Neighborhood Matching Grants Program

The City of Papillion awards up to four $2,500 matching grants (1 per ward) each year to assist in projects that benefit a neighborhood community. The following information will assist you with developing and writing your grant application. If you have any questions after reading this material, please contact Tony Gowan, Parks Director and Neighborhood Program Coordinator, at 402-597-2049 or by email.

First time applicants are strongly encouraged to schedule a pre‐application appointment with staff to assist you in addressing any questions or concerns that may arise during the application process.

Eligible Applicants

The Neighborhood Grant Program provides matching funds to:

  • Organized neighborhood associations and Community Areas that draw membership from a commonly recognized geographic neighborhood in the City of Papillion.
  • Neighbors and civic groups who have organized to provide a benefit to a neighborhood community.

Eligible Projects and Activities

Projects suitable for this grant are those requesting funds of up to $2,500. Grants shall be awarded to projects from among the four wards of Papillion, with a maximum award to each ward of $2,500 per year. The goals of the Neighborhood Matching Grants Program are to promote networking between residents in order to bring neighbors together, promote positive communication between residents and City government, build the organizational capacity of neighborhoods, and encourage a physical and visual improvement that encompasses and benefits a larger area of a neighborhood in order to build a greater small community.

  • Community Enhancement: Projects/activities that build or enhance a feature of the neighborhood,
    benefit the City of Papillion, and are within the City’s legal authority to approve. These cannot be projects
    that would be funded by a homeowner association’s dues and are projects that can be undertaken and
    completed in a short period of time.
    • Examples include: Landscaping traffic islands or portions of right‐of‐ways; public amenity (benches and
      public art); community gardens; neighborhood identity signage; entrance or gateway landscaping; and
      banners that will improve the appearance and livability of the neighborhood.
  • Neighborhood Leadership and Community Building: Projects/activities to build the organizational
    capacity of neighborhood associations or create opportunities for the networking, improve conditions, or
    enhance the quality of life within the neighborhood. Projects that provide opportunities for volunteering
    and encourage “neighbor helping neighbor” outcomes are desirable.
    • Examples include: Sponsoring trainings such as, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), “Map
      Your Neighborhood,” First Aid or CPR classes, outdoor health and recreation (walking, biking, running,
      etc.) activities, emergency preparedness fairs. Food products and/or alcohol are not eligible for funding.

Matching Grants

Grant projects require a dollar‐for‐dollar neighborhood match for City funds awarded. For every dollar requested through the grant fund, one dollar of match must be provided by the applicant organization. For more information, see the Neighborhood Match section of this document.

How to Apply

Neighborhoods interested in participating in the Neighborhood Matching Grants Program must complete and sign a Neighborhood Matching Grants Application. Applications may be mailed or delivered to the City of Papillion, Neighborhood Matching Grant Program, 122 E Third Street, Papillion, NE 68046, or fax applications to 402‐597‐2049, Attn. Tony Gowan.

Please include the following attachments as applicable:

  • Maps indicating location and scope of project.
  • Project description in addition to those provided on the application form (e.g., sketches, timelines, etc.).

Additional information may be requested by staff.

Project Criteria

All projects must be within the City Limits and benefit the City of Papillion. Projects that require ongoing funding or staffing by the City will not be considered for funding. Projects must be compatible with adopted City plans/policies and completed within six months of approval (unless otherwise arranged) and include a plan which outlines the steps and a timeline, with month and year, to complete the project.

Activities should be free and open to the public; meetings are to be open to all residents and businesses residing within the neighborhood. The grant program emphasizes self‐help with project ideas initiated, planned, and implemented by the neighbors and business community members who will be impacted by the project. If special provisions are required to be performed by City of Papillion employees as part of the project activity (e.g., road closures, coordination with city events and projects, etc.), preliminary approval of such provision shall be required prior to application.

PROJECT EVALUATION: A team of City staff will review applications and make recommendations for approval. This team will be looking for the following:

Examples of items to be evaluated include may include the following:

  • The project/activity has a well‐defined scope, goals and detailed steps (e.g. what is being done and by
  • A timeline is set.
  • The leaders are clearly identified and have made a commitment to the project.
  • The project/activity can be completed within the current calendar year or within an agreed upon time
  • Provides public benefit to the neighborhood.
  • Demonstrated need and support for the project.
  • Demonstrates the ability to fulfill Matching Grant contribution.
  • Direct involvement of neighborhood residents in all phases.
  • Physical improvements that benefit a larger area of the community.
  • The project/activity implements, or is a step in implementing, one or more recommendations of any
    adopted City plans.
  • The project/activity is consistent with City policies.
  • Participants will actively include people of varying ages, ethnicity, races, incomes, or other demographic
    characteristics that make up the neighborhood.
  • Residents will have the opportunity to take on leadership roles, develop new skills, and new community
    leaders will emerge.
  • The project/activity will strengthen and/or build new partnerships with public/private entities or other
    neighborhood and community‐based groups.
  • Project is designed for low maintenance and there is a realistic plan for ongoing maintenance.

The review team will make recommendations to the City Council’s Community Services Committee prior to being submitted for final approval by City Council.

Please contact the Neighborhood Program Staff for estimated review and approval times.

Guidelines and Responsibilities


A Project Coordinator from your neighborhood must be identified to serve as the contact person with the City during the planning and construction of the project. Responsibilities of the Coordinator will include:

  1. Acting as the primary contact for the project.
  2. Communicating with residents.
  3. Working with City staff to answer resident’s questions and facilitate neighborhood meetings where necessary.
  4. Coordinating the project.
  5. Coordinating maintenance (a maintenance agreement between the neighborhood and the City may be required).
  6. Recruiting volunteers.
  7. Filling out and submitting all paperwork.
  8. Financial accountability and documentation of expenditures including requests for Purchase Orders and reimbursement for purchases, submitting invoices, etc.


Applicants need to include a project budget in their application including all costs for the project. Researching costs early is critical to developing a budget. The following suggestions may help in developing a realistic budget:

  • Make a list of all materials and services needed to accomplish the project;
  • Get cost estimates for each item from more than one reliable source. Cost estimates need to be accurate and realistic.

Until the project receives City Council approval, the City is not responsible for, nor will it pay for, any expenses or costs incurred by the applicant for the project.


Grant projects require a dollar‐for‐dollar neighborhood match for City funds awarded. If an additional match is submitted, it will not be worth more points in the evaluation process. The “match” may be composed of many different things, including cash resources from the neighborhood group generated through fund‐raising and pledges; volunteer labor; or in‐kind donations in the form of materials or services. The best way to consider ideas for the match is to generate a list of all resources needed to complete the project and to identify those items that can be found in the neighborhood. Don’t forget human resource expertise that may be needed to develop a design or supervise construction.

Determining the Value of the Match

Use the following criteria when figuring the match:

  • Volunteers Labor – equates to $10.00 per hour (list volunteer names and hours).
  • Donated professional services or skilled labor valued at the “reasonable and customary rate.”
  • Donated material or supplies valued at market cost.
  • Cash amount from neighborhood fundraising and pledges.

Guidelines to use when determining how to provide Neighborhood Match

  • To qualify as a volunteer labor match hour, volunteers must be working on the approved grant project as described in the grant application. (Include a list of names of volunteers that have pledged to work on the project.)
  • Up to $150.00 of volunteer labor match hours may be expended on preparation of application. This includes all resident meetings, workshops and meetings with City staff.
  • The intent of the project is to encourage neighborhood and community involvement by all neighborhood residents, so as many volunteer labor hours as possible should be expended on the grant project itself.
  • The project coordinator will be responsible for providing the neighborhood’s match used to justify the cost portion of the project. Documentation of the commitments/pledges for the match is mandatory prior to start of the project. Receipts and volunteer hour documentation will be required before final funds will be released.


Assistance from City staff, or funds from elsewhere in City government, cannot be counted as a match. Professional services must be either entirely donated or entirely paid for with grant funds. “Partial donations” (i.e. professional services delivered for a discount) or other arrangements are not acceptable. This is intended to ensure that persons hired to provide services or skilled labor are selected on the basis of their qualifications, experience, and fees, not on their willingness to donate services. Food, alcohol and/or gasoline for volunteers may not be used as a match for the project.


A contract between the neighborhood group and the City must be signed or the funds will be returned to the program. Until the contract is signed, the City has no responsibility to reimburse the organization for any expenses incurred before the agreement is in place. Additionally, for projects requiring maintenance, an agreement must be signed acknowledging the City will not assume any ongoing costs for maintenance unless specified otherwise.


Grant funds are public dollars and audit requirements must be met for all funds spent. The City of Papillion Finance Department processes all grant accounts and shall reserve the right to audit all requests for reimbursement.

No funds will be disbursed until a contract has been executed.

Grant funds shall be disbursed in accordance with City of Papillion policies. Please contact the City of Papillion Neighborhood Program Coordinator for additional information regarding disbursement.


Neighborhood groups will be required to submit a list to their City contact of the volunteer’s names indicating who and when they will be working on the project.

City liability coverage applies if a project is located in the City right‐of‐way. Otherwise, liability insurance will be the responsibility of the neighborhood group or property owner when the project is located on private property.

If the project site is located on private property, the property owner will be required to write a letter granting permission for the neighborhood group to execute the project on the property and assumes all future responsibility.


The Final Report has two purposes:

  1. The Final Report should document that all elements of the contract between the City and grant recipient have been fulfilled. The documentation should include proof that City funds were used responsibly and as intended. It should also include photographs taken before and after the project was completed.
  2. The City will use the information included in the Final Report as a means to inform the City Council, the media, and interested citizens about the Grant Program. The Final Report should highlight the achievements made through the grant.

Upon the completion of the project, neighborhood groups will be required to provide a brief project summary to the City along with photographs and documents that were created and printed with the use of grant money.

IMPORTANT NOTE: One copy of the Final Report shall be submitted to the City no later than thirty days after completion of the Project.

Open Deadline for Application Submittals

Project Grant applications may be submitted at any time. For more detailed information, refer to the Neighborhood Project Grant Application Instructions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to meet with City officials prior to application for preliminary review and should allow a minimum of 45 days in the project time‐line for the review and approval process. Applications will be reviewed on a first‐come, first‐serve basis.

Project Ideas


  • Building community gardens
  • Landscaping traffic islands, streetscapes and portions of right‐of‐ways
  • Installing neighborhood entry signs
  • Beautifying entry sign areas
  • Holding a neighborhood clean‐up or other special event
  • Designing and painting a mural
  • Installing floodlights
  • Planting perennial seeds, bulbs and/or trees
  • Building urban parks and/or playgrounds
  • Adding public amenities (benches, picnic tables, etc.)
  • Replacing a sprinkler system
  • Historical

A separate grant application must be submitted for each proposed project.