Funding: Where to Look
Goals and Objectives
- Use visioning meetings to determine objectives congruent with the program goals
- Create a list of outcomes
- Establish methods to assess outcomes using quantitative and qualitative data
- Track information to be included in future proposals
- Consistent with projects and local program goals, compile a list of needs
- Materials, equipment, technology, and external evaluation are just some items to consider
Things to remember:
- Transportation is a large cost and poses challenges for funding
- We use the Independent Sector's value for volunteers
- Challenge grant verses non-challenge grant; do you have a matching requirement?
Establish a coordinator of research and grant writing.
Things to consider:
- Teachers are eligible for a wide array of grants, however their time is limited
- Resource specialists are federal employees and are therefore unable to solicit funds
- Volunteers or associated Friends groups are legally able to write and administer grants
- The most effective development team is a committee representing each of these partners
Funding can be found in a variety of locations. The following outlines possible locations to consider.
Many sources have provided financial support for community action projects but one National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), a non-profit organization established by Congress in 1984 has been the most generous on a national basis. Through its Initiative for Conservation Education, NFWF supports education projects involving fish, wildlife, plants and related matters. Additionally, community foundations have been established in most communities and are therefore a primary source of local project funding.
Non-Governmental Organization Strategy
The ability of federal employees to raise funds is restricted. Other members of your leadership team, especially school personnel, will have similar limitations. Ideally, your leadership team will be comprised of a non-profit, non-governmental organization able to solicit and accept contributions. Many national wildlife refuges have cooperating associations, called Friends groups, which can help.
Schools may have arrangements with businesses and other community groups. These partners have a standing commitment to support the school and are an excellent source of financial and other help.
Other potential funding partners include state and local government agencies, civic organizations, libraries, environmental groups and the media.