Watershed-Based Grants Available

Applications Sought for $5 Million in Water Quality Improvements Grants

The Department of Environmental Quality has announced the availability of approximately $5 million of state and federal funding for watershed-based projects. The DEQ is accepting proposals from local units of government, nonprofit organizations, and universities for planning and implementation projects to restore and protect Michigan’s wetlands, lakes, and streams.

The funding opportunities include approximately $2 million in Clean Michigan Initiative – Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grants that are anticipated to be available to implement elements of watershed management plans that have been approved by the DEQ as meeting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) criteria. Proposals must include a minimum of 25 percent local match.

Additionally, approximately $3 million in Federal Clean Water Act funding is anticipated to be available to develop watershed management plans meeting the DEQ and the U.S. EPA criteria, or to implement elements of watershed management plans previously approved as meeting the U.S. EPA criteria. Proposals must include a minimum of 15 percent local match for planning or 25 percent local match for implementation.

Watershed management plans must be approved by the DEQ on or before October 29, 2009, to be eligible for implementation funds. Notices of Intent are due September 24, 2009. Full applications from invited entities are due October 29, 2009.

Grant awards are contingent upon the sale of Clean Michigan Initiative general obligation bonds to support these projects and the appropriation of funding by the Michigan Legislature.

Contact us for more information!

Watershed-Based Grants Available

Museum and Nature Center Grants, Deadline Nov 2

The Museums for America program has released its 2010 funding application.

All types of museums, large and small, are eligible for funding. Eligible museums include aquariums, arboretums and botanical gardens, art museums, youth museums, general museums, historic houses and sites, history museums, nature centers, natural history and anthropology museums, planetariums, science and technology centers, specialized museums, and zoological parks. Federally operated and for-profit museums may not apply for IMLS funds.

An eligible applicant must be: either a unit of state or local government or a private not-for-profit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code; located in one of the fifty states of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated states of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and a museum that, using a professional staff, (1) is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aesthetic purposes; (2) owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; (3) cares for these objects; and (4) exhibits these objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities which it owns or operates. An organization uses a professional staff if it employs at least one professional staff member, or the fulltime equivalent, whether paid or unpaid primarily engaged in the acquisition, care, or exhibition to the public of objects owned or used by the institution. An organization “exhibits objects to the general public” if such exhibition is a primary purpose of the institution. Further, an organization which exhibits objects to the general public for at least 120 days a year shall be deemed to exhibit objects to the general public on a regular basis. An organization which exhibits objects by appointment may meet the requirement to exhibit objects to the general public on a regular basis, if it can establish, in light of the facts under all the relevant circumstances, that this method of exhibition does not unreasonably restrict the accessibility of the institution’s exhibits to the general public. Please note that an organization which does not have as a primary purpose the exhibition of objects to the general public. but which can demonstrate that it exhibits objects to the general public on a regular basis as a significant, separate, distinct, and continuing portion of its activities, and that it otherwise meets the museum eligibility requirements, may be determined to be eligible as a museum under these guidelines. A museum located within a parent organization that is a state or local government or multipurpose non-profit entity, such as a municipality, university, historical society, foundation, or a cultural center, may apply on its own behalf, if the museum: (1) is able to independently fulfill all the eligibility requirements listed above; (2) functions as a discrete unit within the parent organization; (3) has its own fully segregated and itemized operating budget; and (4) has the authority to make the application on its own. When any of the last three conditions cannot be met, a museum may apply through its parent organization. Prospective applicants that cannot fulfill all of these requirements should contact IMLS to discuss their eligibility before applying. IMLS may require additional supporting documentation from the applicant to determine the museum’s autonomy. Each eligible applicant within a single parent organization should clearly delineate its own programs and operations in the application narrative. A parent organization that controls multiple museums that are not autonomous but which are otherwise eligible may submit only one application per grant program; the application may be submitted by the parent organization on behalf of one or more of the eligible museums.

Grants are awarded in the following categories:
Engaging Communities (Education, Exhibitions, and Interpretation)
Building Institutional Capacity (Management, Policy, and Training)
Collections Stewardship

The application deadline is November 2. Two conference calls are scheduled to answer questions:
Thursday, September 17 at 3:00pm ET
Call-in Number: (800) 603–9527
Conference ID: 27057606

Thursday, October 1 at 3:00pm ET
Call-in Number: (800) 603-9527
Conference ID: 27060256

Museum and Nature Center Grants, Deadline Nov 2

Building Healthy Communities Grant, Deadline Sept 15

Building Healthy Communities Grant Program
Home Depot is offering their second cycle of grants for the year through their Building Healthy Communities Grant Program. Grants, up to $2,500, are now available to registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, public schools or tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. who are using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community. Grants are made in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase or tools or materials.
Only grants submitted through the online application process will be considered for funding. All unsolicited donation requests received via mail, phone or e-mail will be referred to this online grant program.

All applicants are required to pass an eligibility quiz before applying. Organizations that pass will be considered, but not guaranteed a grant. The Home Depot Foundation receives many worthwhile requests and can not accommodate all of them. Many times, requests that pass the eligibility test and fall within the stated guidelines are not funded.

Once grant applications are reviewed and approved, all applicants will be contacted within the timeframe set forth above. Please do not contact your local store or Customer Care to inquire about the status of your application. Should you have any questions about this grant program, please e-mail.

Only registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, tax-exempt public schools and tax-exempt public agencies in the U.S. are eligible to apply.
Grants are for community improvement projects that include activities such as construction or refurbishment of affordable or transitional housing, building, rebuilding, painting, refurbishing, increasing energy efficiency or sustainability, landscaping, planting of native trees, community facility improvements and the development and/or improvement of green spaces.

Grants must support work completed by community volunteers in the U.S.
Projects must be completed within six months following notification that the grant has been awarded.
Grants are solely given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools and materials.
Grants are not awarded for recurring funding. We invite grantees to re-apply in subsequent years based on program results, although there are no guarantees of receiving grants in subsequent years.

Organizations who have received a Building Healthy Communities grant must wait 12 months before applying for additional grants through this program. Each approved applicant must complete a Final Report before additional funding requests will be considered.

The Home Depot Foundation does not make grants through this program to support any of the following:
Organizations that are not registered 501(c)(3) charities, public schools or tax-exempt public service agencies
Scholarships or other direct support to individuals or families
Fraternal, political, labor, athletic or social organizations, civic clubs, candidates or projects
Religious organizations whose improvement project primarily serves their congregation and not the overall community
Sponsorship of events such as conferences, festivals, dinners, sports competitions, art exhibits, fundraisers(e.g. dinners, walks/runs/relays, golf tournaments and auctions)
Requests for our Kids Workshop kits and/or aprons
Capital campaigns, endowments or endowed chairs
Activities of organizations serving primarily their own membership
Institutional overhead and/or indirect costs
Film, music, television, video or media production projects or broadcast underwriting
Goodwill advertising or marketing

If you pass the eligibility quiz, you will be automatically directed to the Building Healthy Communities grant application. If you do not pass the eligibility quiz, your request does not fall within the guidelines for funding through the Building Healthy Communities grant program.

Click here to take the eligibility quiz

Building Healthy Communities Grant, Deadline Sept 15

Barn Preservation

From the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Barn Again program:

Michigan is the lucky home to 21,368 barns built before 1960, 13th most in the nation. A new publication, Historic Barns: Working Assets for Sustainable Farms, is available from the National Trust. Written by Michigan small farmer and author Edward Hoogterp, this publication describes how older and historic barns can provide practical benefits to one of the most exciting and fastest-growing segments of the rural economy – sustainable agriculture. Using several case studies, the publication explains how historic barns can meet important functional, economic and marketing needs of sustainable producers.

Barn Preservation

Brownfield Assessment Grants, Due Oct 16

Assessment grants provide funding for developing inventories of brownfields, prioritizing sites, conducting community involvement activities, and conducting site assessments and cleanup planning related to brownfield sites. Assessment grant funds may not be used to conduct cleanups. Assessment grants for individual applicants can be either community-wide or site-specific. Community-wide proposals are appropriate when a specific site is not identified and the applicant plans to spend grant funds on more than one brownfield in its community. Site-specific proposals are appropriate when a specific site has been identified and the applicant plans tospend grant funds on this one site only. The performance period for assessment grants is three years.

Additionally, assessment proposals may be submitted by coalitions of eligible entities to pool their grant funds (see section III.A. for a list of entities eligible to apply for an assessment grant; existing grantees are eligible entities). A coalition is a group of three or more eligible entities that submits one grant proposal under the name of one of the coalition participants who will be the grant recipient, if selected. Coalition members may not have the same jurisdiction (for example, different departments in the same county) unless they are separate legal entities (for example, a city and a redevelopment agency). The grant recipient must administer the grant, be accountable to EPA for proper expenditure of the funds, and be the point of contact for the other coalition members. Assessment coalitions may submit only one proposal up to $1,000,000. All coalition assessment grant proposals must be community-wide proposals; therefore, the applicant does not need to respond to the site eligibility threshold criteria in section III.C.3. Site eligibility will be determined after grant award and prior to expending grant funds at any site. Coalitions will be required to assess a minimum of five sites. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) documenting the coalition’s site selection process must be in place prior to the expenditure of any funds that have been awarded to the coalition. The purpose of the MOA is for coalition members to agree internally about the distribution of funds and the mechanisms for implementing the assessment work. MOAs do not need to be included as part of your proposal. Coalition members are not eligible as applicants for additional community-wide or site-specific assessment grants. A coalition member wishing to apply as a separate applicant must withdraw from the coalition to be eligible for individual assessment funds.

The total estimated funding available under the national competition for assessment, cleanup, and RLF grants is estimated at $79.4 million. Separate announcements are posted for the RLF and cleanup competitions. EPA must expend 25 percent of the amount appropriated for brownfields grants on sites contaminated with petroleum. EPA anticipates awarding an estimated 341 grants among all three grant types. Under this announcement, EPA anticipates awarding an estimated 171 assessment grants for approximately $37.3 million. In addition, EPA reserves the right to award additional grants under this competition should additional funding become available. Any additional selections for awards will be made no later than six months from the date of the original selection decision. EPA reserves the right to reject all proposals and make no awards under this announcement or make fewer awards than anticipated. In appropriate circumstances, EPA reserves the right to partially fund proposals by funding discrete portions or phases of proposed projects. To maintain the integrity of the competition and selection process, EPA, if it decides to partially fund a proposal, will do so in a manner that does not prejudice any applicants or affect the basis upon which the proposal, or portion thereof, was evaluated and selected for award.

The following information indicates which entities are eligible to apply for an assessment grant. Nonprofit organizations are not eligible to apply for an assessment grant.
• General Purpose Unit of Local Government. (For purposes of the brownfields grant program, EPA defines general purpose unit of local government as a “local government” as defined under 40 CFR Part 31.)
• Land Clearance Authority or other quasi-governmental entity that operates under the supervision and control of, or as an agent of, a general purpose unit of local government.
• Government Entity Created by State Legislature.
• Regional Council or group of General Purpose Units of Local Government.
• Redevelopment Agency that is chartered or otherwise sanctioned by a state.
• State.
• Indian Tribe

Contact us for more information!

Brownfield Assessment Grants, Due Oct 16

Rural Development and Renewable Energy

A bulletin today from USDA Rural Development:

USDA Rural Development and new Michigan State Director James J. Turner are very interested in using RD loan and grant funding authorities to “GO GREEN” in our rural communities. The state of Michigan’s high unemployment rate and decline of the auto and auto related industries necessitate that RD shift priorities somewhat to encourage the use of and develop projects that use renewable and alternative energy technologies. If our rural communities lead the way in using renewable energy sources to heat and power their municipal buildings, schools, hospitals, water and wastewater facilities, we not only help create new Michigan businesses and jobs but homeowners and businesses may well follow suite powering their homes and buildings with renewable energy. Contractors as well will be encouraged to incorporate these technologies in new construction. The demand for solar, wind and bio energy source equipment/devices will create new industries in Michigan not to mention the jobs that can be created in manufacturing the product, supplying the industry and installing them.

A good example is that on April 20th, Mariah Power opened the production line for its Windspire vertical axis wind turbine at a retrofitted auto parts facility in Manistee, Michigan. The opening of the factory means new jobs for many ex-auto industry employees. Almost 98 percent of the components for the Windspire wind turbines will be purchased from local Michigan suppliers, including steel, packing and crating supplies, and inverters. The aluminum airfoils that make up the giromill design of the turbine will be extruded by a Michigan company that currently extrudes aluminum for sun roofs in cars. The unit is 30 feet tall and 4 feet wide, it is distinguished by its sleek propeller-free design and ultra quiet operation. It is designed for powering homes, small businesses, schools, museums, parks, and much more. Wind blows against its vertical airfoils causing them to spin, this power is then converted to AC electricity and is immediately available to power your home grid and all the appliances that draw electricity from it. The Windspire 1.2 kW wind turbine typically costs between $9,000 and $12,000, fully installed. After rebates, the costs can be as low as $3,800. With a 30% federal tax credit average payback can be under 10 years.

The Swift Wind Turbine will be manufactured by Cascade Engineering in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cascade Engineering will be manufacturing all blades worldwide and will do assembly for all turbines sold in the United States. The Swift turbine is mounted on an aluminum mast with a minimum blade-roof clearance of approximately 2 feet. It is usually mounted at the highest point of a roof, in a position which benefits from maximum prevailing wind, but it will work effectively in almost any location. The Swift is designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and quiet. The estimated installed cost is about $10,000 – $12,000. Depending on the installed price, cost of electricity, average wind speed, and rebates available the Swift Wind Turbine can pay for itself in as little as 3 to 5 years.

Here are the links to the two companies I was talking about.
Rural Development and Renewable Energy

Grant for Non-Profit Humanities Programs, Open Sept 1

Arts & Humanities Touring Program Grants (up to 40% of expenses or $3,000)

Michigan’s Arts & Humanities Touring Directory represents 204 of our state’s most talented performing and visual artists and humanities presenters. It provides schools, libraries, museums, civic and service groups, festival organizers, and other Michigan nonprofits a wide variety of cultural programming in the fields of dance, music, storytelling, theater, and traditional and visual arts. The Touring Program grants are available to nonprofit organizations who may request up to 40 percent of presenters’/exhibitors’ fees and travel expenses. Request for a grant may not exceed $3,000 per application, and an organization may not submit more than four grant applications or request more than $4,000 in a fiscal year. Applications are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Deadline: Application process begins September 1, 2009. Grants are first come-first served until funding is exhausted.

Questions? Contact Phyllis Rathbun at 517-372-7770.
Forms: Grant Application and Guidelines. [NEW – as of July 29, 2009]. Grantee Final Report Form.

Grant for Non-Profit Humanities Programs, Open Sept 1