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National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant

Grants to USA Eligible Nonprofits
to Benefit the Environment

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and Enbridge

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

06/30/20 11:59 PM Eastern Time


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Grants of up to $15,000 to USA eligible nonprofit organizations for projects to benefit the environment. Funding is intended to assist organizations to strengthen their expertise to develop and execute projects, expand and increase their capacity and skills, coordinate and execute training workshops, and for special initiatives. The National Wildlife Refuge Friends Program funds projects that assist organizations in being effective co-stewards of important natural resources within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

The main goal of the grant program is to foster active, vibrant, and effective Friends partnerships through four distinct proposal categories.

  1. Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants: Funds will be provided to assist newly established and existing refuge Friends organizations to build their capacity. 
  2. Project Specific Grants: Funds will be provided to refuge Friends organizations seeking support for projects initiated and managed by the Friends. 
  3. Peer-to-Peer Coaching (P2P): Funds will be provided to refuge Friends organizations that propose to coordinate and execute a Friends training workshop for a minimum of three other refuge Friends organizations.
  4. ​​​Special Initiative: Public Access Enhancements and Increasing Hunting and Fishing Experiences on National Wildlife Refuges
    1. Access and Facilities: Develop new or repair/improve/expand existing public access points or facilities or construct new recreational infrastructure 
    2. Outreach, Experiences and Education Programs: Work in collaboration and coordination with state, local, and tribal governments to support hunting and fishing recruitment, retention, and reactivation efforts by dovetailing, developing new, or improving or expanding hunting or fishing experiences and/or programs
    3. Habitat Restoration: Partner with habitat restoration projects that seek to enhance sustainable hunting and fishing programs. 

NFWF funds can be used to pay for a student intern who is currently enrolled in an educational, career development or job training program through a partnership organization. The partnering organization must cover tort and liability for the intern and the intern’s work must directly support the capacity building and/or projects of the Friends organization. The application must identify the intern’s institution or organization.

More information about the program priorities can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153068

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

$1,500 - $15,000

Term of Contract:

All Friends grants should be completed within two years of the project start date. The start date indicated in an application should not precede December 1, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Entities:
- Eligible applicants include Refuge System’s Friends organizations whose primary mission is to support a national wildlife refuge or a complex of national wildlife refuges.
- Applicants must either be tax exempt under section 501(c), OR be in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status and submit with their grant application a copy of the letter from the IRS confirming the application has been filed.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds:
- NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
- NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance
- NFWF funds may not be used for printing for fundraising or revenue generating purposes (e.g., direct mail campaigns, books, calendars, etc.), lobbying activities, non-profit filings, food or beverages with the exception of GSA per diem rates for meals, refuge-administered projects, or shortfalls in government agency budgets.
- NFWF funds may not be used to pay for salaries or volunteer services, with the exception of intern salaries (see Eligible Uses of Grant Funds).

Ineligible use of Peer-to-Peer Coaching funds can be found starting at

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicant Webinar:
Thu, May 14, 2020 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EDT

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), along with its partners, recognizes the important role refuge Friends organizations play in building critical community support for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System. As such, NFWF is requesting proposals for projects that assist organizations to be effective co-stewards of the nation’s important natural resources within the National Wildlife Refuge System.

Crystal Boyd, NFWF's Friends Program Manager, will lead the webinar. Please feel free to reach out to her for more information

Register online for the webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

- Applicant Webinar: May 14, 3:00 PM Eastern Time
- Full Proposal Due Date: June 30, 11:59 PM Eastern Time
- Review Period: July through September
- Awards Announced: Early October

Friends organizations are encouraged (but not required) to contribute 1:1 non-federal matching contributions.

Receiving Award Funds – Award payments are primarily reimbursable. Projects may request funds for reimbursement at any time after completing a signed agreement with NFWF. A request of an advance of funds must be due to an imminent need of expenditure and must detail how the funds will be used and provide justification and a timeline for expected disbursement of these funds.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and Apply Online:

Crystal Boyd
NFWF's Friends Program Manager

Deborah Moore
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
1133 Fifteenth St., N.W., Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
T 202-857-0166 | F 202-857-0162

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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