2024 SPD Grant Call for Submissions

Starts:  Feb 16, 2024 12:02 AM (ET)
Ends:  Apr 19, 2024 05:00 PM (ET)
Associated with  Small Project Design

This grant period has now closed. Winners to be announced in June.

Grant sponsored by Sierra Pacific

2024 Small Project Design Knowledge Community Grant Program
Call for Submissions

The SPD advisory committee is pleased to announce the 2024 Small Project Design Knowledge Community Grant. The purpose of this grant is to provide financial support for nonprofit organizations working with architects on community-based projects. Along with supporting the work of nonprofit organizations, we want to demonstrate the value of hiring an architecture firm (and AIA member) for community projects, by helping cover some of the costs associated with hiring the design team.


We understand that community-based projects often struggle to find funding, especially the funds needed to hire professional design teams to help solve design challenges. Too often nonprofit organizations feel they cannot afford to pay for design services even though architects would provide immense value and can make the project more successful. To help demonstrate the value architects can bring to a project, this grant aims to help cover some of the design fees associated with hiring a professional design team.   

  • The grant funds are to be used to hire an architecture firm to assist with the design and/or feasibility studies for a community-based project. 

  • The architecture team must include at least one AIA or Associate AIA member in good standing with the AIA. 

  • The grant application must identify the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the selected architecture firm.

  • Either the architecture firm or the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization may be the primary applicant (although funds will be distributed to the nonprofit organization). 

  • Funds may only be used to cover the costs of hiring an architectural firm including their fees and reimbursable expenses. 

  • Preference will be given to small projects with the potential for a long lasting impact to the community.

Grant Amount

This grant is aimed at helping cover some of the costs involved in hiring a professional design team. The number of grants and funding awarded each year may vary based on funds available and the quality of applications.

  • The jury reserves the right to award the number of grants, up to three each year, and the amount per grant, up to $5,000 each.


  • The design team must include at least one member of the American Institute of Architects in good standing. (Both AIA and Associate AIA members are eligible.)

  • The nonprofit organization must be a 501(c)(3) organization and provide their IRS letter.

  • Matching funds (The nonprofit organization must demonstrate that they have the funds to match the grant amount going towards design fees. Example: if the grant amount is $5,000 the nonprofit organization must show that they have another $5,000 dedicated to the design fees in addition to the grant amount.)  


The grant applications will be reviewed by the AIA Small Project Design Knowledge Community advisory board who will serve as the jury. Grant recipients will be notified in early May 2024.


Applications for this grant may be submitted by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or by an AIA or Associate AIA member in conjunction with a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Submission must be compiled into a single PDF no larger than 10MB and no more than eight (8) total pages.

  • 1-page outline of the full project budget

    • What is the design budget?

    • What is the construction budget?

    • Are you receiving funds from other grants or donations?

    • Does the non-profit organization have the matching funds dedicated to the design fees? What is the total amount of the matching funds?

  • A short narrative describing the project: 1-page maximum.

  • Up to 6 pages of supporting documents: Include any relevant images of the project, site plan, site photographs, design concept sketches or renderings, or any additional graphics that can help describe the project and its benefit to the surrounding community, etc.

  • IRS Letter confirming 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

Requirements for Winning Proposals

  • The grantee must demonstrate that they have executed a contract with a qualified design team within 6-months of being awarded the grant. Funds will be disbursed directly to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as reimbursement for design fees. 

  • The grantee must credit the AIA Small Project Design Grant in any/all marketing materials (websites, social media, print publications, news stories, etc.)

  • The SPD retains the right to use winning projects for promotional materials.

  • A final deliverable of the work produced by the grantee and contracted design team must be shared with the SPD within one year of the grant being awarded.

  • It is encouraged that each grant awardee submits their completed project to the annual SPD awards program.

Submit your entry using this online form

For any questions, please contact spd@aia.org