IIJA Grant Writing and Technical Assistance Program Guide



The Colorado legislature passed and Governor Polis signed Senate Bill 22-215 and Senate Bill 23-283 to create the IIJA Cash Fund. The law allows some of the funds to be used for grant writing support and project planning technical assistance in order to assist state agencies, local governments, and the two federally recognized Tribes located in Colorado in obtaining IIJA and IRA funds.

Colorado issued an RFP to hire consultants to be on-call for grant writing and technical assistance for project planning (e.g. site assessments, permitting, cost estimating, design assistance, stakeholder engagement). The consultants will be deployed for priority projects by the Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery at no cost to the awarded entity.  Local governments and Tribes may request this assistance through an application process. 

Grant Writing Flowchart

Available Funding

The total budget for the program is $1 million. This service is also available to state agencies so this budget is shared. Applicants may contact the Office of Economic Recovery to find out the amount remaining at time of application. Applications will be taken on a rolling basis until all funds are depleted.

Eligible Applicants 

Eligible applicants are local governments, special districts and Tribes located in Colorado with limited budgets and limited in-house grant writing capacity. The applicant for grant writing or project planning assistance must be an eligible applicant for the federal funding they are seeking. Eligible applicants must be in good standing with the State of Colorado and include: 

  • A recognized American Indian Tribe with a government seat within the boundaries of the State of Colorado.
  • A county government 
  • A municipal government 
  • A city and county government.
  • A special district 
  • At this time, non-profit organizations and for-profit entities are not eligible. Requests from a local government or Tribe that include partnerships with non-profit organizations or for-profit entities are eligible. 

Eligible Projects

  • This assistance can only be used for applications to federal agencies for funding from IIJA and/or IRA
  • Projects must align with Senate Bill 22-215 and Senate Bill 23-283 priorities (transportation infrastructure; water, environmental, and resiliency; power, grid, and broadband) and overall priorities of the State of Colorado.
  • Projects located in disadvantaged or underserved communities as defined in the federal funding Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and/or the Climate and Economic Justice (CEJST) Screening Tool or projects that will specifically serve households located in a disadvantaged community or low-income households will be prioritized. Projects that do not meet the criteria of serving disadvantaged or underserved communities as per the NOFO or the CEJST screening tools may provide additional information using other tools such as CDPHE’s Enviroscreen or the US Census to explain how the community or recipients of project benefits are disadvantaged, underserved, or disproportionately impacted.
  • The potential return on investment will also be considered (e.g. How much will the consultant cost compared to the potential award size? Or, how will the project potentially lead to future funding).  

Utilizing Grant Writing and Technical Assistance 

Eligible applicants should complete the Grant Writing and Technical Assistance Form when they have identified a grant or project they would like assistance with. Applicants must submit the Grant Writing and Technical Assistance Form for each project for which they are requesting assistance. The Grant Writing and Technical Assistance form can be submitted any time, but assistance must be requested with the lead-time specified in Section VII. There are four different types of assistance that can be provided, each with different levels of involvement from the applicant. The four options are: 

  • Independent review - Have you already drafted the proposal but you are looking for support on how to improve an already written proposal? This option provides a sample scoring, copy writing and editing and feedback on how to get across the finish line. 
  • Co-writing - This option is for organizations that have someone assigned to write the grant but are looking for additional support and coaching. This is a great option for organizations that have never submitted a federal grant proposal and have a staff member that could use some grant writing professional development. 
  • Full write - This option provides the opportunity to match an organization with a grant writer who would take required information and work through the application process. Organizations will still be required to provide a point person who can provide the grant writer with access to information required for the grant writing process. 
  • Project Planning - This option is for projects that need assistance to get ready to apply for funding, such as site assessments, permitting assessments, cost estimating, design assistance, and/or stakeholder engagement. This assistance is not for full design and engineering, but it could be used to identify and apply for other sources of funding for design and engineering.

You may request project planning (#4) and grant writing assistance (#1, 2 or 3) in the same application.

For collaborative projects where more than one entity is involved, one grant writing and technical assistance application must be submitted.

Scope of Work Development

Once an assistance request is approved, the state and the selected community will develop a scope of work in collaboration with a consultant contracted by the state. The state will write a task order that allows the consultant to work on the project and bill their time to the state. Work cannot begin until a signed task order is in place between the state and the consultant. The awarded community will also be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining the responsibilities of the local government or Tribe. View a sample Memo of Understanding. The individual consultant staff will work with multiple organizations, and there is no guarantee that an organization will work with the same grant writer on subsequent program requests.

Lead Time Requirements for Grant Writing and/or Technical Assistance Requests 

Eligible applicants may request approval for grant writing or technical 
assistance for a specific Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) or Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding opportunities. Given the short window for many of the application deadlines, requests for support from consultants may be submitted prior to the Notice of Funding announcement.  Assistance must be requested with lead times specified below: 

  • Independent review - at least 4 weeks before expected application due date
  • Co-writing - at least 8 weeks before expected application due date 
  • Full write - at least 12 weeks before expected application due date
  • Project Planning - at least 6 months or more before expected application due date

These are estimated timeframes. Complex projects or grant applications may take longer. Applications for assistance may be submitted prior to the official program NOFO announcement, however, if grant writing is requested, there must be enough information for the consultants to begin working. Please reach out to your Regional Grant Navigator to discuss timeframes before applying.

Approval for Grant Writing Assistance

Approval for grant writing and/or technical assistance approval is determined based on the following criteria and utilizing this scoring matrix:

  • Projects aligns with Senate Bill 22-215 and Senate Bill 23-283 priorities (transportation infrastructure; water, environmental, and resiliency; power, grid, and broadband) and overall priorities of the State of Colorado. 
  • Applicant does not have capacity for grant writing or financial resources to hire additional support.
  • Project demonstrates projections by which funds will be invested in disproportionately impacted communities, in alignment with the federal Justice40 initiative. 
  • Organization is in good standing with the State of Colorado.
  • The federal grant for which funding is sought must have a minimum $50,000 award value.
  • The applicant must demonstrate project readiness such as:  
    • The availability of a point person familiar with the project with capacity to help the grant writer or technical assistance provider collect information needed to complete the grant application or project planning. 
    • Demonstration that the project is part of an existing plan 
    • Demonstration that the community is supportive of the plan.
    • Demonstration that elected officials are supportive of the plan. 
    • Regional Grant Navigator and DOLA Regional Navigator support for the project.

The applicant will receive notification of approval or disapproval for the request within 14 business days of the Grant Writing and Technical Assistance Form submission or will be contacted if additional information is needed to determine approval of the request. A Memorandum of Understanding between the entity receiving grant writing and/or technical assistance and the state must be executed prior to any exchange of services.


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