Download a PDF of the guidelines here.


Who can apply?
Businesses, non-profit organizations, government entities, and individuals may apply to the challenge.  However, we strongly encourage individual applicants to partner with a sponsoring organization.  An individual without a sponsoring organization will be required to submit additional information and will be subject to additional reporting requirements.  The challenge is administered by the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.  

Grant Size
To ensure that creativity is not impeded, there is not a minimum or maximum grant size.  

Application Deadlines & Award Dates
Application deadlines are 12:00 noon on March 15 and September 15 through 2018. Grants will be announced no later than 3 months following the application deadline.  PLEASE NOTE:  To access the online application, you must have a User ID and Password for the Community Foundation’s web portal.  A user ID and password may be obtained by registering at Once your request is approved and you are able to log in, you will be able to access the online application by going to “Available Grants”.

Successful Applications
Successful projects will respond to community needs and opportunities within the four areas identified in the Macon Action Plan,  Preference will be given to applications that are programmatic in nature. Successful applicants will have a well developed plan for sustainability, will involve teamwork, will be citizen-led, and will be inclusive. They may not be political or discriminatory.  

Economic Development – Diversify the local economy to ensure that Downtown is competitive and attractive for new business, support Macon’s institutions as economic anchors for growth, send a clear message that Macon is open for business, and support start-ups and attract job-creating businesses.

Experience – Program downtown’s social life, build the local audience, keep the urban core clean and safe, and transform Macon’s sidewalks and public spaces as the center stage for community life.

Living – Encourage more households to locate downtown, update regulations and codes to encourage investment, strengthen surrounding neighborhoods to offer the best of both worlds (downtown and intown living).

Connectivity – Cultivate and improve multi-modal transportation options, enhance safety, manage downtown’s parking system in a comprehensive manner.

The Downtown Challenge service area is the Urban Core. This area is bound by I-75 to the west, 7th Street and the Ocmulgee National Monument to the east, Little Richard Penniman Boulevard to the south, and Emery Highway to the north. Click here to view the Map of the Downtown Challenge’s Service Area.

Project Budget Summary
Each grant application must include a project budget summary that includes all revenue sources, including in-kind, (requested, pending & received) and all expenses for the project.  

How to Apply

Applications will only be accepted online.

Step One: You will need to register for a User ID and Password at

Step Two: Once your registration has been approved, you can log in to our web portal

Step Three: Hover the cursor over “Grant Applicant”  and select “Available Grants.”

Step Four: Complete the online application for the Downtown Challenge and submit all required attachments (see list below) prior to the deadline.


Required Attachments
•    Project Budget Summary (ALL APPLICANTS)
•    Organization’s Annual Operating Budget (Organization Applicants Only)
•    Most recent financial statement, audit or completed IRS form (Organization Applicants Only)
•    Photo, sketch or video clip, if applicable.

Please Note Late, faxed, hard copy, hand-delivered or incomplete applications will NOT be considered.  Please do not include any other forms or information other than what is required as outlined above.  Applicants will be contacted if more information is needed. Technical Difficulties or Questions? Only online applications will be accepted.  If you have problems or need assistance completing the application, please contact the Community Foundation at (478) 750-9338 ext. 104 or

MAP Action Committee
The MAP Action Committee was identified in the Macon Action Plan to steward the plan from vision to reality. This Committee will meet after each deadline to prioritize the proposals that are received via the online application. The Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. The Community Foundation’s Board makes the final decision on all potential grantees. To learn more about the Macon Action Plan and the ideas in it please visit

The Community Foundation of Central Georgia believes that equal opportunity is important for the continuing success of our organization.  In accordance with state, federal, and municipal laws, this Foundation intends to comply with these laws which preclude discrimination because of race, disability, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin or any other protected classification.