ENVIRONMENTAL GRANT PROGRAM FAQ
Katie Michels, our Program Coordinator, is our ears on the ground for prospective grant applicants. She is the friendly voice (and face!) behind the scenes who works tirelessly to answer your questions, share feedback, and improve the function and flow of our grant software. Thank you, Katie!
Here, she’ll answer the questions she hears most to help you determine your eligibility, organize your Letter of Intent or application, and assist you with our portal when applying to our Environmental Grant Program.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Are nonprofit organizations eligible for our Environmental Grant Program?
Currently, our grant program is only open to charities with a vision and mission primarily focused on protecting the environment, and to qualified First Nations. We cannot grant to individuals, corporations, or other nonprofits. With that said, we sometimes see nonprofits and charities partner on applications. In this case, the charity becomes the lead applicant.
2. Are there certain project activities that you do not fund?
We don’t fund projects where the main activity is planning or hosting a conference or summit, or projects that are mandated by the government. Large infrastructure projects are also not funded unless there is a really great community engagement component along with an environmental benefit.
3. What is the difference between the types of projects that fall under the Major Projects or Community Grants streams?
Projects that are larger in scope and have a clear environmental improvement tend to be at the Major Project scale, while grassroots or community focused projects tend to fall in the Community Grant bucket. We often see pilot projects start at the Community Grant level and then scale up to the Major Projects level.
An example of a Major Project that started as a Community Grant in Phase I and grew into a Major Project this past Fall is the Rocky Mountain Eastern Slopes Biomonitoring – Phase II, led by Living Lakes Canada. The project is bringing stream health assessment training to stakeholders in the North Saskatchewan watershed by implementing a train-the-trainer program.
An example of a Community Grant project that was funded this past Fall is the Edmonton and Area Land Trust’s Protecting Pollinators: Pollinator Garden at Smith Blackburn Homestead. By transforming a patch of poor-quality habitat at Smith Blackburn Homestead into a native pollinator garden, they will enhance ecological function and increase their community engagement on pollinator conservation.
4. Are the applications different for Major Projects and Community Grants?
There are a few differences between the two grant streams. Applications to our Major Project grant stream go through a two-step application process. The First step is to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) through our grant portal. If the LOI is approved, applicants move onto the second stage and will need to submit a full application and participate in an interview with our Grant Review Committee. Community Grants on the other-hand are a one-step application. There are also a few less questions on the Community Grant application than the Major Projects Full Application.
5. What are your top tips for those looking to apply to the Environmental Grant Program?
After making sure your organization and project are eligible, get in touch with us! We love connecting with potential applicants ahead of time and can give some initial feedback on your project idea to make sure it aligns with our environmental priorities.
We also recommend reading through the Criteria and Guidelines section of our website. Pay special attention to the Impact and Likelihood of Success sections because this is the criteria our Grant Review Committee uses to make their funding decisions. You can even download the Scorecard that our committee uses and score your application before submitting!
Another tip! If you have your draft application completed at least 5 days before the deadline, our Grants Team is happy to read the draft and give you written feedback. Just send us an email and we can look at the draft as Admins in our system.
We started accepting Letters of Intent to our Major Project grant stream on February 15!
We are here to help you succeed in your application. Reach out to Katie and our Grants Team at [email protected].
Be sure to add these key dates to your calendar:
Major Projects Application Portal Opens: February 15, 2021
Major Projects Letter of Intent Deadline: March 12, 2021
Community Grants Application Portal Opens: March 26, 2021
Community Grants Application Deadline: April 23, 2021
Decision-making: Late May, 2021