Every Day Capacity Building Grants - Spectrum Events in St. Louis

2018 Every Day Capacity Building Grants

Every Day Capacity Building Grants provide Friends Groups with grant funds of up to $5,000 to help build their organizational capacity to serve public lands.













Our nation's public lands need our support every day. With stretched budgets and limited staff, land managers at federal, state, and local public lands need all the help they can get. That help often comes from Friends Groups, nonprofit organizations whose missions focus on serving our nation's public land sites, and the improvement and responsible use of those sites. These organizations are sometimes referred to as Cooperating Associations, or simply as partners. They are invaluable in supporting, promoting and helping to maintain public lands.

These organizations, while dedicated and passionate, are often underfunded and understaffed. The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF), with generous support from Toyota, seeks to strengthen these organizations and unleash their potential to serve their public lands. NEEF's Every Day Capacity Building Grants contribute to the conservation and stewardship of our public lands by funding projects that build the organizational capacity of Friends Groups.

View Every Day Capacity Building grant recipients from 20152016, and 2017.


Before you apply, please take a moment to review the grant details below:




In order to apply, applicants must:

  • be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or working through a fiscal agent
  • have been in existence for at least two (2) years
  • be a Friends Group or community-based nonprofit organization whose mission is focused on serving a public land site in the United States and the improvement and responsible use of that site. This includes groups that serve more than one site, such as a regional group of parks. Public schools and their grounds are not eligible
  • have an established collaborative relationship with a local public land site (including federal state, regional, county, city, or other local public land areas) for at least one year
  • request funding for a capacity building project, as defined by NEEF. *Please visit NEEF's Glossary of Terms and FAQ Webpage for explanation and examples of organizational capacity building and to verify that your proposed project is eligible for grant funding.

*Please note that past NEEF Every Day Grantees (Capacity Building AND Event) must have closed out their grant performance periods by submitting a satisfactory Final Report in order to be eligible for the 2018 Capacity Building Grant. Please contact grantsadmin@neefusa.org with any questions regarding eligibility. 




The below criteria are the basis for reviewing and scoring grants. Grants are scored to develop recommendations. Top scores are then reviewed and final decisions made.

Successful applications will:

  • demonstrate a positive, collaborative partnership with a local public land site that has been in effect for at least one year
  • describe a needed and well-planned project that can be carried out by the applicant within the duration of the grant period (one year)
  • demonstrate that the project will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the organization
  • demonstrate that the project will strengthen the organization's ability to serve the public land site




Funds cannot be used for:

  • Conducting lobbying, carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation.
  • Influencing the outcome of any specific election through any means.
  • Purposes other than charitable, scientific, or educational.
  • Budget shortfalls, general support, or endowment funds (staff salary should not exceed 20% of proposed grant budget)
  • Events on public lands.
  • Landscaping, land acquisition, or real estate purchases.
  • Giveaways, such as t-shirts. However, projects that increase your capacity to raise funds by developing items for sale, such as calendars or t-shirts, are allowed.




Please be advised that this year's grant will be open for approximately 10 months and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

All applications submitted by 11:59pm EST on 4/23/18 will be notified of application status by July 2018.
All applications submitted by 11:59pm EST on 7/17/18 will be notified of application status by October 2018.
All applications submitted by 11:59pm EST on 11/5/18 will be notified of application status by January 2019.

Final Deadline for Application Submissions: 11:59pm EST on 11/5/18.

For those awarded, the grant performance period will be one year from the date grantees were notified of their application status. Final Reports will be due 30 business days from the grant period end date.

Each applicant may submit one application for this grant program. If your proposal is declined, applicants must wait until the 2019 grant cycle to apply again. Repeat submissions from an applicant will not be considered.





NEEF grants are only accepted through our online grant application system. Follow these steps to register and apply:

1. Click Apply Now.

2. You will be taken to a Log-On page. If you have not created an account for a previous NEEF grant or award, select Create New Account. If you have previously created an account with NEEF, skip to step 4.

3. Follow the instructions to create your account. It will ask you for your contact information as the account holder and the contact information for your organization's representative. For example you may be the development director, but want the executive director's name on the application as the representative.

4. Upon creating an account, it will take you to your home screen. To apply, click Apply in the menu on the left. You will be taken to a list of NEEF grants and awards. Select "2018 Every Day Capacity Building Grant" to begin your application.

5. Complete the application. Remember: You can save your application and return later. We recommend you use the Word version of the application to create your narrative and then copy and paste your answers into the online application. Pay close attention to character limits. These limits include spaces!

6. Once you have completed the application and uploaded all attachments, click Submit Form to officially apply. If you do not click Submit Form, you will not have applied. You will also see a confirmation screen and receive a confirmation email upon submitting.

7. If you have any questions or problems, please consult the Online Grants System FAQ below. And please do not hesitate to contact us at grantsadmin@neefusa.org




  • When creating an account, whose information should I provide in the 'User Information' section? Whose information should I provide in the 'Organization Information' section? Contact information supplied in the 'User Information' section should reflect the individual who will be directly handling the application process for your organization. If there is a problem with your application, or if we need to contact your organization for any questions, this is the person we will contact. In the 'Organization Information' section, we recommend that you include the contact information of the person in charge of your organization. this would not be the person directly involved with the day-to-day handling of the application, but the person who is authorized to sign off on items such as Grant Agreements and the like.


  • I am having trouble using the grant application software (e.g. page will not load, application will not accept my uploaded documents, etc.) Or, I do not understand a question on the application. Who should I contact? For all questions regarding the online application system or the requirements of the application itself, please contact grantsadmin@neefusa.org


  • I already submitted a complete application, but would like to revise some of my answers. Is there any way I can access my submitted application? As long as it is prior to the application deadline, we can make your application available for edits. To request an already submitted application, please email grantsadmin@neefusa.org, and be sure to include the name of your organization.


  • What financial documents will I be asked to submit with my grant application? All applicants are required to submit the following financial documents to complete their application:

    - 501 (c)(3) letter issued by the IRS;

    - A List of the Board of Directors;

    - Annual organization budget for Fiscal Year 2018;

    - An Audit for Fiscal Year 2017 OR a Balance Sheet & Profit and Loss Statement for Fiscal Year 2017.


Before applying for this grant, please give visit the NEEF Glossary of Terms/FAQ Page. If you have any questions about the grant process, contact us at grantsadmin@neefusa.org or 202-261-6468.