Are Applications Being Accepted? YES
Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA): PDF
What does this program do?
The Rural Cooperative Development Grant program improves the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually-owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers. Grants are awarded through a national competition. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a notice published in the Federal Register and through an announcement posted on grants.gov.
Program Funding: $5.8 million
Maximum Grant Amount: $200,000
Who may apply for this program?
Nonprofit corporations and institutions of higher education. Public bodies, for-profit business and individuals are NOT eligible.
What is the matching funds requirement?:
The matching requirement is 25 percent of total project costs (5 percent for Native American tribally-controlled colleges and universities that were granted land-grant status under an Act of Congress in 1994).
How may the funds be used?
Grant and matching funds can be used for developing and operating a Rural Cooperative Development Center. Examples of technical assistance and other services the Centers provide are:
- Conducting feasibility studies
- Developing business plans
- Providing leadership and operational improvement training
- Facilitating strategic planning
What is an eligible area?
A Center can be in any area, but the individuals and businesses assisted must be in an area other than a city or town with a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants and the urbanized area of that city or town. Check eligible addresses
How do we get started?
Before you apply:
- Request a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number if your organization doesn’t already have one. You should plan on requesting it at least a month before the application deadline because you’ll need that number for the next pre-application step (see below).
- Register your organization with the System for Award Management (SAM) if you aren’t already registered. The registration is free. You need to complete several steps. It’s a good idea to start the registration process at least a month before any application deadline. Before you start the registration process, we suggest reading through the HELP materials available on the SAM website. Then, you’ll need to create an account. After you create your account by setting up a user ID and password, you can register your organization. Remember, you’ll need your DUNS number to complete your registration. Also, make a note of your Commercial And Government Entity (CAGE) code and expiration date because you’ll need those for your application.
Forms & Resources
- Select the Forms & Resources tab to access program forms and resource information.
Who can answer questions?
If you have questions, you can contact your nearest Rural Development office.
Will I Need to Send Any Reports if I Receive a Grant?
Yes, you will need to send regular financial and performance reports. Your grant agreement will tell you how often you need to send the reports, what forms you need to use, and what information you need to put in the reports.
Where Can I Get More Information about the Program?
Please read the Federal Register Notice for important information needed before applying for the grant. You can find the Rural Cooperative Development Grants program regulations here.
What law governs this program?
Program Regulations – Code of Federal Regulation, 7 CFR 4284, Subparts A and F
This program is authorized under section 310B(e) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT) (7 U.S.C. 1932 (e)) as amended by the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018.