Environmental Education Grants Program

Environmental Education Grants Program

 Please Note: The Environmental Education grants program is closed for 2017.


The Issue

We are fortunate to live in a county filled with urban and rural parks and open spaces that give us the opportunity to explore majestic redwood forests, stunning wetlands, rolling hills, and rugged coastline. Yet there are many people in our community who do not have the opportunity to get outdoors, connect with and learn about nature–even when those places are right in their own backyard.

In order to foster informed, inspired lifelong environmental stewards who can address the environmental challenges we face now and in the future, there must be equitable opportunities for all members of our community to cultivate a connection to nature, and participate in protecting the environment. Community Foundation seeks to address these disparities and expand access to typically underserved community members with a new grants program open to both established and grassroots environmental organizations who share our commitment to equity.

The Grant Program

In 2017, we are launching a new competitive grants program to support projects that engage diverse communities who have traditionally had limited access to environmental education. We are seeking to support projects that align with at least one of the following funding priorities:

  • Developing unique partnerships that increase access to environmental education to new participants
  • Piloting new environmental education projects that extend opportunities to underserved participants
  • Connecting youth to the environment through leadership or career programs

The maximum grant award is $7,500.

Strong applicants will be able to demonstrate:

  • How the program or project reaches a demographic that typically does not have access to environmental education.
  • How the program or project meaningfully engages participants in the environment
  • How the program or project increases participants’ environmental literacy
  • For programs or projects that will develop unique partnerships, evidence that all entities engaging in the partnership are fully committed to success

Applicants can include a diverse range of organizations from small, grassroots groups to well-established environmental education organizations. Those who have a culturally relevant, equitable approach to expanding access to environmental education are encouraged to apply. If working with youth, projects can occur in or out of school settings.  Applicants must demonstrate 501(c)(3) status or apply with a fiscal sponsor.

Please note that schools, school districts, and education foundations are ineligible to apply for this funding. One-time, single-day field trips are also ineligible.


Application Timeline

  • Tuesday, February 21st, 2017: Grant application opens online
  • Friday, March 24th, 2017: Grant application closes at 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 4th-Friday, May 12th, 2017: Applicants informed of grant awards


How to Apply

Community Foundation Sonoma County uses an online process for submitting grant applications. If this is your first application using the online program, you will be asked to set up an account, provide your IRS Tax ID (or Fiscal Sponsor Tax ID) and take a short eligibility quiz.

If you have an established account, you will be asked for your password to either access existing application drafts or to open a new application.

Once you’ve opened an online account, you will be asked a series of question that include your contact information, funding request amount, project start and end date and a series of narrative questions. We highly recommend that you complete your application in a Word document and then copy and paste the content into the online template. Click here to download a Word version of the narrative questions.

Applicants will also be asked to upload the following documents (templates will be provided for those documents with an asterisk):

A word of caution: When working in the electronic application program, save your work as you go along and, if you want to leave and then return to complete your application later, save your work before you exit the program. Once you’ve exited without saving, your unsaved work is lost. For answers to frequently asked questions, click here.

For questions about the Environmental Education grant program, please contact Elly Grogan: 707.303.9638, egrogan@sonomacf.org.

For questions about the online application process, please contact Annette Williams: 707.303.9639, awilliams@sonomacf.org.