To create a greener environment, businesses and nonprofits must balance the ecological, social, and economic impacts of their decisions. For these organizations, financial constraints are often an obstacle to converting to cleaner energy, reducing waste, and diverting pollutants from the air and water systems.
Green grants are designed to support the education, implementation, and promotion of sustainable activities. Company and non-profit organization leaders are recognizing that success requires maintaining an image as a responsible member of the community. Public recognition of a company’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility can be a powerful marketing tool and enhance the long-term viability of the enterprise. Grants can help facilitate an organization’s sustainable aspirations by shouldering some of the financial burden that may be associated with projects.
Identifying the right grant for your organization’s needs begins with thorough, targeted research. Applying for a grant that doesn’t fit your project goal is a waste of time.
Almost any environmental-related idea has some private or governmental grant to potentially support it. Let’s suppose an organization is hoping to refurbish or create a biking trail in Northern Ohio. Browsing “bike trails grants in northern Ohio” will yield a long list of advocates and grant opportunities. One of the first sites listed is the Ohio Bikeways website which links to American Trails funding and other resources. Here there is a full list of grant opportunities and resources that are specific to this issue.
National and State Departments of Natural Resources offer grants in the areas of forestry, mineral resources, oil and gas management, soil and water, parks and recreation, wildlife preservation, recycling and litter, and many more.
Any environmental initiative will have a grant somewhere to support it. Similarly, for specific green projects such as wind and solar power or waterway cleanup, an applicant can search a wide universe of financial opportunities.
Effective grant writing is an acquired skill and requires thoughtful research. One should understand that grants are highly competitive and the selection process is based upon how well the need is articulated. Explanations must be clearly written, realistic, and sharply focused on the intended outcome.
Government and privately funded grant programs that subsidize conversion costs have been an integral part of the environment progress to date.
What’s the most important part of sustainability grant writing? Share your opinion in the comments below!