General and Recognition Grants
Grants to Nebraska Nonprofits, Agencies, and Individuals
for Environmental Conservation and Preservation Programs
for Environmental Conservation and Preservation Programs
Nebraska Environmental Trust
09/05/17 Midnight CDT electronic submission or postmarked by date
Grants to Nebraska individuals, private organizations, and public entities for programs to preserve and restore wildlife habitats, maintain air, soil, and water quality, and promote and implement waste management strategies. All projects must demonstrate a benefit to the environment.
Grants are available in two categories. General Grants can be for requests of any amount. Recognition Grants use a simplified application form and are for requests of $15,000 or less.
Any project or portion of a project funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust must achieve one or more of the following Trust category areas. These category areas are equally important.
Habitat: actions to preserve or restore native habitats and areas critical to at-risk, rare or endangered species; other preservation actions for at-risk, rare or endangered species including actions to understand ecosystem relationships which inform sound management; community habitat enhancement emphasizing native and ecologically appropriate plantings which provide food and shelter for wildlife; actions to inform and educate which contribute to the attainment of this category.
Surface and Ground Water: actions to preserve or restore lakes, waterways and ground water from degradation or depletion; actions to research, design or foster best management practices; actions to conserve water and/or efficiently and effectively manage water use; actions to inform and educate which contribute to the attainment of this category.
Waste Management: actions promoting and implementing source reduction, waste management or toxicity reduction; actions promoting and implementing the development of recycling markets; actions promoting and implementing reuse and other disposal diversion actions; actions to inform and educate which contribute to the attainment of this category.
Air Quality: actions promoting and implementing clean air strategies, including greenhouse gas reductions, actions to research, design or foster best management strategies; actions to inform and educate which contribute to the attainment of this category.
Soil Management: actions and strategies to preserve, conserve and restore soil health; actions to research, design or foster the implementation and management of these strategies; actions to inform and educate which contribute to the attainment of this category.
All projects must meet all of the following criteria to be considered for funding:
1. The applicant must demonstrate that the project is environmentally acceptable. The project shall not cause harm to the environment and results in a net gain for the environment.
2. The project must have clear and direct environmental benefits.
3. The project must make a real contribution to achieving the Trust Board’s environmental categories.
4. The project must provide public benefits.
5. The funds requested will provide assistance only to proposals which are deemed technically feasible.
6. The funds requested will provide assistance only to proposals which are deemed financially feasible.
7. The funds requested shall not be used to provide direct assistance to regulatory programs.
8. The funds requested shall not be used to implement actions mandated by regulations except remediation.
9. The funds requested shall not pay for private benefits or provide assistance to projects whose benefits are primarily private in nature.
10. The funds requested shall not be used to relieve private liability for environmental damage.
11. The funds requested shall not pay for projects which have direct beneficiaries who could afford the costs of the benefits without experiencing serious financial hardship.
12. The funds shall not pay for land or easements acquired without the full and express consent of the landowner.
No maximum is established for General Grants. Recognition Grants are requests of $15,000 or less.
The Trust can provide funds to a project for up to three years based on one application. The project must be resubmitted and proceed through the competitive awards process again in order to continue to receive funds for more than three years. A funding year usually ends on June 30. Subsequent years begin on July 1.
Individuals, private organizations, and public entities are all welcome to apply. Private, for-profit organizations must demonstrate that the project results in public benefit and does not pay for private benefits.
Benefits from a Nebraska Environmental Trust Grant must be public in nature. Private benefit, especially private financial gain, must be incidental to the project. This creates a special challenge for private landholders seeking to improve their property or for-profit enterprises seeking assistance for their operations.
An applicant could incorporate any or all of the following components into a proposal in order to demonstrate that a project results in public gain:
- The project is co-sponsored by at least one public entity in full partnership. The entity will determine appropriate public benefit as a pre-condition to partnership.
- Incidental private gain, e.g., increased equity value, reverts to the public sector.
- The project returns a benefit value to the public exceeding the dollar amount of the grant, and the grant represents the minimum investment required in order to produce the projected benefits to the public; and there is clear public need that is unmet and the private sector is unlikely to meet this need without public assistance.
An applicant could incorporate the following into a proposal to help determine that a project results in public gain when seeking funds for the improvement of private property:
- The increase in ecosystem value can be quantified; e.g., tons of soil conserved, volume of water with measures of clarity, purity, etc.
- The increase in value of private property is quantified; and the increase in ecosystem value clearly exceeds the increase in the value of private property; and the grant represents the minimum investment required in order to produce the projected benefits to the public.
A private property owner might enter into an agreement granting equity interest, a conservation easement, or like arrangement with a public entity to demonstrate how the private gain is to be repaid.
The burden of proof of any of these conditions lies with the applicant.
It is recommended that applicants visit with program staff before submitting an application, especially if you are a first-time applicant.
The Nebraska Environmental Trust accepts and awards grants once each year. The Trust will accept submission of an application using the electronic application form. The electronic submission must be received by the Trust by midnight CDT on the application deadline date and a hard copy of the application must be received by the Trust no later than 5.00 p.m. CDT on the Friday following the deadline date.
The Trust will also accept traditional submissions of applications. One copy of the completed application must be postmarked on or before the application deadline date.
The electronic submission must be complete and include all information required in a hard copy submission.
Most grants are awarded on a reimbursement basis, with sponsors receiving grant funds after they submit documentation to establish expenses incurred and progress on the project.
Monday/Tuesday, August 7-8, 2017: 3rd Quarter Board Meeting
Tuesday, September 5, 2017: General and Recognition Grant Application Deadline
Thursday, November 2, 2017: 4th Quarter Board Meeting
Download application forms: http://www.environmentaltrust.org/grants/application_forms.html
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Submit applications by email or mail to:
Marilyn Tabor, Grants Administrator
Allison La Duke, Grants Assistant
The Nebraska Environmental Trust
PO Box 94913
Lincoln, NE 68509-4913
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