Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

2018 Longleaf Stewardship Fund

Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and IHEs
in Multiple States to Protect Pine Ecosystems

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)

Deadline Date:

02/08/18 11:59 PM EST


Request a Grant Writer

Grants to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia nonprofit organizations, government agencies, tribes, and educational institutions for the restoration and management of longleaf pine ecosystems. The purpose of this program is to enhance and expand management and restoration efforts across longleaf pine’s historical range. Funding will also support the restoration and enhancement of bottomland hardwood forests within priority focal areas.

To be eligible for funding, projects must occur within historic range or priority focal areas as depicted on the program map. Regions include:

​-Longleaf Pine: Historical range within AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TX or VA.
-Bottomland Hardwoods: Focal areas identified in LA, NC, SC or TX. ​

The Longleaf Stewardship Fund is guided primarily by two strategic drivers: 

1) Supporting longleaf pine ecosystem restoration and enhancement on public and private lands through collaborative, on-the-ground actions that contribute to the strategic restoration goals in the Range-Wide Conservation Plan for Longleaf Pine, developed by the America's Longleaf Restoration Initiative (ALRI). The three-year priorities and actions (2016-2018) to advance these goals are outlined in ALRI’s Strategic Priorities and Actions document.

2) Supporting the implementation of NFWF’s Forestland Stewards Partnership Business Plan, which includes strategic priorities and goals to enhance longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood forest ecosystems for the benefit of wildlife species and freshwater systems, while promoting and supporting working forests. Priority geographies identified in the Business Plan include the entire longleaf range and bottomland hardwood focal areas within the Coastal Plain of North and South Carolina (map), as well as the piney woods region of east Texas and west Louisiana (map).  

Funding Priorities:

Priority will be given to projects that effectively implement one or more of the strategies below to improve longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood habitats and populations of associated wildlife species, such as Bachman’s sparrow, bobwhite quail, red-cockaded woodpecker, gopher tortoise, songbirds, waterfowl, reptiles and amphibians. 

1) Establishing Longleaf Pine and/or Bottomland Hardwood Forests: NFWF will invest in projects that create new longleaf pine and/or bottomland hardwood habitat, including site preparation and planting on public and private lands. Priority will be given to projects in areas adjacent or in close proximity to existing longleaf and/or bottomland hardwood stands under conservation management, known habitat for associated threatened, endangered or at-risk species, and/or on protected lands likely to receive long-term management. Projects should describe all necessary site preparation for planting and summarize plans to promote long-term sustainability (e.g., mechanical and/or chemical treatments, prescribed burning, etc.). 

2) Enhancing and Maintaining Existing Longleaf Pine and/or Bottomland Hardwood Ecosystems: NFWF will invest in projects that maintain, expand and promote effective management of existing longleaf pine and/or bottomland hardwood forest habitats on public and private lands through the use of appropriate management treatments, including, but not limited to the following strategies: 

For Longleaf Pine:
-Increase prescribed fire capacity, coordination and collaboration through fire teams, prescribed burn associations, or other appropriate strategies.
-Provide technical assistance, training and/or other incentives to increase prescribed burning on private lands, including, but not limited to assisting private landowners with implementing financial assistance contracts through NRCS Environment Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Working Lands for Wildlife and other programs. 
-Increase prescribed burning and management on public lands.
-Pursue innovations and address specific barriers or roadblocks to prescribed burning, including strategies that may be transferred across the longleaf range.
Where prescribed fire is not sufficient or practical for achieving longleaf ecosystem restoration, the following additional strategies may be considered. Applicants must demonstrate how these strategies contribute towards long-term sustainable longleaf ecosystem management, including how they will enable future prescribed burning as a management practice.
-Thinning, invasive species removal and other alternative treatments. 
-Overstory treatments in mixed stands with a minor manageable component of longleaf with a goal of moving these stands to a longleaf-dominant condition.
-Planting native understory species to improve wildlife habitat and support the application of prescribed fire.
For Bottomland Hardwoods:
-Maintaining and enhancing planted acreage or natural stands.
-Supporting regeneration through invasive species control or intermediate thinning.
-Additional under-planting as necessary.

3) Expanding and Coordinating Private Landowner Technical Assistance and Outreach: Projects are sought to implement collaborative and strategic outreach and technical assistance to increase the number of private landowners engaged in longleaf pine and/or bottomland hardwood stewardship practices. Proposals must estimate the amount of acres to be restored or enhanced as a result of proposed activities. 

-Increase outreach success: Support increased landowner outreach and technical assistance. Proposals should describe the current technical assistance capacity and explain plans for prioritizing, targeting and leveraging additional capacity. This should include how existing financial assistance programs will be utilized and how the increased technical assistance capacity will be coordinated among existing providers.

-Advance new market-based and/or incentive programs: Pilot innovative, market-based solutions and/or incentive programs that stimulate landowner participation in longleaf recovery efforts and enhance on-the-ground activities to achieve longleaf pine optimal habitat conditions. Projects should effectively align with other existing private landowner initiatives or programs, such as U.S. Fish & Wildlife Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program, USDA’s Working Lands for Wildlife, and/or DoD Sentinel Landscapes, as appropriate.
-Increase participation in third-party forest certification: Increase participation in third-party forest certification programs to encourage sustainable forest management practices for longleaf pine ecosystem, bottomland hardwood forests, and associated wildlife.

4) Building and Improving Local Implementation Team Capacity (Significant Geographic Area (SGA) projects only): A portion of available grant funding may be allocated to strengthen Local Implementation Team (LIT) capacity to establish and/or advance a comprehensive longleaf ecosystem restoration strategy and accomplish conservation goals within defined SGAs.

Proposed capacity-building activities must be integrated as part of a larger project addressing Strategies 1-3 above. Proposals must detail how capacity investments will lead to specific measurable, on-the-ground conservation outcomes within the project period and include the following components:

-Planning: Develop a conservation plan1 for the SGA that defines measurable, large-scale longleaf restoration and enhancement goals and expected conservation outcomes; detail strategic actions and target priority locations; list near-term implementation actions and associated costs; and describe methods for monitoring and evaluating progress. This plan should be completed within the grant period. A conservation plan template can be downloaded here.

Proposals requesting support to develop a conservation plan must provide a summary of the status of their conservation plan, including whether previous Longleaf Stewardship Fund grant funding has been provided for planning, how those funds were used, as well as projected date of plan completion – LIT Conservation Plan Status Template.

-Coordination: Support an LIT Coordinator position to provide overall coordination across all SGA partners, priorities and activities, and accelerate achievement of longleaf restoration and maintenance goals for the defined region. Applicants may request no more than 75% of the LIT Coordinator’s salary and benefits.

Additional Strategies:
As part of implementing the priority strategies above, projects are encouraged to integrate the following additional strategies (note geographic restrictions):

5) Accelerating Species Recovery/Southern Company Power of Flight2 (Projects must be within Southern Company’s retail service area, LA/TX, or NC/SC Coastal Plain): As part of a larger longleaf ecosystem habitat restoration or enhancement project, implement other strategies, such as translocation, nest-cavity inserts and other supporting activities to aid recovery of longleaf ecosystem-dependent bird species, such as red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW), as well as gopher tortoise and populations of other key indicator species3.  Proposals should demonstrate how activities advance implementation of established conservation strategies within federal species recovery plans, regional bird conservation plans and/or state wildlife action plans.

6) Conservation Easements (for LA, TX and NC/SC Coastal Plain SGA projects only): Funding is available to facilitate targeted conservation easement projects that protect existing, high-quality longleaf pine and bottomland hardwood habitat, or key sites targeted for longleaf and bottomland hardwood restoration that are part of a broader restoration proposal.

7) Requests for conservation easement funding should not exceed 15% of the total proposal request and should be for transaction costs, such as surveys, appraisal, environmental report, etc. In limited instances, highly leveraged projects will be considered for acquisition costs.

Grant Categories:

Grants will be awarded in one of two categories:

1) Partnership-based, Large-Scale Restoration (Significant Geographic Areas): Grants will be awarded to projects submitted on behalf of a Local Implementation Team (LIT) that is working to advance longleaf pine restoration and enhancement objectives within Significant Geographic Areas (SGAs). Projects in this category must directly support conservation goals and strategies embraced by relevant partners and stakeholders in these landscapes, outlined in a developing LIT/SGA conservation plan.

To promote coordination and prioritize limited funding, applicants are encouraged to collaborate on proposals and submit one comprehensive application per SGA, on behalf of an established or developing LIT. The proposal should clearly outline how the partnership’s developing conservation plan is being addressed; the role of each participating partner; and, include a map of partnership priority areas identifying where proposed activities will take place during the grant period. Funding will be prioritized to those LITs with completed, or the most fully-developed conservation plans.

2) Strategic Restoration and Outreach: Grants will be awarded for strategic, on-the-ground restoration and private landowner outreach that occurs within the historical longleaf range (Map 1). Strategic locations should include, but not be limited to, sites that contribute to conservation on landscapes where funding partners have other conservation activities. Any project overlapping with an SGA must demonstrate coordination with the relevant LIT (i.e., to ensure that proposed activities do not duplicate, but rather enhance or leverage existing/planned SGA activities)

Work on Public Lands: Dedicated funding is available to support longleaf restoration and management on National Forests. Applicants must coordinate with the National Forest Supervisor or other appropriate U.S. Forest Service staff to identify and address priorities in the proposal consistent with the applicable National Forest Plan6.

Limited work on other federal lands (such as National Wildlife Refuges) is eligible with the exception of the westernmost portion of the longleaf range in South Carolina (Calhoun, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Fairfield, Greenwood, Lancaster, Lexington, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Kershaw, Richland, and Saluda counties). Work performed on state and municipal-owned public land is eligible across all states within the historical longleaf range. Projects that include federal lands also must include work on state, local and/or private lands as part of the broader project scope.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178352

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

This program awards approximately 18-20 grants per year.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Partnership-based, Large-Scale Restoration (Significant Geographic Areas): Grants range from $150,000 to $300,000.

Strategic Restoration and Outreach: Grants range from $50,000 to $150,000.

Term of Contract:

​Anticipated completion time for funded projects typically will be 24 months following finalization of a grant agreement. Significant project deliverables and outcomes are expected to be achieved in year one. Project start and end dates should define the period during which all proposed work is accomplished, all requested funds are spent and all matching funds are spent or applied.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include nonprofit 501(c) organizations, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, Indian tribes, and educational institutions. 

Ineligible applicants include U.S. Federal government agencies, businesses, unincorporated individuals, international organizations. U.S. Federal agencies, businesses and unincorporated individuals are encouraged to partner with applicants, but are not eligible to submit an application.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds:
-NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
-NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts. 

Pre-proposal Conference:

A webinar was held Thursday, December 14, 2017, 2:00 PM EST.

This webinar covered the programmatic funding priorities for the 2018 Longleaf Stewardship Fund grant cycle. Potential applicants were provided with an overview of the application process and materials, as well as any significant changes to the program from the 2017 funding cycle.

A recording of the webinar will be made available for potential applicants unable to participate.

To view the webinar recording, register online here:

Pre-Application Information:

Match Requirement: Projects must have a minimum match of 1:1 non-federal cash or in-kind, but larger match ratios and matching fund contributions from a diversity of partners are encouraged and will be more competitive5. Applicants are encouraged to describe federal partner contributions as well in the proposal narrative, although those contributions will not count toward the minimum match requirement.

-​​​Applicant Webinar: Thursday, December 14, 2017, 2:00 PM EST
​​-Full Proposal Due Date: Thursday, February 8, 2018, 11:59 PM EST
​-Review Period: ​February - August 2018
​-Awards Announced: August 2018

Interactive Map:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

For more information or questions about this RFP, please contact:

Jon Scott, Manager, Southern Regional Office
(202) 595-2609

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Florida;   Georgia;   Louisiana;   Mississippi;   North Carolina;   South Carolina;   Texas;   Virginia