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National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant

Grants to USA Nonprofits Supporting Wildlife Sanctuaries
to Enhance Organizational Effectiveness and Capacity

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and Enbridge

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/11/17 11:59 PM EDT


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Grants ranging between $1,500 and $15,000 to USA nonprofits, that support wildlife sanctuaries or refuges, in order to enhance the organization's effectiveness. A webinar will be held May 3rd. The main goals of the grant will be to aid organizations in strengthening their expertise to develop and execute projects, expand and increase their capacity and skills, gain and build community recognition around the refuge and refuge Friends organizations, build long-term relationships, increase overall capacity, and encourage the sharing of expertise within the Friends networks.

NFWF funds can be used to pay for a student intern that 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 interns' work must directly support the capacity building and/or projects of the Friends organization.

Grants will be provided to support proposals within the following areas:

1) Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants – Funds will be provided to assist both starting and established refuge Friends organizations to build their capacity. Funds for newly forming or reviving organizations may include formative and/or initial operational support. For example, funds may be requested for such things as membership drives, tuition for training, logo design, or consultant fees for website development. Funds for established refuge Friends organizations may include activities that strengthen an organization’s ability to fully achieve its mission and sustain itself over time.

2) Project Specific Grants – Funds will be provided to refuge Friends organizations seeking support for projects initiated and managed by the Friends. For these grants, Friends must clearly demonstrate their involvement in all elements of the project in their narrative, including how the project will benefit the Friends and foster increased engagement of the public, community, volunteers and/or members. For example, funds may be requested for a Friends organization which proposes to develop and deliver environmental education programs for local schools, manage a habitat restoration project from start to finish, manage the construction of an observation tower and how the Friends intend to use the facility to increase engagement with the Friends organization, or develop interpretive materials and programs that will be used by or delivered by the Friends organization.

It should be clear that projects are managed and/or implemented by the Friends organization and will provide a benefit to the Friends organization. Projects must be new OR be an expansion and/or improvement to an existing project.

3) Peer-to-Peer Coaching (P2P) – Funds will be provided to refuge Friends organizations who propose to coordinate and execute a Friends training workshop for a minimum of three other refuge Friends organizations. See specific requirements for this category below.

Funds for Peer-to-Peer Coaching may be used for:

- Friends travel and lodging expenses (GSA per diem rates for lodging and meals; GSA POV mileage rate for driving personal vehicle; economy nonrefundable airfare)
- Training facility fees (only if appropriate free facilities are not available)
- Specialized trainer, consultant, or facilitator fees
- Training supplies such as flip charts, poster boards, copying expenses

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 project start date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Friends organizations whose primary mission is to support a refuge or a complex of 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 your application has been filed.

National Wildlife Refuge Friends grant program is a national program, accepting proposals from all 50 states.

A portion of the funding for the program is provided by Enbridge. To be eligible for the Enbridge funding, Friends groups must be affiliated with National Wildlife Refuges within Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan or Wisconsin.

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 efforts.
- NFWF funds may not be used for printing for for-profit purposes, lobbying activities, salaries, non-profit filings, food or beverages, refuge-administered projects, shortfalls in government agency budgets.
- NFWF funds may not be used to pay for volunteer services. NFWF funds can be used to pay for a student intern that 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.

Funds for Peer-to-Peer Coaching may not be used for:

- In-training food such as snacks and beverages, and social event food such as hors d’oeuvres and alcohol
- Airline seat upgrades, airfare insurance
- GSA POV mileage for long distances where an airfare would be cheaper
- Rental cars (special exceptions on a case by case basis)
- Any expenses for participating Service employees
- An event agenda that includes any instruction on lobbying or instruction intended to influence elected officials on legislation

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicant Webinar: May 3rd, 5:00 PM, EDT

Webinar recording:

Pre-Application Information:

Please contact Traci Giefer to discuss any questions you might have about project ideas or project eligibility.

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

Full Proposal Due Date: July 11th, 11:59 PM, EDT
Review Period: July 12th – September 22nd
Awards Announced: Week of September 25th


Contact Information:

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

To apply go to:

Traci Giefer, Great lakes Program Manager
Phone: 612-564-7296

Joanna Webb
Phone: 703-358-2392

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