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National Wildlife Refuge Friends Grant

Grants to USA Nonprofits Supporting Wildlife Sanctuaries
to Enhance Organizational Effectiveness and Capacity

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and Enbridge

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

08/15/19 11:59 PM Eastern Time


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Grants ranging from $1,500 to $15,000 to USA nonprofits supporting wildlife sanctuaries or refuges, to enhance the effectiveness of the organizations. Funding is intended to aid organizations in strengthening their expertise to develop and execute projects, expand and increase their capacity and skills, gain and build community recognition around the refuge and refuge Friends organizations, build long-term relationships, increase overall capacity, and encourage the sharing of expertise within the Friends networks.

The main goal of the grant program is to foster active, vibrant and effective Friends partnerships through four distinct proposal categories.

1. Nonprofit Capacity Building Grants
2. Project Specific Grants
3. Peer-to-Peer Coaching (P2P)
4. ​​​Special Initiative: Public Access Enhancements and Increasing Hunting and Fishing Experiences on National Wildlife Refuges

Funds for Peer-to-Peer Coaching may be used for:
- Friends travel and lodging expenses (GSA per diem rates for lodging and actual meals up to GSA per diem rate; IRS volunteer mileage rate of .14c/mile for driving personal vehicle; economy nonrefundable airfare)
- Training facility fees (only if appropriate free facilities are not available)
- Specialized trainer, consultant, or facilitator fees
- Training supplies such as flip charts, poster boards, copying expenses

NFWF funds can be used to pay for a student intern who is currently enrolled in an educational, career development or job training program through a partnership organization. The partnering organization must cover tort and liability for the intern and the intern’s work must directly support the capacity building and/or projects of the Friends organization. The application must identify the intern’s institution or organization.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 153068

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

$1,500 - $15,000

Term of Contract:

All Friends grants should be completed within two years of the project start date. The start date indicated in an application should not precede December 1, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge Friends organizations whose primary mission is to support a refuge or a complex of refuges. Applicants must either be tax exempt under section 501(c), OR be in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status and submit with their grant application a copy of the letter from the IRS confirming the application has been filed.

Ineligible Uses of Grant Funds
- NFWF funds and matching contributions may not be used to support political advocacy, fundraising, lobbying, litigation, terrorist activities or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
- NFWF funds may not be used to support ongoing efforts to comply with legal requirements, including permit conditions, mitigation and settlement agreements. However, grant funds may be used to support projects that enhance or improve upon existing baseline compliance efforts.
- NFWF funds may not be used for printing for for-profit purposes, lobbying activities, salaries, non-profit filings, food or beverages, refuge-administered projects, or shortfalls in government agency budgets.
- NFWF funds may not be used to pay for volunteer services.

Funds for Peer-to-Peer Coaching may not be used for:
- In-training food such as snacks and beverages, and social event food such as hors d’oeuvres and alcohol
- Airline seat upgrades, airfare insurance
- Rental cars (special exceptions on a case by case basis)
- Any expenses for participating Service employees
- An event agenda that includes any instruction on lobbying or instruction intended to influence elected officials on legislation

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicant Webinar: July 11, 2:00 - 3:00 PM, ET

Register online for the webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

- Applicant Webinar​​​: July 11, 2:00 -3:00 PM, ET
​- Full Proposal Due Date: ​August 15, 11:59 PM, ET
​- Review Period: ​Early August – late October
​- Awards Announced: ​Late October​​

All projects must be discussed with the appropriate refuge manager and accompanied by the Refuge Manager Signature Page.

For Project Specific grants, please contact Crystal Boyd ( to discuss any questions you might have about project ideas or project eligibility.

Friends organizations are encouraged (but not required) to contribute 1:1 non-federal matching contributions.

Budget Instructions:

Applicant FAQs:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and Apply Online:

Crystal Boyd, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Daley Burns, Regional Program

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming