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Capacity Grant Supports Record Funding in Delaware

Breaking state funding history, Bike Delaware wrapped up their successful Advocacy Advance Capacity Building Grant this month.

Bike Delaware received a $10,000 matching grant in 2011 for their Walkable, Bikeable Delaware campaign to create a national model to increase state bicycle and pedestrian funding in Delaware. Success! On June 30, the Delaware General Assembly passed its FY2013 campaign budget, which included a $13.25 million state authorization for walking and bicycling.

Starting with a $3,000 budget and hands-on assistance from the Advocacy Advance team, Bike Delaware’s board of 12 directors and one staff member initiated a campaign to access federal CMAQ program funds for a cycling project for the first time in Delaware’s 20-year CMAQ history. In March 2011, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign was recognized by the Alliance for Walking and Biking as the “Winning Campaign of the Year.”

Last September, Delaware’s largest MPO voted to program $480,000 of FY2012 federal CMAQ funds for a bike project. In July, the same MPO agreed to drastically reprogram Delaware's FY2012 CMAQ funds and add another $6.4 million for bike and pedestrian improvements statewide. For 20 straight years, between 1992 and 2011, Delaware spent 0% of its available CMAQ funds on cycling.  In 2012, however, bike/ped now is 70% of Delaware's entire CMAQ program. Since Delaware has only about 900,000 people, that represents a $15 per capita commitment by the state for FY2013.“Change is hard.  But, when it does come, it can be fast,” says Bike Delaware’s Executive Director James Wilson.

How did they do it? First, they built a coalition of civic and business groups to support breaking the 20-year barrier to cycling projects in Delaware’s CMAQ program. Second, they uncovered the process that  Delaware’s largest MPO uses to amend the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), especially the role of its Technical Advisory Committee. Third, they deciphered the jargon that was part of the necessary paperwork and literally filled out the MPO’s paperwork. Finally, they powermapped a key decision maker to submit the TIP amendment to the Technical Advisory Committee.

Advocacy Advance advises advocates to learn the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY, HOW of the selection process: 

Advocacy Advance Capacity Building Grants, funded by Planet Bike, support the development and professionalization of state and local advocacy organizations to increase rates of biking and walking. The next round of Capacity Building Grants will be announced in early 2013. In the meantime, see the first two resources in the Alliance Guide to Fundraising series to help your organization create and implement a fundraising plan and write successful grant proposals.

Advocacy Advance has $21,000 in Rapid Response Grants available to fund organizations met with urgent and unexpected opportunities to win, increase, or preserve funding for biking and walking. There is no application deadline for these rolling grants and accepted proposals will be funded within one month. 

Since 2009, Advocacy Advance – a partnership of the Alliance for Biking & Walking and the League of American Bicyclists – has awarded $780,000 in direct grants to over 40 state and local advocacy organizations that have used those dollars to achieve powerful improvements for biking and walking in their communities.

A Partnership of:
Alliance for Biking and WalkingLeague of American Bicyclists
Supported by:


EveryBody Walk Collaborative

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