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Apply for a Hometown Challenge Grant

Your community's greatest asset is the people who live and work there. Keeping them safe is a top priority, but having access to life-saving and other protective equipment can be costly. We want to help with a Hometown Challenge Grant.

Does your local fire department need a “jaws-of-life” or thermal imaging camera? Is there a public building where the presence of a defibrillator could mean the difference between life and death? Does your community need an emergency alert system? The Hometown Challenge Grant program can help with these and many other worthwhile projects.

If your community is a customer of Alliant Energy, your safety fundraiser dollars are eligible for a match from the Alliant Energy Foundation. Hometown Challenge Grants are awarded to organizations that serve a greater part of the community and government-related entities - like public schools, libraries, police and fire departments. The grants must be for specific, one-time, safety-related projects that benefit a wide range of people and elicit a broad level of community support.

We will partner with you to meet the challenge

Hometown Challenge Grants are designed to enhance your efforts and provide assistance in meeting an important community need. Participation in the program requires commitment on behalf of your organization and the Alliant Energy Foundation.

Here's how it works

You do your part by developing and implementing a fundraising plan and timeline tailored to your community - it may include bake sales, golf outings, auctions, festivals, concerts or pancake breakfasts.

You need to obtain the Foundation's approval and commitment prior to the start of your fundraising efforts. Once you meet your fundraising goal and meet specific requirements, the Alliant Energy Foundation will reward your hard work by matching a portion of the dollars raised. You need to hold at least two fundraising events to qualify for the program, but the more fundraisers you have, the more dollars you qualify for.

The power of the Hometown Challenge Grant program is the matching funds. Organizations and individuals are more motivated to support a fundraising drive when there is a set goal and they know part of their contributions will be matched. The Hometown Challenge grants range from $1,000 to $3,000 with an average amount of $2,500.

Here's how to apply

  1. Select a safety-related piece of equipment needed by your organization or community.
  2. Develop a fundraising plan to raise dollars locally to purchase the safety-related equipment.
  3. Download a Hometown Challenge Grant application.
  4. Complete the application - indicating the safety equipment product information as well as who will use it and how it will benefit the community as a whole. Include how you will recognize the Alliant Energy Foundation in your plans.
  5. Attach your local fundraising plan to the completed application and mail it to:
    Alliant Energy Foundation, Inc.
    Hometown Challenge Grant Program
    4902 N. Biltmore Lane Suite 1000
    Madison, WI 53718
  6. Your application will be reviewed by the Alliant Energy Foundation staff for eligibility, and if applicable, to determine a match amount.
  7. You will receive written notification of your applications acceptance. Acceptance letters will include directions on next steps. You can expect a response within 15 days of our receiving your request.

Important things to know

  • The project must be a special, one-time, safety-related effort and not an ongoing fundraising event. For example, the purchase of a new fire truck with a long-term or ongoing fundraising effort that may take several years to complete would not qualify.
  • Your local fundraising campaign must have broad-based community support. Hometown Challenge Grants cannot be used to match a gift from one or two businesses or individuals in your community.
  • The Alliant Energy Foundation does not support grants for emergency generators as this is viewed as a self-dealing issue with our parent company, Alliant Energy.
  • Your fundraising campaign must have a goal, as well as an identified start date and completion date.
  • Applying early in the year is encouraged because there is an annual cap set on Hometown Challenge Grant funding.
  • You must complete the application process and secure Foundation approval for your project before you begin raising funds.
  • You must meet your stated goal within your established timeline.
  • Projects must be for tangible safety-related items. Training and operating expenses do not qualify.
  • If you have received a Hometown Challenge grant in the last two years, you are ineligible to apply.

Brochure and application

Download the Hometown Challenge Grant application [PDF]