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Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofit Organizations
in Eligible Locations for COVID-19 Recovery Support

Building a Better Future (BBF) - Transformative Grant Program

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority (ECGRA)

Deadline Date:



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Grants to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations in eligible locations for community-benefit projects during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Funding is intended to assist households and businesses that are struggling with the health and financial impacts of the pandemic. Eligible applicants are located in and serve Erie County. Priority is given to areas and populations that have faced long-term economic challenges, disinvestment, and poverty. Proposals or work elements with an emphasis on federally protected classes that were disproportionately impacted during the pandemic are acceptable regardless of location.

The goal of the Transformative Grant Program is to meet immediate needs and make investments in long-term growth and economic opportunity. Applicants will be required to demonstrate public health or economic impact as a result of the pandemic and design a related and reasonable proportional response. ECGRA has identified three areas that the SLFRF and Erie County consider eligible and align with ECGRA’s existing community revitalization programs:

  1. Building Better Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Small Business: ECGRA specifically will support projects and programs designed to provide technical assistance for entrepreneurs and small businesses with an emphasis on those groups which were severely impacted by the pandemic to build a stronger, more equitable economy.
  2. Building Better Quality of Place: For promoting the reduction of blight, improving public spaces, strengthening neighborhoods and commercial corridors, and providing support for parks and recreation. This category includes:
    • Multi-Municipal Collaboration Grant Program (MMC)
    • Mission Main Street Grant Program (MMS)
    • Parks, Field, and Trails Program
  3. Building Better Community Facilities: This category will support "improvements to buildings and programs that are designed to jointly and directly enable work, education, and health monitoring." Community facilities will include community centers, family support centers, missions, and food pantries, job training facilities, youth development and/or after-school programs, etc. 

For program-specific guidelines, begin here:

For eligible uses of funds, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 202937

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

- Building Better Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Small Business: $1,875,000 available
- The maximum request is $250,000 and the minimum request is $10,000

- Multi-Municipal Collaboration Grant Program (MMC): $450,000 available
- Minimum grant request is $10,000 and the maximum request is $100,000.

- Mission Main Street Grant Program (MMS): $600,000 available
- The maximum request is $250,000 and the minimum request is $25,000. Capital improvements exceeding $25,000 must use the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage

- Parks, Fields, & Trails Program: $450,000 available
- The maximum request is $50,000

- Building Better Community Facilities: $1,825,000 available
- The maximum request is $150,000

Term of Contract:

- Grant contracts for BBF Transformative Grant funding shall be for a maximum period of thirty-six (36) months.
- One (1) option to extend the terms of the contract for a period of six (6) months may be granted by ECGRA. Detailed, written justification for the contract extension shall be submitted to ECGRA for review and consideration. Extensions are not automatic.
- Applicants must incur costs by 12/31/2024. Any funds not obligated by 12/31/2024 must be returned.
- Any funds obligated by 12/31/2024, but not expended by 12/31/2026 must be returned.
- If the funds allocated to the applicant are not expended on or before the expiration of the grant contract, including the extension period, the unused portion of funds shall be returned to ECGRA.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility for All Programs
- The applicant must be an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) organization. No other entities may apply for the Building a Better Future Transformative Grant Program per Erie County rules.
- Organizations must be headquartered in Erie County.
- Applicant must align proposed projects and programs with priorities and recommendations identified by Emerge 2040, as well as any other relevant existing community plans.
- Applicant must adhere to contemporary practices/policies with regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion and reflect the spirit and intent of Erie County’s Diversity Commitment Statement (Appendix C.)
- Applicant must identify a negative economic impact as a result of or aggravated by the pandemic and design a related and reasonably proportional response.
- Proposals must demonstrate a substantive public participation process.
- All applicants must be in good standing with the IRS and state and local taxing bodies.
- All applicants must be good standing with ECGRA’s reporting requirements to date.

For the MMC Grant Program, nonprofits must have a minimum of two municipalities collaborating on the project.

There are three criteria to determine if projects will be considered targeting economically disadvantaged communities. Projects taking place in these geographic areas do not need justification in terms of reaching disadvantaged populations.
1. In HUD Qualified Census Tracts (QCT);
2. Where primary beneficiaries earn less than 60% of median income for Erie County; or
3. Where 25% of the primary beneficiaries are below the federal poverty level.

For ineligible use of funds, see:

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply is June 30, 2022.

The Building a Better Future Transformative Grant Program will use a two-part process: a letter of interest (LOI) and a formal grant application. The LOI is a brief application that describes the project and how it will respond to the intent of the federal SLFRF as well as Erie County program goals. ECGRA will review the project for suitability and issue a request for a full application if approved. If a full application is requested, applicants will be required to provide an application with a detailed work schedule, program goals, deliverables, and budget.

Applicant must provide a cash match of 25%. In-kind donations cannot serve as matches. Other American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding may not match the ECGRA BFF Program.

Grants Calendar:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Program inquiries should be directed to:
Tom Maggio, AICP
ECGRA Grants Manager
(814) 897-2694

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Erie County

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