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Grants to USA Nonprofits, IHEs, and Tribes for the Conservation of Forests and Grasslands

Matching Awards Program (MAP)


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
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Geographic Focus

Important Dates
Conference Date: 12/04/23
Deadline: 01/16/24 11:59 PM MST Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA nonprofit organizations, IHEs, and tribes for projects and initiatives that enhance outdoor recreation and improve the health of public forests and grasslands. Funding is intended for on-the-ground restoration and conservation projects that make a significant impact on the National Forest System. All MAP applications must include direct public participation.

The NFF requires that all projects proposed for funding must include community involvement and hands-on stewardship activities to benefit the National Forest System.

Community Engagement

Community engagement, defined as in-person involvement of the public, must be the primary focus of every project funded under MAP. The National Forest Foundation recognizes that communities across the country have varied histories and experiences with public lands and expects that effective and appropriate engagement experiences will vary.

Stewardship Activities

In addition to a focus on public engagement, stewardship activities must be a component of every project proposed to MAP. Specifically, the participants of the groups engaged must complete eligible stewardship-oriented activities that result in benefits to the National Forest System. Benefits may be direct, such as trail maintenance or trash cleanup, or indirect. Examples of stewardship work with indirect benefits include collecting monitoring data which the Forest Service or other public entities will use to inform management decisions, or educating other trail users to prevent resource damage. The NFF recognizes that different activities are appropriate for different types of participants, therefore a variety of activities are allowed, resulting in either large- or small-scale stewardship benefits.

Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Long-Term Benefit

Through MAP, the NFF is reaffirming its interest in expanding environmental and conservation work and who participates in this work, acknowledging that many underserved communities have historically not benefitted from investments on public lands. The selection committee will prioritize projects that aim to create opportunities to advance equitability and the diversity of beneficiaries, whether during the MAP-funded performance period or in the future. Projects that are part of a long-term strategy to create or inspire connection to public lands will also receive priority.

For more information about the above priorities, see


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Nonprofit organizations, Tribal governments and organizations, and universities are eligible to receive MAP grants. If an organization does not meet this eligibility requirement, it must utilize an eligible fiscal sponsor consistent with the NFF Policy on Fiscal Sponsorship.

The NFF does not consider MAP applications from federal or state agencies, local governments, individuals, or for-profit organizations.

In line with the MAP focus on community engagement in stewardship, applications are not accepted if the primary costs are for development or improvement of hardened infrastructure via purchases or contractors. This includes development of or major improvements to campgrounds, parking lots, restrooms, or visitor centers. The NFF will consider smaller scale activities at these locations completed as part of community engagement programming and if the majority of the proposed budget is for engagement-related costs. MAP funding is not intended to support wildland firefighting efforts, nor may it be used to support subcontracted stewardship efforts completed primarily by for-profit entities.

Funding Overlap Restrictions:

Pre-Proposal Conference
The NFF will hold an informational webinar about the Matching Awards Program on Monday, December 4, 2023 at 10:00 am MST.


The webinar will be recorded and posted on the NFF’s MAP webpage.

Pre-Application Information
Key Dates:
- December 4, 2023: Informational Webinar on MAP
- January 16, 2024: Deadline for Round 1 MAP Applications at 11:59 pm MST
- Spring 2024: Application period opens for Round 2 2024 projects

Applicants must complete an approximately 10-question quiz that ensures the project and organization are eligible to receive MAP funding. Upon successful completion of the eligibility quiz, you will receive an email with an access code and instructions that will allow you to initiate an application.

Matching Requirements: 1:1 cash match of nonfederal cash funds directly received by the applicant organization. Award Recipient must expend match within the NFF grant performance period and for completion of the same project. In-kind contributions are not considered.

Applicant must have or be able to obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) if selected for funding.

Informational Webinar on MAP Recording from December 4, 2023:

Estimated Size of Grant
There is not an official minimum or maximum award amount for the MAP program and successful proposals vary widely in budget size. In recent years, NFF has considered applications ranging from less than $5,000 to over $80,000. The NFF suggests that new MAP applicants submit applications requesting $35,000 or less.

Term of Contract
For this round, grant performance periods will begin in March or April 2024, and extend for 12 to 18 months depending on grantee preference.

Contact Information
Eligibility quiz:

If you have questions, please contact:
Allison Powell, Conservation Awards Associate

National Forest Foundation
27 Fort Missoula Rd. Ste 3
Missoula, MT 59804-7212

P: 406.542.2805
F: 406.542.2810

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