Capacity Building Grants
Strengthening the Organizations That Drive Local Development
Wisconsin’s Capacity Building (CB) Grant program is designed to help strengthen Wisconsin’s economic development network by assisting local and regional economic development groups with economic competitiveness assessments and the development of a comprehensive economic development strategy.
Up to $50,000 is available to local and regional economic development groups for the following purposes:
- Local or regional assessments of the economic competitiveness of the area (e.g., workforce, infrastructure, sustainability) that will result in a third party certification
- Development of a comprehensive economic development strategy
- Initiatives that will benefit the organizations or their members through operational efficiencies, strategy development, education/skill development or increased collaboration with other organizations
- Implementation or replication of successful pilot programs or economic development best practices
- Marketing by regional economic development organizations. In accordance with Wis. Stat. §238.135, regional economic development organizations may receive grants not to exceed $100,000 or the amount of matching funds the organization obtains from sources other than WEDC or the state, whichever is less, to fund marketing activities.
- Delivery of resources and services to Wisconsin entrepreneurs through the Entrepreneurship Support pilot
- Funding will not be given for existing or ongoing municipal or regional district operational costs or district staff salaries, purchases of equipment or tools, or costs incurred prior to receiving a CB award.
Factors Considered for Determining Grant Awards
WEDC may take the following into account when evaluating CB grant applications:
- The likelihood that a proposed effort will result in long-term benefits to the organization or its members
- The degree to which the organization can influence state or regional economic conditions (e.g., number of localities served, membership size)
- The extent to which the problem has been approached through regional collaboration with other economic development groups and other local jurisdictions
- The extent to which the project will provide impact to smaller communities/rural areas of Wisconsin
- The financial need demonstrated by the applicant
- The extent to which the proposed effort can be replicated throughout Wisconsin
If you are interested in applying for or have questions about the Capacity Building Grant funds, please contact a WEDC regional economic development director.