ARPA Funding

What Nonprofits Need to Know About ARPA Funding 

The American Rescue Plan (ARPA or ARP), signed into law in March 2022, continued many of the programs started by the CARES Act (2020) and Consolidated Appropriations Act (2021) to address issues related to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of the bill signed into law, ARPA distributed $8.5 billion towards Minnesota’s COVID-19 response and recovery, to be further allocated to the state, counties, and localities with expenditures allowable through 2026.

In both Minnesota and nationally, the nonprofit community advocated for the infusion of federal funding to provide a robust and wide variety of opportunities provided through direct relief, RFPs, and contracts for services. As of October 2022, most of the $8.5 billion has been allocated, with a very small portion of the funds going specifically to nonprofit organizations.

Of that $8.5 billion, much of the state’s $2.7 billion flexible ARPA dollars were allocated to the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which provided an untargeted tax benefit for employers across the state (including nonprofit organizations that represent 14 percent of the state’s workforce). Additionally, some portion of the $500 million in frontline worker relief payments went to nonprofit workers. Minnesota’s portion of Federal Program-Specific funds are supplementing already-existing programs.

Nonprofits interested in accessing ARPA funding should know that of the three categories of ARPA funding recipients, local units of government are most likely to have funding opportunities as they are still in the process of budgeting for and spending their dollars. Local counties, cities, and townships may still be open to ideas for partnership with nonprofits on ARPA spending. Proactively reaching out to Local Elected Officials with suggestions for potential partnerships is encouraged. 

MCN has created resources for members to learn more about ARPA in Minnesota including allocation amounts, recipients, intended purposes, expenditure rates, grant opportunities, and timelines.

Click the "Minnesota ARPA Funding Opportunities" button below to access a list of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants available to nonprofits in Minnesota of which we are aware. 

ARPA Funding Flowcart

Minnesota State & Local ARPA Spending Status

$8.5 billion in ARPA funding has been divided among three categories: 

  • Federal Program Relief Dollars: $3.5 billion;  73% Paid and Obligated; 27% Unspent (10/17/22)
  • State Fiscal Relief Dollars: $2.8 billion; 97% Paid and Obligated; 3% Unspent (10/17/22)
  • Local Fiscal Relief Dollars: $2.1 billion; 61% Paid and Obligated; 39% Unspent (03/31/22; July report data not yet available)

Minnesota is ahead of other states in spending of the state-level, flexible ARPA allocation (State Fiscal Recovery Funds) due to two major decisions by the Legislature and Governor. One was to impose a deadline for expenditures that is earlier than the federal requirement; the other was to dedicate the vast majority of the funding for one purpose – repayment and replenishment of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

MCN’s Minnesota Budget Project has information about how the state allocated ARP funding and resources. To find out more details visit's-american-rescue-plan-funds-are-being-used.

Click here to download: ARPA Funding Analysis and Opportunities for Nonprofits in Minnesota report.

Commonly Asked Questions about ARPA

The purpose of the American Rescue Plan Act  - often referred to as “ARP” or “ARPA” - is to provide fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, small businesses, and industries.

The American Rescue Plan continues many of the programs started by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 and Consolidated Appropriations Act (2021) by adding new phases, new allocations, and new guidance to address issues related to the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Generally speaking, ARPA funding has a longer timeframe for planning, implementation and spending than initial relief programs allowed. ARPA creates a variety of new programs to address continuing pandemic-related recovery as the United States begins to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan was passed by Congress on March 10, 2021 and signed into law on March 11, 2021.

How much funding is coming into Minnesota, and who is responsible for it? Minnesota was allocated $8.5 billion of Fiscal Recovery Funds, divided into three categories:

  • $2.8 billion in flexible aid to the state (the State Fiscal Recovery Fund);
  • $2.1 billion in flexible aid to local governments (Local Fiscal Recovery Fund); and
  • $3.5 billion in program-specific federal funding.

For more information about the State Fiscal Recovery Fund and program-specific federal funding, please refer to the Minnesota Department of Administration’s website: American Rescue Plan / Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) ( and this blog from the Minnesota Budget Project: ReportDetails (

A fact sheet published by the US Department of Treasury provides a detailed description of these uses:

  1. Support public health expenditures, by, for example, funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, and certain public health and safety staff;
  2. Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including economic harms to workers, households, small businesses, impacted industries, and the public sector;
  3. Replace lost public sector revenue, using this funding to provide government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue experienced due to the pandemic;
  4. Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service in critical infrastructure sectors; or
  5. Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, making necessary investments to improve access to clean drinking water, support vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and to expand access to broadband Internet.

Local governments - Counties, Cities, Towns/Townships as well as Tribal Governments - are receiving funding in two allocations; the first was distributed in May of 2021 and the second will come in the summer of 2022. Entities receiving funding have from March 2021 through December 2024 to obligate funding; expenditures must be concluded by December 31, 2026.

While there is nothing that requires local units of government to contract with community-based organizations to provide services, initial findings show that many have done so, are planning to do so, or are considering doing so.

Some local governments have fully developed strategies for the usage of ARP funds, but others were waiting until the final rules were released by Department of Treasury (published in January 2022) and are now moving forward; still others are holding out until full allocations (round one and two) are in-hand to roll out a comprehensive plan.

In addition to the money directly allocated to Minnesota’s Local Units of Government, there are federal competitive grants still in process for which various entities in Minnesota have applied. Many of these grants require community partnerships which may present opportunities for nonprofit organizations to partner as subrecipients of the funding, should it be awarded to any of the Minnesota applicants.

Click the button below to access a list of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) grants available to nonprofits in Minnesota of which we are aware. MCN will continue to share opportunities at the state and local level as they become available. We encourage you to do additional research.

Minnesota ARPA Funding Opportunities

While some local units of government have websites dedicated to ARPA and their plans for utilizing the dollars, many do not. To find out how much funding a local unit of government received, click on this spreadsheet (link to same spreadsheet as above). All ARPA funding recipients had to provide a mandatory report to the US Department of Treasury in April of 2022; it is anticipated that those reports will be posted here when available: Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds | U.S. Department of the Treasury

Greater MSP is also tracking decision making of local governments in the metro area. You can find more information here:


Federal ARPA Grants

Selected Federal Grants:

Where to do additional research on federal grant and contracting opportunities:

Webinar Recording - ARPA Funding and Potential Opportunities for Minnesota Nonprofits

On July 14, MCN hosted an information session designed to help Minnesota nonprofits learn more about funding opportunities that are or may be available from federal ARPA dollars, including an overview of ARPA itself, the three types of support ARPA is offering in Minnesota, and how nonprofit can best learning about funding that fits their organization's needs.

Watch Webinar

Download Webinar Slides

Grantwriting Education and Networking

MCN has general resources available on grant writing and regularly offers workshops to help nonprofit professionals hone their skills. Upcoming events include:

Beginner Grantseeking, $89 MCN members / $129 nonmembers

Intermediate Grantwriting, $89 MCN members / $129 nonmembers

Beginner Grantwriting, $89 MCN members / $129 nonmembers

Grantwriters Incubator, FREE

Other Resources:

This resource was made possible with the assistance of the Nonprofit Association of Washington and the Foraker Group, and through the generous support of:

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