Recently, an influx of funding has become available for urban forestry and environmental restoration projects. In 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which provided over $1.5 billion to the U.S. Forest Service for urban and community forestry projects over the next nine years. In addition other federal, state and local grants, such as the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, are also providing vital financial support to projects that benefit communities and the environment in the U.S.
With so many potential opportunities to fund your project, it can be difficult or even overwhelming to decide which grants to pursue. Here are a few grant tips to keep in mind as your organization or municipality starts to explore these exciting new grant opportunities:
- Pinpoint your mission and goal, and stick with it – Whether it’s tree planting in underserved areas or native habitat restoration, understand what you are trying to achieve by creating specific goals for your organization or department to work towards.
- Take note of project ideas as they come - Inspiration can hit at any moment. If an idea for a project that advances your goals strikes, make sure to take note of it. Having a log of potential projects on hand to match with upcoming funding opportunities can make the process of applying for grants easier.
- Identify potential project partners – Partnerships with nonprofits or other organizations can help widen the net of grant opportunities and become an additional source of advocacy for your mission or goal.
- Maintain awareness of grants – Listservs, grant websites, state and federal agencies, and local foundations are great resources to find when grant opportunities are available. Read the RFP to understand what the grant is trying to fund and match the grant’s priorities to your project list.
Navigating the Application Process
Once your organization has chosen a funding opportunity to pursue, the next step is to fill out the grant application. While the grant applications themselves may be straightforward, the application selection process may be extremely competitive. Make sure that all questions are answered with enough detail for the funding agency to see how your project meets their requirements while also meeting the goals and objectives of your organization or municipality.
Davey Resource Group (DRG) has worked with thousands of clients to develop successful grant applications for tree plantings, restoration projects, research initiatives, and more. Learn more about DRG’s grant writing services, or contact your local DRG office to find funding sources in your area.