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Community + Business Support Grants

Old Trenton (Hanover Academy) Neighborhood

Round 2 applications are closed.
The materials below are provided for reference only. We expect to notify applicants in early December.

Old Trenton Neighborhood Grants support community projects, arts, culture, beautification, and business development in the Old Trenton neighborhood (often called “Hanover Academy”), which is bordered by Perry Street, State Street, Route 1, and N. Broad Street - please see map.


Deadline: Nov 6, 2023 - 11:59 p.m.

Informational Workshops

We encourage prospective applicants to attend one of our workshops to find out more and ask questions.

  • Wednesday, October 18, 2023, 6-7:30 pm - Virtual via Zoom - register here

  • Saturday, October 21, 2023, 1-2:30 pm - Orchid House Cafe, 134 East Hanover Street (between Broad and Montgomery St) - map




This is the second grant round in this program. Grantees from Round 1 are welcome to apply in Round 2, provided that they submit their final report before the application deadline.


The Old Trenton Neighborhood (OTN) Grant Program aims to make the neighborhood more livable and vibrant, as envisioned in the Creek to Canal Creative District Plan. Funds are intended to help grassroots organizations and individuals to carry out community activities that improve the neighborhood or the lives of its residents, and to help small businesses grow. Grants will be accepted in two categories:

1. Business Development

This category provides support for new and emerging businesses located in Old Trenton (see map) that will enable them to scale up, expand their work, or be a more active and welcoming presence in the neighborhood. Priority will be given to entrepreneurs of color serving communities represented in Old Trenton. A business not currently located in Old Trenton will only be considered if the project is specifically to establish an Old Trenton location.


This category is intended for new investment in the business (new equipment, new exterior fixtures, etc.), not for regular operating support (normal inventory restocking, utilities, rent, etc.). We will also prioritize permanent or semi-permanent work over temporary work – for example, we are more likely to fund a business to buy new equipment than to organize a pop-up event.

Sample projects in this category include: improving the exterior space of a business; adding lighting, seating, etc. to add a better street feel; new equipment that enables the business to expand; doing new types of marketing; getting a new storefront in the neighborhood; etc. This list is not exhaustive. Prospective applicants are encouraged to come to the pre-application workshops (see below) or to email us with questions.


2. Community Investment

This category supports activities that will make the Old Trenton neighborhood (see map) more welcoming, attractive, and vibrant, and improve the lives of residents. We will prioritize projects that advance the goals in the Creek to Canal Creative District Plan, which aims to create more art and cultural activities in the neighborhood and to strengthen artists and creative organizations. Generally, we will also prioritize projects that create something permanent (an art installation, a new community space) or involve cumulative learning (an educational series) rather than one-time events (a cleanup, a single workshop), unless the applicant makes a strong case for the event’s cultural importance for the neighborhood.

Organizations not located in the neighborhood may apply under this category. However, priority will be given to organizations in the neighborhood; all activities must take place in Old Trenton; and at least 75% of the beneficiaries must be residents of the Old Trenton Neighborhood.

Examples include: creating a mural with some involvement of residents; organizing neighbors to do beautifications on multiple properties on a block; organizing a cultural festival; a series of art workshops for kids; etc. This list is not exhaustive. Prospective applicants are encouraged to come to the pre-application workshops (see below) or to email us with questions.



Applicants may request up to $8,000. We expect most grants to be between $1,000 and $5,000. 



All project activities must take place in the Old Trenton neighborhood. 

  • Businesses seeking business development funds must be located in the Old Trenton neighborhood, or must use the project funds to create a new location in the Old Trenton neighborhood. We will prioritize applications from entrepreneurs of color serving the Old Trenton community. 

  • Applicants planning to do community improvement may be located outside the neighborhood, but all activities must take place inside Old Trenton and 75% of project beneficiaries must be residents of Old Trenton. We expect applicants to have a strong familiarity with the neighborhood, the ability to access locations in the neighborhood, the ability to engage residents, etc. 


Applicants are not required to have 501(c)3 nonprofit status to receive a grant from us. However, please note that grant funds are considered taxable income by the State of New Jersey and the IRS unless the recipient entity is tax-exempt. We also require a W9 with either an EIN or SSN to issue each grant. Grant recipients are responsible for all income reporting and all associated tax payments. We strongly encourage applicants who do not have 501(c)3 status to partner with a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that can serve as a fiscal sponsor for the project. 


Note for larger organizations: We prioritize projects led by residents and grassroots organizations. Large/established nonprofits may apply, but are very unlikely to be funded unless it is for a very compelling project led by residents in the Old Trenton neighborhood, and a clear reason is presented why the organization cannot secure funding for it from its regular sources.

I Am Trenton reserves the right to disqualify an applicant that has not submitted satisfactory reports or complied with grant requirements in our other grant cycles. If you currently have an open grant, please talk to us ( before applying.



All applications must be submitted through the online form. We will not accept emailed or mailed applications. In keeping with our goals to become more inclusive:

  • We accept applications in Spanish and English.

  • We know it is easier for some people to speak than to write. Applicants can submit their Project Details as a short essay OR as a short video in English or Spanish. A simple video of you answering the questions is sufficient - we are not looking for fancy editing. 


  • Projects or organizations that discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

  • Debt reduction or on-going operational support 

  • Capital campaigns or fundraising events

  • Re-granting programs

  • Scholarships 

  • Partisan political activities, lobbying, or efforts to influence an election

  • Religious activities such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytizing. Religious organizations can apply for non-denominational activities that are open to all and do not require participation in religious services.


  • Application deadline - Applications are due on November 6, 2023, at 11:59 Eastern Time. Please submit all materials through the online form at 

  • Notification of awards - We will notify all grantees on whether their application was funded or not by December 6, 2023. 

  • Check presentation / gathering: We will give out checks to grantees at a gathering within the neighborhood around Dec 10, 2023. Details will be shared with grantees once finalized.

  • Grant activities should occur between Dec 10, 2023 and May 31, 2024.


Old Trenton Program Stats

Rounds to date




Dollars awarded


Median grant


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