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Environmental Solutions for Communities

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Tribes, Agencies in Multiple
States for Environment and Economic Development

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and Wells Fargo

Deadline Date:

12/10/15 11:59 PM EST


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Grants starting at $25,000 to Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, and Wisconsin nonprofits, educational institutions, Indian tribes and government agencies and municipalities.

Funding is intended for projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment.

Funding priorities for this program include:

- Supporting sustainable agricultural practices and private lands stewardship
- Conserving critical land and water resources and improving local water quality
- Restoring and managing natural habitat, species and ecosystems that are important to community livelihoods
- Facilitating investments in green infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficiency
- Encouraging broad-based citizen participation in project implementation.

For the 2016 Environmental Solutions for Communities program, strong preference will be given to applications supporting funding priorities in the following regions and states, with a particular emphasis on projects undertaken in the urban areas in the states and regions on the following list:

California​: $25,000 - $100,000 ​
- San Francisco / Greater Bay: Lake, Humboldt, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara (partial), Sonoma ; Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara (Southern), Santa Cruz, Solano ​
- Fresno / Central Valley: ​Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles (Antelope Valley), Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura
- ​Inland Empire

​Oregon: $25,000 - $100,000
- Portland / Coastal ​

Alaska: $25,000 - $100,000
- Rural / Coastal: ​Seward, Cordova, Sitka, Dillingham ​
- Anchorage
- Juneau
- Fairbanks

Washington: $25,000 - $100,000
- Seattle / Statewide

Arizona: $25,000 - $75,000​
- ​Statewide ​ ​

Idaho​: ​​$25,000 - $75,000
- Boise / Rural ​

Minnesota: ​​$25,000 - $100,000
- Minneapolis / St. Paul ​
- ​Mankato / Rochester ​

Missouri: ​​$25,000 - $100,000
- ​St. Louis ​

New Mexico: ​​​$25,000 - $50,000
​- Albuquerque ​
- Santa Fe

Texas: $25,000 - $100,000
- ​Dallas / Ft. Worth: ​Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Wise ​​
- ​Houston: ​Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend , Galveston, Harris, Montgomery
- ​Austin: ​Bandera, Bastrop, Bell, Burnet, Comal, Hays, Kendall, Kerr, Llano, Travis, Williamson
- ​San Antonio: ​Atascosa, Bexar, Comal, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Wilson

Utah​: ​​$25,000 - $50,000
- ​Salt Lake City

​Wisconsin: ​​$25,000 - $50,000
- ​Milwaukee / Great Lakes

Ohio: ​​$25,000 - $50,000
- ​Cleveland

​Illinois: ​​$25,000 - $50,000
- ​Chicago ​

​Delaware: ​​$25,000 - $50,000 ​
- ​Statewide

​Florida: ​​$25,000 - $100,000 ​
- Southern Florida: Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe
- ​Central Florida: ​Brevard, Citrus, Hernando, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, St. Lucie, Seminole, Sumter

Georgia: $25,000 - $50,000
- ​Augusta / Savannah / Athens / Columbus / Gainesville: ​Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Jefferson, McDuffie, Richmond, Warren ; Bryan, Bulloch, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, McIntosh ; Barrow, Clarke, Jackson, Madison, Oconee, Oglethorpe ; Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Meriwether, Muscogee, Talbot, Troup, Phenix City, AL Area: Russell; Banks, Habersham, Hall, Lumpkin, White, Union ​
- ​Macon / Rome / Dalton: ​Baldwin, Bibb, Bleckley, Crawford, Dodge, Houston, Jones, Laurens, Monroe, Peach, Pulaski, Telfair, Twiggs, Washington, Wilkinson ; Chattooga, Floyd, Polk ; Catoosa, Dade, Gordon, Murray, Walker, Whitfield

Maryland: ​​$25,000 - $100,000
- ​Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Prince George’s and Montgomery

Virginia: ​​$25,000 - $100,000
- ​Statewide ​

Washington, DC​: ​​$25,000 - $100,000

New York​: $25,000 - $100,000
- New York City ​

North Carolina :​​$25,000 - $100,000
- ​Charlotte / Raleigh / Winston-Salem ​

Pennsylvania: ​​$25,000 - $100,000
​ - Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware

​Nevada: ​$25,000 - $100,000
- ​Statewide

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 163023

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Ranging from $25,000 - $100,000 (average $40, 000 - $50,000).

Term of Contract:

Anticipated completion time for funded projects will typically be 18 months following finalization of a grant agreement.

Projects may be a discrete part of a longer-term project, provided there are definable outcomes for the proposed phase of the overall effort.


  • Agency of the county or other local government
  • Indian tribal governments and organizations (American Indian/Alaskan Native/Native American)
  • Institutions of Higher Education; IHE(s)
  • Local Governments
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • State Agencies

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, educational institutions.

Ineligible applicants include U.S. Federal government agencies, businesses, unincorporated individuals and international organizations.

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.

The ratio of matching funds offered is one criterion considered during the review process, and projects that meet or exceed a 1:1 match ratio will be more competitive. Matching funds may include cash, in-kind contributions of staff and volunteer time, work performed, materials and services donated, or other tangible contributions to the project objectives and outcomes.

The cost of recent land acquisition or easement may also qualify as match for a project involving work at the acquired site. In addition, if they would not be paid with requested grant funding, indirect costs may be applied as match by an applicant with a federally approved indirect rate.

To be eligible, matching contributions must be:

- Verifiable from the grantee’s records
- Not included as contributions for any other award
- Necessary and reasonable for accomplishment of project or program objectives
- Allowable costs based on the program and funding source guidelines
- Committed directly to the project and used within the period of performance

Priority for grants will be given to projects that successfully address one or more of the following:

- Support innovative, cost-effective programs that enhance stewardship on private agricultural lands to enhance water quality and quantity and/or improve wildlife habitat for species of concern, while maintaining or increasing agricultural productivity.

- Support community-based conservation projects that protect and restore local habitats and natural areas, enhance water quality, promote urban forestry, educate and train community leaders on sustainable practices, promote related job creation and training, and engage diverse partners and volunteers.

- Support visible and accessible demonstration projects that showcase innovative, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly approaches to improve environmental conditions within urban communities by ‘greening’ traditional infrastructure and public projects such as storm water management and flood control, public park enhancements, and renovations to public facilities.

- Support projects that increase the resiliency of the Nation’s coastal communities and ecosystems by restoring coastal habitats, living resources, and water quality to enhance livelihoods and quality of life in these communities.

Other Criteria for Competitive Applications:

- Provide measurable and meaningful conservation or environmental outcomes.

- Align with one or more of the geographic or thematic priorities of NFWF.

- Demonstrate strong public/private partnerships including with local, state and federal agencies, as appropriate.

- Identify highly-visible project sites and activities to build community support for conservation activities and outcomes.

- Plan and execute meaningful volunteer opportunities, as appropriate.

- Implement, or be complementary to, an established conservation and/or watershed management plan and demonstrate that the agency or organization that developed the plan is a partner in – or at least is supportive of
the project.

- Leverage other public and private funding to increase the overall project outcomes.

- Be ready to begin implementation within six months of the grant award and complete the project within two years.

- Applicants should indicate in their proposals whether the proposed project involves the use of volunteers to accomplish the conservation work. Indicate the nature of the volunteer event(s), experience in hosting similar events, timing, anticipated number of volunteers that can be accommodated, special requirements, etc.

Required Criteria:

- Program Goals and Priorities – Project contributes to the Environmental Solutions for Communities Program goals and includes specific, quantifiable performance metrics to evaluate project success. Project addresses one or more of the program priorities outlined in the Request for Proposal.

- Technical Merit – Project is technically sound and feasible, and the proposal sets forth a clear, logical and achievable work plan and timeline. Project engages appropriate technical experts throughout project planning, design and implementation to ensure activities are technically-sound and feasible.

- Budget – Costs are allowable, reasonable and budgeted in accordance with NFWF’s Detailed Budget Instructions cost categories.

- Long-term Sustainability – Project will be maintained to ensure benefits are achieved and sustained over time. This should include how future funding will be secured to implement necessary long-term monitoring and maintenance activities.

Other Criteria:

- Transferability – Project has potential and plan to transfer lessons learned to other communities and/or to be integrated into government programs and policies.

- Communication – Project includes a detailed plan to communicate information about the project to appropriate audiences.

- Funding Need – Project establishes a clear need for the funds being requested, and demonstrates that activities would not move forward absent funding.

- Monitoring – Project includes a plan for monitoring progress during and after the proposed project period to track project success and adaptively address new challenges and opportunities as they arise.

- Past Success – Applicant has a proven track record of success in implementing conservation practices with specific, measurable results.

Pre-Application Information:

All application materials must be submitted online through NFWF’s Easygrants system.

For new users, register online:
Log in and apply online:

Once on the homepage, click the “Apply for Funding” button and select this RFP’s “Funding Opportunity” from the list of options. Follow the instructions in Easygrants to complete your application. Once an application has been started, it may be saved and returned to at a later time for completion and submission.


-Full Proposal Due Date: December 10, 2015, 11:59 pm EST
-Review Period: December 2015 - May 2016
-Awards Announced: June 2016

Contact Information:

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

Carrie Clingan, Manager

Sarah McIntosh, Coordinator

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
1133 Fifteenth St., N.W., Suite 1100
Washington, D.C. 20005

T 202-857-0166
F 202-857-0162

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   California;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Maryland;   Minnesota;   Missouri;   Nevada;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   Ohio;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Texas;   Utah;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   Wisconsin

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