will take a proactive approach when able, ensuring development and timeliness before the release of funding opportunity.
  • Agency Advocacy & Engagement – Establishment of strong relationships with state and local funding agencies that are identified as priorities, and facilitation of meetings with agencies to talk through project ideas and alignment with funding.
  • Grant Writing – A dedicated staff person to assist with writing competitive grant proposals and letters of inquiry that are reflective of federal and state funding priorities. The individual will work directly with local staff on proposal development, partner engagement or identification, and interpretation of funding requirements.
  • Grant Coordination – Guidance on competitiveness of their proposals, opportunities to collaborate or participate in a regional/multi-jurisdictional proposal; and insight on other funding to leverage or strengthen a project.
  • Evaluation – Staff will pursue follow-up responses from funders to identify why a potential proposal was not funded and how to strengthen for a future submittal and assist with tracking this feedback to guide a community’s grant strategy. 

Interested in joining the program? Email Alana Keegan, for more details.


Program Successes

June 2022

Several local governments participating in TJCOG's Grant Assistance Program received fabulous news from NC Commerce and its Rural Economic Development Division this month.

The City of Sanford was one of 30 municipalities in the state to receive a grant from the Rural Transformation Grant Fund, a new source of support for rural economic development projects in NC funded by American Rescue Plan funding. The City was awarded $900,000 to fund the Sanford Agricultural Marketplace, which will serve as the centerpiece of the East Sanford Downtown renovation initiative and support growing demand from local farmers and vendors that was reinvigorated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The towns of Carthage, Vass, and Wilson's Mills were all selected to participate in the Rural Community Capacity program, a pilot program through NC Commerce involving Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business that improves local capacity to plan, implement, and manage economic development programs and opportunities. A total of nineteen local governments were chosen for the program.


Local governments are eligible for an expansive number of federal and state funding opportunities, including many new pots of money. See TJCOG's resources on funding and grants.