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Watershed Protection - Watershed-Wide, Sub-Watersheds, Constituency Building

Grants to USA Organizations in Multiple States for
Environmental Stewardship in the Delaware River Watershed

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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William Penn Foundation

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and New York organizations for a broad range of projects that protect the Delaware River watershed. Applicants should submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. Funding may be requested for research, science, and data collection, as well as initiatives that engage the public with environmental stewardship.

Program Areas:

Supporting Watershed-Wide Research, Policy, and Practice:

The Foundation will consider opportunities to:
-Fund scientific research and analysis to provide information on water quality.
-Advance policies and practices that accelerate, strengthen, or expand public and private watershed protection.

The Foundation’s goal is to better understand the baseline data, progress over time, emerging threats, policies, and practices that can advance private and public watershed-protection efforts, with an emphasis on protection of forests; reduction of agricultural run-off and polluted stormwater; and protection of critical aquifers.

To accomplish this, the Foundation will consider funding for:
-Research, baseline mapping, and data analysis that will be made publicly accessible and can inform programs and policy options used to advance targeted research and advocacy.
-Research on and analysis of innovative policies and practices with the potential to significantly affect water quality.
-Science- and data-driven monitoring programs.
-Science- and data-driven public and policymaker education efforts about campaigns, including targeted advocacy for effective federal, state, and regional policies and practices that promote protection or restoration of watershed resources.
-Under no circumstances may the Foundation’s funds be used for lobbying at the Federal, state, or local level.

Protecting and Restoring Ecologically Significant Sub-Watersheds:

The Foundation consider opportunities to:
-Develop and implement conservation and restoration models.
-Provide capital for land acquisition to promote conservation and protect water quality.
-Provide capital for stream and upland restoration to restore water quality.

In 2013, the Foundation invited organizations to develop targeted sub-watershed restoration or protection plans that promote aligned, collaborative work of multiple stakeholders. These three-year plans, which address local stressors and include data collection and water-quality monitoring, form the basis of the Foundation’s current sub-watershed funding.

Funding may be used for:
-The implementation of innovative, transformative, or model conservation and restoration projects.
-Fee or easement acquisition of priority watershed lands.
-Research, analysis, and communications about threats and successes in targeted sub-watersheds and their relevance to the Delaware River watershed.
-Technical assistance for and coordination of local stakeholders, including landowners, municipalities, and watershed associations to advance plan implementation.
-Data collection and monitoring of relevant water quality indicators to assess progress (or lack of progress) and refine interventions to more effectively restore or preserve water quality.

To further enhance successful interventions, the Foundation also seeks opportunities to fund science-based outreach and advocacy campaigns supported by targeted communications strategies. The Foundation will consider funding for strategies that focus on increasing support for watershed protection and restoration, highlighting innovative practices and effective implementations, and driving replication of successful sub-watershed work locally and across the Delaware River watershed.

Empowering Constituencies to Act:

The Foundation will consider opportunities to:
-Secure funds to complete “the Circuit,” Greater Philadelphia’s regional trail network.
-Strengthen existing and emerging environmental education and outdoor recreation centers by encouraging shared programming and coordinated outreach.
-Support programs that make use of targeted trails and rivers and provide outdoor enthusiasts with information about water.

Completion of the Circuit:
Complete and increase visibility of the Circuit, Greater Philadelphia’s regional trail network, as a platform to engage people in outdoor activities and encourage them to take advantage of the benefits of the region’s waterways. Funding may support: efforts to secure public and private funding for priority trail infrastructure; development and early implementation of programming to increase near-water trail usage; communications strategies aimed at increasing trail usage and conveying the importance of clean water to Circuit users; and strategic development of trail networks that are outside, but connected to, the Circuit with access points along rivers and waterways.

River and Trail Related Centers:
Develop a strategic network of existing and emerging environmental education and habitat preservation centers at key portals to trails and rivers, encouraging shared programming and coordinated outreach related to water quality.

Funding may support: strategic and business planning; curriculum and programming development; branding, marketing, and other outreach efforts, including an emphasis on connections to the Circuit and regional watersheds; direct programming costs; and analysis of program efficacy.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179721

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations may apply for projects in the Delaware River watershed.

Not Funded Under Supporting Watershed-Wide Research, Policy, and Practice:
-Work that is not grounded in credible science or other relevant data.
-Work with primary impact outside of the Delaware watershed.

Not Funded Under Protecting and Restoring Ecologically Significant Sub-Watersheds:
-Work that is not targeted to specific sub-watersheds.
-Work that is not designed to respond to specific local stressors.
-Work that is not grounded in credible science or other relevant data.
-Work with primary impact outside of the targeted sub-watersheds identified above.
-Work that is not aligned with basin-wide improvements.

Not Funded Under Empowering Constituencies to Act
-Work with primary impact outside of the Delaware River watershed.
-General environmental education or outdoor recreation programs not directly tied to watershed protection.
-General operating support, except as it supports targeted constituency building initiatives.

Pre-Application Information:

The Foundation has a two-stage online application process which includes an initial inquiry and an invited full proposal.

Step 1: Inquiry
Organizations that are new to the Foundation begin by creating an online account as part of the initial Inquiry Form. Please note that submission of an inquiry does not guarantee that Foundation staff will invite a full proposal (step 2 of the process).

Step 2: Full Proposal
If an organization is invited to proceed to the second stage of the process and submit a full proposal, the following timeline is provided as a guide for when materials are due for consideration at a board meeting. Organizations are encouraged to submit their materials by these deadlines. Your program officer will let you know when materials need to be submitted for consideration at a particular board meeting.

-Inquiries Due: September 7, 2018
-Proposals Due: October 19, 2018
-Scheduled Board Review: February 8, 2018

-Inquiries Due: November 30, 2018
-Proposals Due: January 18, 2018
-Scheduled Board Review: April 26, 2018

-Inquiries Due: February 23, 2019
-Proposals Due: April 5, 2019
-Scheduled Board Review: July 19, 2019

-Inquiries Due: June 14, 2019
-Proposals Due: July 26, 2019
-Scheduled Board Review: November 1, 2019

A match for grant requests is not required unless specifically communicated by your program officer during the application process. However, part of the Foundation’s focus on collaboration and fostering partnerships is an interest in bringing together multiple funders around shared priorities. The Foundation always welcomes the opportunity to pool resources.

Grants at or below $82,500 are not required to be considered at a board meeting, and thus do not follow the deadline schedules above. However all grants are reviewed and approved by Foundation board members. Your program officer can provide more information about the timing and process for these types of requests. They typically follow the same two-step process outlined above.

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.

Tamika Holman, Associate, Grants Management

Barbara Scace, Director, Grants Management

William Penn Foundation
Two Logan Square, 11th Floor
100 North 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2757

(215) 988-1830

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Delaware;   New Jersey;   New York;   Pennsylvania