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Education MiniGrants

Grants to Alabama Nonprofits, Schools, and Agencies for
Education on Birds, Habitats, and Environmental Stewardship

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Birmingham Audubon Society

Deadline Date:

07/31/17 Receipt


Request a Grant Writer

Grants of up to $1,000 to Alabama nonprofits, schools, and public agencies for projects that promote understanding of birds, their habitats, and environmental stewardship. For certain types of requests, it is strongly recommended that applicants contact program staff prior to applying. Applications are invited from educators working in the Greater Birmingham Area, as well as the Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Anniston, Auburn-Opelika, and Dothan Areas.

Applicants may request funding for:

-Physical improvements (e.g., native plantings, bird feeding stations, bird houses, outdoor classrooms, pollinator gardens) at school or community habitat sites

-Select field trips to visit significant public bird areas (Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, Dauphin Island,

-Student birding equipment (e.g., classroom binocular sets, field guides, bird-song recording devices)

-Innovative, student-led projects with citizen-science or habitat-monitoring components

The most competitive applications will:

-Include a strong focus on Alabama birds and their conservation
-Maximize the number of students who benefit from the project
-Target a diverse student audience
-Outline a detailed, carefully considered budget
-Explain how this project can serve as a stepping stone for future bird-based learning
-Explain how the project fits within a school or organization's educational plan
-Include a plan for evaluating student outcomes
-Be innovative, creative, and "outside the box"

Education MiniGrants prioritize four kinds of bird-focused educational projects:

-Physical improvements within school or community habitat sites
-Select field trips to visit significant public bird areas
-Purchases of classroom birding equipment
-Innovative, student-led projects with citizen-science or habitat-monitoring components

Physical improvements:

One of the biggest challenges facing migratory and resident bird populations has been the recent, rapid loss of habitat due to human development. Creating small patches of locally sustainable bird habitat can help offset the effects of this global problem by providing birds with refuges during migration, overwintering, or the breeding season.

Consider requesting funding to install bird houses—like those described at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's NestWatch website (—on your school's property. Place easily observable feeders near a bird-safe window outside your classroom.

Or consider installing drought-resistant native plants into your school landscape; these plants not only create new places for birds to hide, build nests, and eat food, but also provide space for pollinators and other beneficial insects (

Better yet, get students involved in the planning and execution of your habitat garden plan for a complete introduction to the principles of conservation stewardship.

Field Trips:

Birmingham Audubon MiniGrants can be used to support trips to significant public birding areas around Alabama, including, but not limited to:

-Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge
-Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge
-Dauphin Island's Audubon Bird Sanctuary
-Bankhead, Talladega, and Conecuh National Forests
-Little River Canyon National Preserve
-Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Classroom Birding Equipment:

A lack of quality birding equipment is a major obstacle for many students. Since good binoculars and field guides can make a big difference in a young person's enjoyment of the outdoors, Birmingham Audubon is committed to helping schools acquire the best equipment they can afford. As such, Audubon strongly encourages MiniGrant proposals that seek to buy classroom sets of quality binoculars, bird guides, and related equipment.

There are a number of different binocular brands that are recommended depending on budget, size of order, and the ages of your students. Equipment-based proposals must also demonstrate a plan for integrating equipment and equipment training into classroom learning goals.

Innovative Projects:

Birmingham Audubon strongly encourages innovative MiniGrant proposals that get students collecting bird- and habitat-related data and/or working to restore and monitor local habitats. Consider ways you can integrate citizen-science tools like or into your project proposals. Staff may be able to facilitate useful partnerships with local scientists.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165029

Term of Contract:

This program awards up to $1,000 per grant.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Educators in the greater Birmingham area (i.e., Jefferson, Shelby, Bibb, Blount, Chilton, St. Clair, and Walker counties), as well as those in the Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Auburn-Opelika, Anniston, and Dothan areas, are eligible to apply.

To be considered, your school or organization must be a nonprofit and tax-exempt with IRS public charity status, or be a public entity qualifying under Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Please note that the Audubon Society cannot provide funds to cover stipends, salaries, interpretive programs, or indirect costs.

Pre-Application Information:

All proposals for field trips should be cleared with Birmingham Audubon's Outreach Director (see contact details below) prior to submission. (Please note: pre-approval of a field trip proposal does not imply funding, as proposals are evaluated in the context of all other applications by the full Birmingham Audubon education committee.)

If you're interested in applying for funds to outfit your classroom, it is strongly recommended that you contact the Outreach Director prior to submitting your proposal to discuss the best brands to address your needs.

If you are interested in collaborating with a scientist, contact the Outreach Director for more ideas on how to integrate real science into your proposal.

While MiniGrant funding cannot be used to pay for stipends, salaries, indirect costs, or interpretive programs, Birmingham Audubon may be able to provide free staff guidance during your field trip. Again, interested applicants should check with the Outreach Director prior to submission.

Trips to participate in the Discovery Field Trip program at Birmingham Botanical Gardens are subject to special requirements, including participation in the Gardens' Birmingham Audubon Bird Walk program. Because these bird walks are only available on select days, teachers must coordinate field trip plans with the Gardens staff no less than two weeks in advance. For more information, contact Ellen Hardy (see contact details below).

Applications must be received via email no later than July 31, 2017.

Applicants will receive an email notification with the results of that decision by September 1, 2017, with funds available by early October.

Contact Information:

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

Email additional questions to, subject line: “MiniGrant question."

Application are via email to:

Ansel Payne, Ph.D., Outreach Director

For more information on the Discovery Field Trip program, email:

Ellen Hardy

Birmingham Audubon Society
3720 Fourth Avenue South, Second Floor
Birmingham, AL 35222


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama: Birmingham Area (i.e., Jefferson, Shelby, Bibb, Blount, Chilton, St. Clair, and Walker Counties); and the Tuscaloosa, Montgomery, Auburn-Opelika, Anniston, and Dothan Areas