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Pigeon River Fund (PRF)

Grants to Western North Carolina Nonprofits and
Agencies to Protect Water Resources and Habitats

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC)

Deadline Date:

09/15/18 5:00 PM


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Grants generally ranging from $5,000 to $35,000 to Western North Carolina nonprofit organizations and government agencies in Haywood, Buncombe, and Madison Counties for programs to improve local streams and rivers. Funding is intended for activities and projects that provide a direct benefit in at least one of the following focus areas:

- Improved surface water quality
- Enhanced fish and wildlife management and habitats
- Expanded public access
- Increased citizen’s awareness about their roles in protecting these resources.

Preparation of river management plans and watershed studies, as well as the acquisition of conservation easements, shall be considered to provide direct benefits.

Higher priority projects:
- Support efforts to assess water quality issues in streams or watersheds identified as priorities in county (or other authority) watershed action plans. A copy of the watershed plan should be uploaded with the application.
- Promote collaboration or coordination on projects that address comprehensive issues and will have a long-term impact.
- Encourage education and awareness of water quality issues preferably focused on helping individuals understand how their actions relate to the overall health of the river basin.
- Install water quality Best Management Practices (BMPs)or other stream improvements that are part of a coordinated multi-faceted effort and will result in significant improvement in water quality.

Lower priority projects:
- Scattered projects (including demonstration BMPs or other projects) not related to a coordinated effort to improve priority streams/watershed in the relevant community.
- Government agency operating support, especially staffing.
- Projects related to regulation enforcement which is the responsibility of the government.

Grant funds may be used to support administrative costs, including a share of staff costs, when essential to the project.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174116

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants generally range from $5,000 to $35,000. Some grant requests may exceed $35,000 with prior approval of CFWNC staff. Conservation easement requests for transaction or acquisition costs should not exceed $30,000.

Term of Contract:

Grants are typically for one year. If the project is or will be ongoing, PRF funds should only be a resource for start-up or pilot or a specific time-limited component of a larger project. Applicants should have plans for sustainability beyond the PRF grant for on-going projects.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Tax-exempt organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and governmental entities serving Buncombe, Haywood or Madison counties are eligible to apply.

PRF grant funds are not appropriate for any projects and activities related to or in support of litigation in any administrative or judicial forum.

Grants generally do not support: scholarships; sectarian religious purposes; partisan political purposes; endowment funds; deficit funding or debt retirement; capital support for new buildings or major expansions; festivals or one-time events such as exhibits, performances or fundraisers; or activities taking place or expenses incurred before grant decisions are made.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are considered twice a year with complete applications due to The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina by 5:00 PM on March 15 and September 15, with funding decisions announced within 2 months. All applicants will be notified by email upon receipt of their application.

Prior to submitting an application, you are encouraged to discuss your proposal with CFWNC staff. For assistance, contact Tara Scholtz, Senior Program Officer, by email or phone.

If the project requires permitting of any kind, i.e. building, Army Corps of Engineers, DEQ, etc., permitting should be in process or completed prior to submission of grant application.

PRF grants should leverage other funds or in-kind resources toward total project costs. PRF awards may be contingent on receipt of additional funds. In such cases, other necessary funds must be secured within 18 months of a PRF grant award.

For a tutorial to help with the online application go to

How to Apply:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online here:

Tara Scholtz, Senior Program Officer

For assistance with the online application:
Diane Crisp, Grants Manager

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina
4 Vanderbilt Park Drive, Suite 300
Asheville, NC 28803

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Carolina: Haywood, Buncombe, and Madison Counties