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Grow Grants

Grants to USA Environmental Nonprofits in New
England for Capacity Building and Program Development

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New England Grassroots Environment Fund (Grassroots Fund)

Deadline Date:



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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $3,500 to Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont nonprofits to support established environmental groups to increase impact, collaborate, and build capacity. Funding is intended to support a wide range of volunteer-driven projects that contribute to environmentally sustainable communities.

NNEGEF divides community work into five overarching issue areas: local energy, local food, local health, local land and water, and local living economies. Funds may be used for general operating, stipends, capacity building, program development, and expert assistance.

Grow Grants are geared to established groups who are ready to expand the scope of their work. Grow groups often have 1+ year experience running community projects and are ready to take on (pieces of) local system strategy around their issue. Grants are intended to support community groups who represent the most exciting energy in the environmental movement that are not being reached by traditional funders.

The Grassroots Fund interprets the word “environment” broadly and will provide funding for a wide range of activities. Whole systems-thinking is critical to initiatives focused on making the environment better, healthier and more sustainable.

Examples of Grow Grant projects include:
-A community garden looking to initiate a food policy council and take on food security challenges in their community;
-A local energy committee planning to implement a community-wide energy plan;
-A sustainability committee establishing a time trade effort to support local resources.

The overall goals of Grow Grant program are to:
-Increase civic engagement, volunteerism, emerging leaders and community initiatives that create healthy, just, safe and environmentally sustainable communities at the neighborhood and town level in New England;
-Help community leaders move single issue, backyard debates to positive, inclusive, systemic, constructive, and lasting community solutions;
-Link community-based advocacy with the work of state-wide and national organizations without losing local identity; and
-Establish and maintain informed networks of activists across the region that are committed to building a just and equitable society.

The Grassroots Fund has published a set of guiding values that focus on democracy, transparency, lowering barriers to funding and working towards systemic solutions within a just transition framework. These values inform the Fund's work and are used as one of the tools to review applications. Please review the Values before starting your application (link below in Pre-App).

Guiding Values:
-Just transition and strategic consideration
-Shifting power: transparency, accountability, democracy
-Lowering barriers to funding
-Flexibility and 'risk'-taking
-Change versus charity
-Community-based fundraising
-Process is the product

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 170466

Estimated Size of Grant:

$1,000 - $3,500

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grassroots Fund Seed and Grow grants are designed for groups that:
-Are doing community-based environmental work in CT, ME, MA, NH, RI or VT;
-Are volunteer-driven or have no more than 2 full-time paid staff (or equivalents);
-Have an annual operating budget under $100,000.

The Grassroots Fund does not require that a group has a formal tax exempt status. NEGEF funds both informal (unincorporated) groups - “ad hoc” - and formal (incorporated or 501c3 status) groups. The only requirement is that a group must have a checking account in the group’s name or have a fiscal agent. This is to ensure that the grant isn't considered personal income for the recipient. A group is allowed to submit an application before having a checking account or a fiscal agent in place.

Municipally-tied volunteer committees such as an energy task force or committee or conservation commission may apply for funding with the municipality serving as fiscal agent, provided the core organizing team includes community members/volunteers (i.e. not solely paid municipal staff).

Please note that Grassroots Fund does not fund statewide, regional, national or international work. The focus is on community-based, local initiatives.

Not Funded:
-Retroactive Expenses
-Lobbying or partisan political activities
-Curriculum-based projects
-Large capital acquisitions /acquisition of land and/or buildings
-Studies with no follow-up action
-Publication of books or reports
-Micro- or mini-grant programs

Pre-proposal Conference:

Questions about Grow grants? Listen to the webinar, "Grassroots Fund Grants and How to Apply".

Register for Webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

Please review the Grassroots Fund's Guiding Values before starting your applications (link below). You will be asked to confirm that you have read the Values before submitting your request for funding.

Deadlines are March 15 and September 15. You will receive a confirmation email that you have successfully submitted your Grow application.

The Grantmaking Committee meets no later than 10 weeks after the deadline and collectively makes funding decisions. Expect decisions early June and December.

Grant Programs:
How to Apply:
Guiding Values:
Apply for a Grow Grant:
General FAQs:
Application FAQs:
Issue Areas:
After Applying:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Julia Dundorf, Executive Director
603 905 9915

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 611
Newmarket, NH 03857

Physical Address:
NH Main Office:
55 Main Street, Suite 124
Newmarket, NH 03857

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Connecticut;   Maine;   Massachusetts;   New Hampshire;   Rhode Island;   Vermont