Community Green Access Mini-Grant

What is Community Green Access (CGA)?

Through the Community Green Access (CGA) mini-grants program, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay offers financial and technical support to local groups to support efforts in connecting their local community members to nature. This program aims to increase environmental access for community members in historically underserved areas of the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Ultimately, we hope these funds are able to build organizational capacity where it is needed most!

About the Mini Grant

Welcome to the Community Green Access (CGA) mini-grants program! CGA offers financial and technical support from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay to local groups seeking to connect their community members to nature.

All awardees will be invited to participate in networking, peer learning, and technical skills training as a benefit of this funding program. Ultimately, we hope the funds and grant participation help build organizational capacity where it is needed most!

  • Funding amount: $20,000
  • Funding purpose: increasing community connectivity to green spaces
  • What to Expect:
    • 90% of funds up front
    • No reporting expectations
    • 3 check-in discussions
    • Personalized mentorship, training, and networking sessions with the Alliance and peer grantees
  • Who is eligible: 501(c)(3) organizations, and/or applicants with 501(c)(3) fiscal agents, with an annual operating budget under $1,000,000. See more details about eligibility.

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Why We Fund

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay engages communities, companies, and conservationists to build a more resilient landscape and foster a deeper commitment to improving our communities, lands, and waters in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These restoration efforts must be inclusive of the needs and perspectives of all members of our diverse communities. In 2023, the Alliance unveiled a Strategic Plan outlining goals to build the capacity of our partner organizations and connect more people to the environment. This mini-grant will directly support these goals. With over 52 years of experience cultivating community partnerships and administering results-oriented grants, we are excited to apply our knowledge to this exciting next step into the funder space.

Furthermore, the Alliance continues to conscientiously embed principles of equity and inclusion into our organization policies, strategies, and program delivery. While we recognize that the Alliance does not have all the answers, we are able to offer our resources, skills, and network of partnerships to community-based organizations through the CGA Mini-Grant, with the intention that these tools be leveraged and impactful at the local level, ultimately leading to sustained environmental stewardship in places of greatest need across the watershed.

Goals & Themes

All projects should focus on involving community members of the Chesapeake Bay watershed in environmental activities and connectivity to green spaces. Project themes:

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Theme 1: Community Engagement and Outreach

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Examples Include:

  • Trash Cleanups: Community volunteers gather to learn about their local waterways and pick up trash from their streams or public spaces, thereby reducing pollution in their community.
  • Environmental Education Workshops: Organizing workshops and seminars in schools or community centers to educate residents about local environmental issues, conservation practices, and sustainable living.
  • Youth Environmental Leadership Program: Creating a leadership program for youth to engage them in environmental advocacy, leadership development, and community service projects.

Theme 2: Project Planning or Implementation

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Examples Include:

  • Community Garden, tree planting, or other greening initiatives: Offering a greening initiative to improve environmental health, promote access to fresh produce, grow community engagement, and/or environmental education.
  • Environmental Justice Mapping Project: Collaborating with community members to develop a map highlighting environmental hazards, green spaces, and community resources to support informed decision-making.
  • Matching funds: Project implementation funds to further match or support established funds for ongoing activities that increase environmental access.

Theme 3: Organization Technical Assistance

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Examples Include:

  • Enhanced Volunteer Practices: Conducting a community assessment, program overhaul, or practice implementation that better promotes inclusivity and access to the environment within your volunteer programs.
  • Collaborative Community Partnership: Activities that build community empowerment, decision making, or trust to implement environmental projects locally.
  • Strategic Planning: Offering stipends to community members to take part in defining a strategy or direction, and making decisions on allocating resources to attain strategic goals.

Application Requirements

  • One Application per organization
  • If applying with a fiscal sponsor, Letter of Support from sponsor
  • Projects must lead to measurable engagement numbers (number of community members engaged in environmental activities)
  • GAAP audit (where a GAAP audit is not available, your organization will be asked to complete a Finance and Controls Questionnaire upon conditional award notification)

Funding Maximum of $20,000

Timeline

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Milestone

Deadline

Access Link

Applications open

June 1, 2024

CGA Office Hours

Timeframe

Applications Close

September 1, 2024

Award Notification

October 1, 2024

Via email

Funding Period Begins

October 14, 2024

Funding Period Ends

October 31, 2025

 

Questions?

Have any questions about the CGA Mini-Grant? Sign up for a 30-minute office hours visit or email your questions to Erin O’Grady, at eogrady@allianceforthebay.org. Submitted questions and corresponding answers will be uploaded to the resources section of our website through August 23rd.