Downtown Challenge 2.0

Deadline: September 15, 2022 at Noon

The Downtown Challenge 2.0 Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia was created to implement the Macon Action Plan through a series of grants to local nonprofit organizations, government entities, individuals, and businesses. To read the Macon Action Plan, please visit The Community Foundation appreciates your interest in the Challenge. The following guidelines should provide you with all the information you will need to apply.


Thanks to generous grants from the Peyton Anderson Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, $1.5 million has been invested in the Downtown Challenge 2.0 Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Georgia.  This 18-month program will fund the best ideas to transform Downtown Macon into a place that is a kid-friendly, inclusive, creative, and greener urban core.

This grant will fund creative, transformational ideas for Macon’s downtown from organizations and individuals. A broad-based, competitive grant program, the Challenge will fund the best ideas – small and large – that entice both businesses and individuals to call Downtown Macon home.

Funding Priority

Priority will be given to projects that ensure the Urban Core is kid-friendly, inclusive, creative, and greener. The five areas  grants should address are as follows:

  • Support the Engines of Economic Development – Grow Downtown as the economic center of the region, with an effort to balance retail and residential while preserving workspace. Explore opportunities to return to Macon’s roots with a renewed focus on the music industry, entertainment, arts, and tourism, growing the mix of local businesses Downtown equitably.
  • Create an Unparalleled Urban Core Experience – Sustain a Downtown experience that draws visitors, attracts talent, drives investment, and creates jobs. Develop a wide range of activities that make people want to visit, stay, play, live, work, launch, and invest. Make the Urban Core beautiful, lush, more fun, and comfortable after hours.
  • Focus on Downtown Living – Increase residential development and add residents in Downtown and nearby, fight blight, and revitalize neighborhoods throughout the Urban Core.
  • Cultivate Connectivity – Enhance the pedestrian experience and focus on safety in the Urban Core. Improve key corridors and bike infrastructure to increase transportation choice.
  • Take Action for Implementation – Ensure that improvements and programming are inclusive and attract a full cross-section of individuals and families from across the region, develop new leaders, and level the playing field.

Geographic Restrictions

The Downtown Challenge grant 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. The Map of the Downtown Challenge’s Service Area is above.

Maximum Grant Amount

To ensure that creativity is not impeded, there is not a minimum or maximum grant size. Please keep in mind that there are three rounds of the Challenge and approximately $450,000 will be awarded in each round.

Funding Cycle

Application deadlines are 12:00 noon on March 15, 2021, September 15, 2021, and March 15, 2022.  Grants will be announced no later than 3 months following the application deadline.

Upcoming Deadline: Monday, March 15, 2021
Decision Deadline: June 2021

How to Apply

Individual Applicants – Please read the following before moving forward.

Existing Web Portal Users: Click here for instructions on how to apply as an individual instead of an organization.

New Web Portal Users: Click here for instructions on how to apply as an individual instead of an organization.


You will need a User ID and Password for Spectrum Web Portal to access the online application. Then, complete the online Downtown Challenge 2.0 application, which will require attaching the following documents in electronic format.

  • 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. A standard form is required and found here.
  • Current IRS Determination Letter – should indicate 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. If no designation, a statement detailing the status of an application with the Federal government or future application plans may be submitted, along with a statement of charitable purpose.
  • Organization’s Annual Operating Budget (Organization Applicants Only)
  • Most Recent Financial Audit Report or Most Recent IRS Form 990
  • Photo, sketch, or video clip, if applicable.

Late, hardcopy, or incomplete applications will not be considered for funding. 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.

Please contact the Foundation at or (478) 750-9338 if you have any questions.

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.

Notification of Grants

Applicants will be notified of the Board’s decision no later than 3 months after each deadline.

Reporting Requirements

This grant requires the completion of a final project report including a financial report. Final reports are due within two months after depletion of the grant funds, prior to submitting a new grant application, or no later than April 30, 2022, whichever is earliest. To be eligible for future grants, the Community Foundation must have completed final reports on file for all previously awarded grants when submitting a new grant application. The final report form is available here.

Technical Assistance

If you have problems or need assistance completing the application, please contact the Community Foundation at (478) 750-9338 ext. 104 or

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