Grants

2024 Biodiversity Conservation Grant

Enhancing Pollinator Habitats

With major support from Toyota Motor North America, the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) is excited to announce $200,000 in grant funding to support shovel-ready pollinator habitat enhancement projects on America’s Public Lands.

Habitat enhancement projects should directly support the creation, restoration, remediation, improvement, and/or protection of habitats for important pollinator species such as butterflies, bees, bats, and more. The project should directly impact pollinators on at least 200 acres of public land. Additionally, projects should incorporate community outreach and engagement activities designed to educate and empower the public to help enhance pollinator habitats.

Applicants can request a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $100,000 to be spent over a one-year period.

Funding Priorities

  • Habitat Enhancement Projects: Projects must implement on-the-ground activities designed to increase the quality, quantity, and connectivity of pollinator habitats. Applicants must define a step-by-step plan including site preparation, size of the project area, and description of target pollinator(s). Due to the time needed for large-scale habitat restoration projects, NEEF will consider proposals that are already underway or that propose a distinct piece of an existing restoration project. Conservation and habitat restoration activities should be varied and science-based. If preparing a proposal that includes collecting seeds or cultivating native seedlings, applicants should describe the intended use of the seed or seedlings, and it should only represent one piece of the project. For new projects, they must be shovel-ready, meaning ready to implement the proposed project within 3 months of the award date.
  • Community Engagement: All project proposals must provide opportunities for public engagement through education- or volunteer-focused events. Projects should aim to collaborate with a diverse group of community partners to achieve engagement and educational outcomes. Grantees will be required to report on the number of events implemented and the number of participants engaged during the grant period. Priority will be given to proposals that serve underrepresented audiences in the outdoors with an emphasis on serving communities marked disadvantaged by the Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool.

Project Metrics

To better gauge progress on individual grants and to ensure greater consistency of project data provided by multiple grantees, NEEF has provided a list of project metrics. All applicants must commit to collecting and reporting on key project metrics listed below.

Acres Enhanced:

  • Number of Acres
  • Number of Acres Monarch Habitat
  • Number of Individual Project Work Sites Monitored or Improved

Biodiversity Enhanced:

  • Number of Pollinator Species Promoted
  • Number of Imperiled Species Protected
  • Number of Native Plant Species Installed
  • Number of Milkweed Plants Installed

Community Members Engaged:

  • Number of Individuals Engaged in Volunteer Activities
  • Number of Individuals Engaged in Outreach Activities
  • Number of Landowners Engaged
  • Number of Toyota Employees Engaged
  • Number of Individuals Directly Engaged from Underserved Communities

View more detail about these metrics with our Biodiversity Grant Metrics Info-sheet.

Application Process and Timeline

The grant competition will be a two-part process. Those interested in applying must first submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) in the form of an online application. NEEF will then select and invite a small number of finalists to submit a full application for review. From that pool, NEEF will then choose its grantees.

The timeline is as follows:

  • LOI opens: February 1, 2024
  • LOI deadline: March 1, 2024, by 11:59 PM PST
  • Finalists invited to submit Application: April 1, 2024
  • Application due: May 1, 2024, by 11:59 PM PST
  • Grants awarded: June 10, 2024
  • Grant period: July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025
  • Reporting deadlines:
    • December 31, 2024
    • July 15, 2025

Eligibility

  • Open to non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, state or federal government agencies, federally recognized tribes and local governments, and educational institutions.*
  • Projects must be on public lands defined as any local, state, or federal government- or nonprofit-owned land that is accessible to the public for recreational use on a regular basis.
  • Private for-profit firms and individuals are not eligible to apply.
  • Grant funding may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities, or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
  • NEEF will select one project out of the two to four finalists awarded who are within an hour’s drive of one of the following communities near Toyota Motor North America manufacturing and corporate sites: Long Beach, CA, Henderson, NV, Chandler, AZ, San Antonio, TX, Plano, TX, Troy, MO, Tupelo, MS, Huntsville, AL, Alpharetta, GA, Greensboro, NC, Georgetown, KY, Jackson, TN, Buffalo, WV, Evansville, IN, and Ann Arbor, MI. Projects across the country not within those markets are eligible for the remaining awards and are encouraged to apply.
  • Must meet the funding criteria (below).
  • Please visit our FAQ page for more eligibility information.

* One organization can submit more than one LOI.

LOI Criteria

  • Number of acres impacted directly.

    • Impacted acreage must have a direct conservation activity proposed including but not limited to invasive species removal, planting, seed drilling, prescribed burn, etc. Ecosystem services to nearby plots should not be included in the tally. Projects may be on separate plots of land to meet the 200-acre minimum, but the plots should be within the same migratory pathway and ideally within several miles of each other.
  • Describe the conservation activities planned to improve the proposed acreage. Describe how the habitat enhancement project will benefit pollinator species and which pollinator species are expected to be impacted. Proposed projects must be technically sound and apply the best available science and accepted best management practices for enhancement of pollinator habitats and species specific to their ecological region.
  • Briefly describe the applicants’ and/or partners’ expertise and previous experience with habitat management, restoration for pollinator species, and community education/volunteerism. NEEF encourages applicants to have a variety of partners to improve the project’s connection to the local community, ensure quality volunteer involvement, expand the impact of the project through landowner or land trust partnership, and/or improve credibility of the science-based habitat improvement.
  • Summarize the education or volunteer involvement, the direct engagement of underrepresented audiences and underserved communities, and the overall impact on underserved communities.
  • Demographics of staff and board
  • Total request amount: Applicants can request a minimum of $50,000 and a maximum of $100,000 to be spent over a one-year period.

Application Criteria

Applicants invited to submit a full application will build on LOIs. Applications will be evaluated based on the extent to which they meet the following criteria:

  • Describe how the habitat enhancement project will benefit pollinator species, and include a step-by-step plan for establishing, enhancing, and/or preserving habitat acres. NEEF encourages applicants to have a varied approach for a robust restoration of diverse habitat.
  • Budget: Describe how funds will be used to meet project goals. A budget and a budget narrative are required.
  • Describe how the applicant will provide educational or volunteer offerings that link the on-the-ground conservation work taking place on public lands to the surrounding community (e.g., educating property-owners about the impact of invasive species and encouraging removal of targeted species on private property surrounding the project site).
  • Provide a detailed timeline of when programming/activities will take place during the grant year. The timeline should include community engagement events.
  • Describe project partners and their involvement in the work. Provide Partner Letters of Support from those listed under the project team section of the LOI who will be responsible for implementing grant activities, if applicable.
  • Describe the project team, including partner staff if responsible for implementing grant activities. Detail the roles and involvement of each organization cited in the LOI who will be directly responsible for reporting and activities related to conservation, education, and volunteer components of the grant.
  • Describe the sustainability plan and ongoing maintenance. If applicable, list how the organization will share lessons learned or further the impact of the project on adjacent lands (i.e. landowner information sessions, published works, public education, conferences).
  • Provide required financials which include:
    • Conflict of interest policy
    • A list of the Board of Directors
    • Annual organizational budget
    • Audit for prior fiscal year, or if an audit is not available, a balance sheet and Profit and Loss Statement for prior fiscal year
    • Demographics of staff and board

Expectations if Funded

  • Participate in calls with NEEF and other grantees to share project updates, successes, challenges, and best practices.
  • Collaborate with NEEF on evaluation strategies to ensure accurate and timely reports are submitted.
  • Collaborate with NEEF’s Marketing & Communications team on press releases, stories, and other external communications related to funded projects.
  • Commitment to collect and report on relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) listed in the “Program Metrics” section of this document.

All applications must be submitted through our online system. If you have any questions or problems, please contact us at grantsadmin@neefusa.org. Please reference the Frequently Asked Questions and Glossary page before submitting your questions.

 

Start Letter of Intent (LOI)