grant writing

EKY Flood Relief Funding Opportunities

Here’s a spreadsheet of funding resources for flood relief. As part of Vision Granted’s partnership with the Mountain Association and to support the Floyd County Long-Term Recovery Group, we drafted this spreadsheet of funding resources and want to share it with anyone who needs it.

It is mainly a list of grants (and a few loans) related to flood relief, housing, and economic development funding opportunities that could help individual survivors, local government agencies, non-profits, or small businesses. We hope it can help fund some of the important flood-relief efforts we’ve been hearing about across the region.

Times are tough. Yet, we’ve seen so much hope. There are so many good people in Eastern Kentucky helping–both local people with neighbors helping neighbors, and people from far and wide who are donating their hard-earned money or travelling and giving up their vacations to serve and lift the burden of others. Thank you!

We hope this list of funding opportunities brings hope to the survivors in these mountains who are in need, and also those “helpers” who have great ideas and just need some seed money to bring them to life.

This spreadsheet is meant to be a living document, so we are giving access to members of the Floyd County LTRG to make edits and additions of new sources. If you find outdated information that needs to be updated or if you are actively involved in flood relief and would like to have access to make edits, please email to introduce yourself and request access.

With hope,

Ruthie & the Vision Granted Team


Sharing Creative Ideas to Revitalize Rural Downtowns from Pikeville, KY

Community members in Pikeville, KY are joining forces to revive their downtown, and they’ve come up with some brilliantly creative ideas to accomplish this! Check out the report here.

Rural downtown communities across America have been suffering for decades, ever since the first mega “mart” stores began creeping across the country. While mega stores help people buy more products for cheap (woohoo!), it’s also killing local economies (boo!). Small businesses create more than 60% of private-sector jobs and employ nearly half of America’s workforce (USA Today, 2016). Now many small businesses, especially those in historic downtowns, are shuttering their doors. And COVID is only making things worse. Pikeville lost some of the local’s favorite downtown restaurants and shops during the pandemic. The attached report outlines some of the creative ways community members want to fight back to revitalize downtown and help local businesses thrive.

Many rural downtowns suffer from vacant buildings, decay, and high unemployment. These are big issues no one can tackle alone. They require creative solutions by diverse local community members working together as a team. Locals are closest to the problem and know the best ways to highlight their own assets. The attached report shows one way community members in the small rural town of Pikeville, KY are working to accomplish this.

On December 3rd, 2020, with support from the Mountain Association, I was pleased to work with the City of Pikeville, the Appalachian Center for the Arts, Donnan Consulting, and the Brushy Fork Leadership Institute to host a Creative Community Playshop for 27 community members in Pikeville, KY to discuss creative solutions to solve the problem “how do we make downtown Pikeville a fun place where more people want to visit, work, shop, and play?”

The attached report includes an overview of the event, key takeaways, potential next steps, and an appendix with more information that can help other communities host a similar event. The local Mainstreet program has already done so much to beautify downtown Pikeville. With the wonderfully creative ideas outlined in this report, I can’t wait to see what the community of Pikeville accomplishes next! I’ll be posting photos and updates as projects progress, so stay tuned. For now, here are a few photos of my family in downtown Pikeville this Fall.

4 kids pose in front of a painted bear statue in Pikeville, KY
Mainstreet Pikeville has worked with local artists and sponsors to put tons of these adorable bears downtown. My kids love pointing them out and can’t walk by one without begging for a photo opportunity. We have at least 20 pictures of my kids with this bear alone!
4 kids pose with scarecrows and pumpkins at a fall art installation in Pikeville, KY
Mainstreet Pikeville and the City Tourism folks work hard to decorate downtown for each season. This fall they had installations like this, and during Spring and Summer there are beautiful flowers everywhere. Christmas time is magical with lights and decorations at the park.
A mom, dad, and four kids smile at the camera in an alleyway decorated with multi-color umbrellas and artwork in Pikeville, KY
This is a new umbrella art installation by Mainstreet Pikeville. They are beautifying alleyways with “alley art.” It’s amazing how many people stop in this alley to snap a photo. In the background you can also see a painting by a local artist Austin Casebolt that locals refer to as “the Mountain Mona Lisa.” I love all the work Mainstreet and the City are doing to beautify our town! I can’t wait to see what happens next with more community members getting involved to make downtown even more AWESOME!
downtown revitalization, tourism

Motorsports Organization Creates $9.2M-$13.7M Economic Impact in Appalachia in 2022

Backroads of Appalachia is taking the mountains of Eastern KY and surrounding states by storm! This nonprofit organization started in 2020 near the beginning of the pandemic with just a few volunteers and a dream. Their goal was to showcase the curvy roads and beautiful scenery of the region and bring tourists from all over the world to experience “real Appalachia.”

Backroads of Appalachia’s popularity has grown quickly with their Facebook presence now reaching between 2M-8.5M people each month. Through special events like the Appalachian Hill Climb series, Jeep Fest, the McCreary Airport Takeover, and Revo Rallies, they have created over 20,000 visitor days in the region over the past year.

Because of the generous support of the Just Transition Fund, an economic impact study was performed by economist Gregory S. Green, Ph.D. The report indicates Backroads of Appalachia’s programs created an estimated $9.2M-$13.7M in economic impact in 2022.

Download the report here:



grant writing, project management

Free Project Management & Grant Writing Templates

What’s Next EKY?! recently invited me to speak at their regular Community Connections event on “10 Tips for Funding Great Projects.” During the presentation I had 30 minutes to discuss:

  1. Tips for developing a “fundable project”
  2. Finding Funding
  3. Tips for Crafting a Competitive Proposal
  4. Tools & Resources

I shared as many resources as I could to help nonprofits and government agencies in Eastern Kentucky gain the funds they need to do all the awesome work they have planned. Below you can download the presentation and the free templates mentioned. The presentation is also filled with links to great resources.

Please let me know if you find any issues with the links or templates. I’m always learning so I’m constantly updating and improving these. Feel free to use and share, but please give credit to Vision Granted. Thank you.

Presentation: What’s Next EKY?! Community Connections Call, April 21, 2022 on “10 Tips for Funding Great Projects”

Free Templates

downtown revitalization, project management

Free Download: One-Page Project Plan for Pikeville, KY

Hey guys! Here’s a one-page project plan template you can download. The Pikeville Arts Committee helped me design this fillable form for the second Pikeville Creative Community meeting scheduled for January 28th from 8:30-11:30am. You should be able to open it using any web browser and fill it in with your group to quickly plan the basic details of a project.

Let me know if you have any suggestions to improve it. If you find it useful I can make a generic version of the form y’all can use to plan any community project and post it in a future blog. I’d love your feedback. Thank you!