Improvement Grants

Community Improvement Grant Program


The 2024 Application deadline has passed. Check back in November for the 2025 program.


    Fifty $500 grants are available to 4-H clubs and FFA chapters implementing valuable community improvement projects. Funds will be awarded to assist club and chapter members in bringing positive change by establishing projects that make local communities better places to live.

    Eligible 4-H clubs and FFA chapters must be located in one of the 60 central and southern Illinois counties served by Farm Credit Illinois.

    Proposals will scored by a grant review team, and recipients will be contacted via the email addresses provided on the application by the end of March.


    • Solicit project suggestions from club/chapter members and select the most worthwhile project for your community. Be sure the work involved is age appropriate for your members to complete.

    • As your group develops project ideas, note the following criteria judges will consider on each application. Does your project:

      • Create a tangible, visible, and lasting presence at a specific site in the community
      • Leverage the sweat equity of youth working together
      • Deliver positive value to the community
    • Appoint or elect a committee of 4-H/FFA youth to provide leadership to the project.

    • Consider how working with other community organizations could contribute to the success and scale of your project.
    • Develop a timeline and budget for completing the project. Be descriptive on the application timetable and make sure volunteer hours are accurate and your budget balances.


    The following list of winning projects completed by other clubs/chapters may stimulate discussion for your group.
    • Implement a tree planting program

    • Provide repairs at a community church

    • Develop a bicycle, horse, or hiking nature trail

    • Provide improvements to a local park or cemetery

    • Provide landscaping at a fairgrounds, park, or other community meeting place

    • Build a resting bench for a public space

    • Construct a welcome sign for your community

    • Plant a community garden 

    • Clubs/chapters who have received grants in past years can apply for funds to continue or add to previously sponsored projects. Be sure to fully describe the scope of the project as judges change from year to year.

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