Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Two Ways To Stretch Your Construction Funds

Posted by Carol Timms on Thu, Oct 4, 2018 @ 15:10 PM

ConstructionConstruction and renovation projects often result in unexpected expenses. When those projects involve energy improvements, schools, local governments and non-profits can employ a variety of funding sources to stretch project budgets. In addition to grants, it is useful to include utility incentives and performance contracting. 

 

Utility Incentives

Utilities often offer a variety of incentives for the installation of energy efficient equipment and lighting.  These incentives often apply to renovation and new construction projects. Contact your local utility to determine what incentives are available. 

Performance Contracting

Performance contracting is considered a budget neutral solution. Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) first conduct energy audits to determine projected energy and maintenance savings resulting from the elements of the project. They then offer a guaranteed projection of savings. Project costs are not paid up front but, rather, are treated as installment contracts or leases. The client pays in installments using energy and maintenance savings. If the guaranteed savings are not achieved in any given period, the client doesn’t pay for that period. 

In addition to the benefits of paying with savings, performance contracting also offers the following benefits:

  • Single Contract – Accredited ESCOs manage the construction process
  • Fixed Price – The contracts specifically state there will be no change orders
  • Guarantees – If energy savings aren’t as predicted, the client doesn’t pay for that time period
  • Energy Savings Continue After Contract Ends
  • Clients Benefit From a Relationship With a Trusted Energy Advisor 

Some ESCOs also provide customer service after the sale including grant writing services.

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When planning a construction project, contact The Grant Helpers to assist you in developing your funding portfolio.  Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.

Topics: grant budget, grant strategies, grant funding, finance grants, resources, budget, areas of funding, energy funding, non-profit, find matching funds, find matching funds for grants, municipal development funds, city development funds, nonprofit, finding funding, funding sources, nonprofit funding, municipality funding, grants for energy reduction, grant sources, grants for green projects, green grants, municipal grant, educational grants, educational funding, more grant dollars

Grants for Energy and Environment

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Wed, Oct 11, 2017 @ 21:10 PM

Below we have gathered three grants that focus on energy and environmental causes.

  Insider Tip: Check local utility companies for specific state and local energy grants  

Hewlett Foundation

The Hewlett Foundation has an environment grant program that is twofold. The climate an9669084653_5b5d01b333_m.jpgd energy grant program, which is available globally, includes a focus on clean transportation. The foundation also offers a western conservation grant program focusing on land, water, and energy in the western United States and Canada. In both programs, the vast majority of grants are made to organizations that work with police developments. The Hewlitt Foundation provides general operating support in addition to project support. The application process begins with a letter of inquiry followed by a full proposal if the letter is accepted. In July, Trout Unlimited was awarded $4 million for the Western Water Project and Land Conservation Initiative. Letters of intent are accepted year-round.

Patagonia

Patagonia is interested in making grants to organizations that identify and work on the root causes of environmental problems and commit to long-term change. Priority is given to organizations that have strong citizen support. The aim is to give support to local groups protecting local habitats through original actions. It is through those local efforts that Patagonia hopes to illuminate and solve more complicated issues. This foundation likes to “fund groups off the beaten path.” Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Grant amounts normally range from $5,000-$20,000. Grants are accepted twice yearly: April 30 and Aug. 31.

REAP

This United States Department of Agriculture grant program is called the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Funding provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems and for energy efficiency improvements. Eligible applicants are agricultural producers and small businesses in certain rural areas. Funds may be used for renewable energy systems or the purchase, installation, and construction of energy efficiency improvements. Renewable energy system grants range from $2,500-$500,000 and energy efficiency grants can be $1,500-$250,000. Applications are accepted year-round.

 


We are here to partner with you to guide you toward the grant money you need. Our services are fully customizable to your needs. Contact us today to get started.

 

Photo Credit: Fira Images

Topics: energy funding, energy grant, energy grants, grants for energy, grants for energy reduction, green energy, environment grant, environmental grant, environmental grants, grants for environment, environmental education

Environment, Energy, and Green Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 @ 22:07 PM

9008930211_abe410ef85_q.jpgIn this blog we’re sharing three grants that will help fund projects and programs related to the environment and energy.

Partners for Places

Applications are now being accepted for Partners for Places grant program. You have until July 31, 2017 to apply to this matching grant program. Partners for Places creates opportunities for cities and counties in the United States and Canada to improve communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability offices and place-based foundations. Fundable projects will help build a healthy environment, a strong economy, and the well-being of community members. The grant program will provide partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one-year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two-year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. A Partners for Places grant recipient from last year turned an abandoned golf course into an urban garden.

Captain Planet Foundation

The Captain Planet Foundation focuses on environmental projects through U.S. schools and youth organizations. Grants from this foundation are intended to:

  • provide hands-on environmental stewardship opportunities for youth.
  • serve as a catalyst to getting environment-based education in schools.
  • inspire youth and communities to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities.

Fundable programs must be project-based and must be performed by youth. U.S.-based schools and organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $3 million are eligible to apply. Grants awarded are between $500-$2,500. Preferential consideration is given to requests who have secured at least 50% matching or in-kind funding for their projects. There are two deadlines annually: Sept. 30 and Jan. 31.

Rural Energy for America Program

This United States Department of Agriculture program provides grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses. This program helps increase American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. State, local, and tribal governments, land-grant colleges or universities, rural electric cooperatives, and Resource Conservation and Development Councils are eligible to apply. Eligible projects include energy audits, renewable energy technical assistance, and renewable energy site assessments. The maximum grant award is $100,000 per year. Applications are accepted year round at local USDA offices.


We can help with all of your energy and environmental needs. We have a wide range of services that can help you find grants, write them, and then manage them. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Topics: energy funding, energy grant, energy grants, grants for energy, green energy, environment grant, environmental grant, environmental grants, grants for environment, going green, grants for green projects, green grants, grant opportunity

Let's Go Green Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Tue, Mar 17, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As cities dye rivers green and adults egreennjoy green beverages, we at TheGrantHelpers.com also can’t stop thinking about the color green--specifically, going green and taking the burden off of the environment. Municipalities can use green initiatives to save money on everything from transportation to heating and cooling costs. Schools can use recycling programs, energy efficiency programs and bike-to-school days to educate students about going green. Additionally, there are non-profit organizations whose sole goal is to create awareness and establish programs that protect the environment and natural resources. We have found several grants to help cities, schools, and non-profits fund these important projects.  

Partners for Places

This matching grant program aims to fund local projects that promote a healthy environment, a strong economy, and the well-being of community members. Cities and counties across the United States are eligible to apply. A grant recipient last year turned an abandoned golf course into an urban garden. The grant program will provide partnership investments between $25,000 and $75,000 for one year projects, or $50,000 and $150,000 for two year projects, with a 1:1 match required by one or more local foundations. Each funding round has different sustainability or green priorities. Requests for Proposals are released twice a year, with the next one available in June. 

Global Greenpants Fund

This environmental fund supports grassroots organizations that otherwise would not have access to funding. Environmental challenges such as climate change, ocean conservation, freshwater, biodiversity conservation, and a variety of other like causes are funded by this grant fund. Over 5,000 local projects have been supported. The average grant size is $4,800. This group currently does not support unsolicited proposals. Thus, creating a relationship with the fund’s advisor is the beginning of the process to solicit funds. For tips on how to do this, see our blog article.  

Green in Action Award

K-12 classrooms can apply for a $250 award from the Green Education Foundation. This award recognizes projects or programs that encourage sustainability in schools and classrooms. If you need inspiration, the GFF website has ideas for potential projects.  Each year, a winner receives $250 for the class, and severl runners up each receive $100. Last year’s winner was Ivy Academy in Tennessee. The school created a Live Green project that created awareness for energy conservation in the local community. Applications will be reviewed for creativity, educational value, potential for sustainability, and replication. The deadline for application is May 2. 

Other resources

  • Many state energy offices provide grants to local governments, non-profits, and schools to support a wide range of energy and environmental programs. Contact information for State Energy Offices can be found at the NASEO website.

  • Energy and environmental education is a powerful STEM/STEAM topic. Schools interested in grants for energy and environmental education would be well served to present their request to funders interested in STEM. Examples include 3M, Boeing, and the Toyota USA Foundation.

  • Funds for energy improvement projects are often available to schools and municipalities through utility companies and foundations. As an example from our home state, the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation offers funds for energy efficiency, renewable, and the protection of natural areas.

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TheGrantHelpers.com have experts in helping schools, municipalities, and non-profit organizations find, apply for, and win grant money. If you would like to talk to one of our Grant Helpers, contact us today. The first consultation is always free.

 

Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Topics: grant notification, green energy, energy funding, grant opportunity, grants for green projects, green grants, energy grants, energy grant

Grants for Environmental Projects

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Jan 8, 2015 @ 15:01 PM

In 2010, the City Council of Asheville, North Carolina adopted a goal of reducing its carbon footprint by 20% over five years. They adopted a broad range of ienvironment2nitiatives with the largest project replacing all 9,000 of the city’s street lights with energy efficient LED fixtures. Of the 17 environmental projects totaling over $10 million in project costs, over half were funded through grants. . For example, the community used funding from The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program from the U.S. Department Energy for phase one of the street light project. The grants totaled over $4 million, 42% of the city’s total costs In the end, the community is expecting to save over 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide just by changing the street lights. Additionally, the environmental projects will also save the city millions of dollars in energy reduction.  

Asheville is just one example of a community focusing on energy savings and protecting the environment. If your municipality or non-profit organization is hoping to do the same, check out these grants below. 

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program

The Environmental Protection Agency offers this grant program for local environmental and public health issues in a community. The deadline for this fiscal year is January 9 so it may be prudent to begin planning for next year. The main goal of the program is to help communities understand and address exposure to multiple environmental risks, especially issues involved in climate change. Underrepresented communities, small and/or impoverished, are favored in this program. Maximum grant award is $30,000.  

Wells Fargo Foundation

This bank foundation has two environmental grant programs. One program, Environmental Solutions for Communities, puts the focus on environmental concerns in communities. This program includes sustainable agriculture, forestry, water quality, land conservation, and support for building health ecosystems.  Municipalities as well as non-profit organizations and public school systems are eligible to apply. Applications are accepted from September through December each year. The second program, Clean Technology and Innovation, hopes to partner with universities, colleges, labs, and entrepreneur accelerator programs to develop new clean and innovative green technologies. This is an invitation-only program, though you can send an email to be considered for a formal invitation if you have a worthy topic in mind. Both programs favor projects that can involve Wells Fargo employee volunteers, as well as projects that deliver long-term, measurable results.  

Patagonia Foundation

The Patagonia Foundation wants to support local environmental groups taking on a local issue. Eligible entities must be able to produce measureable results with specific goals, objectives, and action plans. Non-profit organizations and municipalities are eligible to apply. One priority area for this foundation is protecting and restoring native fish populations and their habitat. Other environmental projects, such as protecting wildlife, restoring watersheds, defending forests, and more, are also funded. Applications are accepted twice a year, before April 30 and Aug. 31. The maximum grant award is $12,000.  

Energy Foundation

The Energy Foundation supports six different grant programs. The Buildings Program aims to increase the efficiency of homes and businesses to reduce carbon emissions and utility bills. The Climate Program funds projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Organizations wanting to help move toward cleaner, more affordable source of energy should apply to the Power Program.  The Public Engagement Program seeks to build support for clean energy and strong climate policies. Projects focused on transportation efficiency and clean fuels can be funded through the Transportation Program. The final program, Energy Foundation China, is available only to Chinese organizations. Projects must be larger than a local community, so it is recommended that neighboring communities or several entities partner together. Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. The Foundation strongly encourages first-time grant seekers to send in a Letter of Inquiry before submitting a full application. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Grants awarded in 2014 ranged from $10,000 to $3 million.

 

Photo Credit: Mohamed Malik

Topics: grant notification, grant announcement, enviornmental grants, enviornmental funding, energy funding, sustainable agriculture, grants for clean transportation, climate change grants, grant opportunity, energy grants, environment grant, energy grant, forestry, land conservation, health econsystems, grants for sustainable agriculture, grants for forestry, grants for water quality, greenhouse gas, environmental grant, transportation, water quality, grants for land conservation, grants for health ecosystems, public health

October is National Energy Awareness Month - Find an Energy Grant!

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Wed, Oct 9, 2013 @ 15:10 PM

(written by Carol Timms, Educational Grant Strategist)

Energy Month

October is National Energy Awareness Month. Did you know that there are energy incentives available for nearly every sector of our economy? The IRS allows deductions and tax credits for investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Many states have deregulated their investor-owned utilities and require utilities to provide rebates for energy improvements. Check with your local utility company to learn how you might benefit.

There are also grants available from governmental entities and private foundations for energy research, energy improvements, and energy education. Schools will find that energy education is an excellent fit in STEM and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) curriculum.

For example, this month, Energize Connecticut will present Global Energy - The Musical. This
entertaining musical is based on writings and songs of students from Connecticut, the Kingdom of Jordan, and Rwanda. Students were asked to submit their views on the complex scientific issues surrounding energy and conservation. Energize Connecticut is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority, the State, and local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills.

Utilities such as Dominion Foundation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company offer energy education grants to schools in their service territories.

Other organizations, including the Department of Energy, offer free classroom and interactive materials. 

If you are interested in identifying funding opportunities for energy improvements and/or energy education curriculum, contact us, and we will be glad to help.

 

Image credit: USAG-Humphreys

 

Topics: education grants, education funding, grants for education, environmental education, energy funding, education grant, grants for environment, grants for energy, environment grant, energy grant, environmental grant, classroom resources, energy month, energy education