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Clean Water Fund Grants

Grants to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Nonprofits for Water Improvement Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Lancaster County Community Foundation

Deadline Date:



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Grants ranging between $2,500 and $5,000 and grants ranging between $10,000 and $50,000 to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations for water improvement projects. Funds are available for small implementable projects and for large-scale restoration projects.

Clean water is a priority for partners across all of Lancaster County, especially since over half of our streams and much of our groundwater is unhealthy. A collaborative group of partners are ready to work with landowners and leaders across the landscape on restoration and protection projects in priority places to improve our water quality. Lancaster County is a top priority for Pennsylvania’s Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP), so these projects will align with the county-based strategy designed by the Lancaster Clean Water Partners. This fund will enable more partners to contribute to the bigger effort, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of those projects using technology, cultural sensitivity, and science-based practices to get our streams to clean and clear in a generation.

This fund offers two grant opportunities:

- Community Grant Fund: These grants are intended to stimulate smaller, implementable projects that are lead by locally based conservation organizations, municipalities and community groups. Projects need to have a focus on streambank stabilization, riparian forest buffers, community tree plantings, green infrastructure, and/or environmental education while prioritizing collaboration with new partners. With the intention of being part of the collective effort for clean water, projects are encouraged to highlight how work with other Lancaster County partners will protect water, create habitat, and enable people to explore outdoors.

- Water Quality Impact Fund: These grants are intended to support large-scale, high priority restoration projects that create a measurable and positive impact on water quality. Projects could include design and implementation of agricultural conservation practices, stormwater practices, riparian buffer implementation, and ecological restoration (stream, wetland, or floodplain restoration). Costs to write conservation plans for agriculture lands can be covered. Buffer installation is required for a project on land that includes a stream if no buffer exists currently (Buffer installation can be covered by this grant).

Grant criteria:
- Contributes to Lancaster County’s collective effort for clean water
- Project demonstrates measurable nutrient and sediment reductions that help achieve water quality improvements in priority areas to implement the local strategy for PA’s Watershed Implementation Plan
- Addresses the “big ideas” of county planning and land use (Places2040)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 185854

Estimated Size of Grant:

Community Grant Fund: $2,500 – $5,000
Water Quality Impact Fund: $10,000 - $50,000

Term of Contract:

Funds must be spent by September 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligibility for funding is determined based on due diligence and assessment of the following:
- Services to benefit the residents of Lancaster County (note: the Snyder Fund also benefits Cumberland County)
- Current 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS
- Registered with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations unless otherwise exempt per the Institutions of Purely Public Charity Act
- IRS Form 990
- Annual Audit or a financial review by an independent CPA within the last 12 months
- In good standing with all existing awards and contracts with the Lancaster County Community Foundation

Please note the Community Foundation will not typically fund:
- Creation of new organization
- Schools
- Capital campaigns/capital costs (equipment, building costs, maintenance)
- Political campaigns
- Expenses incurred before the grant is awarded
- Cemetery associations
- Religious causes that further a specific belief/agenda
- Individuals

Pre-Application Information:

- Due date for application feedback before final submission (optional): July 5
- Application due date for all categories: July 26
- Grant recipients announced: September
- States report due: March 15, 2020
- Funds must be spent: September 30, 2020
- Grant report due: October 31, 2020

Water Quality Impact Fund: Please contact Allyson Gibson, Project Advisor, to indicate your interest in applying.

Both grant opportunities require 1:1 matching funds.

Resources for Grant Applicants:

Contact Information:

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

Application portal:

Ashlinn Masland-Sarani, Lancaster County Community Foundation

Allyson Gibson, Lancaster Clean Water Partners

Fritz Schroeder, Lancaster Conservancy

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania: Lancaster County