Improving Southern Nevada’s Federal Grant Competitiveness

For decades, Nevada has been among the lowest-performing states in terms of receiving federal grant funding. During the past six years, however, the State has taken several critical steps to improve its capacity and competitiveness for federal grants, which has created an opportunity for Southern Nevada. Through improved collaboration and regional prioritization, Southern Nevada stands to increase its share of federal passthrough and direct grant awards.


During the development of the Southern Nevada Strong (SNS) Regional Plan, stakeholders identified the need for dedicated and consistent funding for implementation tasks that are unfunded or underfunded. To meet these funding needs, stakeholders agreed that in addition to developing local funding options, the region should proactively seek external funding for implementation, particularly by enhancing efforts to pursue private and federal funding.

In late 2016, SNS initiated an effort with area nonprofits and the State of Nevada’s Grant Office to develop a regionally-focused strategy for improving grant capacity and competitiveness. Local governments, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community groups are poised to both lead and support this work, especially with the growing regional coordination and awareness created through the SNS Regional Plan process.

Strategic Framework

SNS Strategic Framework Document Cover

“Improving Southern Nevada Nonprofits’ Grant Capacity and Competitiveness” identifies opportunities for nonprofits to improve the quality and quantity of the grant applications they submit, and calls for cross-sector collaboration to make securing federal grants a regional priority. The strategic framework is intended to guide the approach nonprofits take with federal grants and align stakeholders across the region for shared success.

The strategic framework was developed over the course of six months with guidance and input from a workgroup comprised of grant writers and nonprofit professionals representing more than a dozen local organizations. Additionally, feedback from the greater nonprofit community was captured during an open house event held in early February where nearly 70 nonprofit leaders reviewed and provided comments on the proposed strategy.

Workshop Series

The Grants Competitiveness workshop series was developed to further the “Strategic Framework” for improving Southern Nevada’s grant capacity and competitiveness report. SNS hosted a four-part workshop series in mid-2018 and called on more than 20 local experts to share their expertise and lead discussions with local nonprofits and community based partners.

In total, more than 130 community members – comprised largely of grant professionals and nonprofit program managers – attended at least one workshop. Nearly half attended multiple.

Project partners included United Way of Southern Nevada, Guinn Center for Policy Priorities, Nevada Community Foundation, and State of the Nevada Grants Office.

Click below for to view the recording for each workshop.

Additional Resources