Watershed Fund Capacity-Building Support

MWCC has funding to assist our Watershed Partners with building capacity in the realms of Organizational Development, Coordination, Communications, and Outreach. Up to $10,000 may be awarded to each recipient, and up to 10% of funds awarded may go to administration costs. There is no match requirement, but MWCC is interested in any direct cash or in-kind match opportunities that may be leveraged using this funding. Funds will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis. Funding is currently available for projects to be completed by the end of 2019. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Terri Nichols as soon as possible to discuss potential project proposals. You can see the online proposal form here.

Purpose

The purpose of these dollars is to fill critical capacity funding gaps of our Watershed Partners. Activities funded will allow watershed organizations to measurably improve their internal operations and external community-based conservation efforts, through targeted efforts in the realms of Organizational Development, Coordination, Communications, and Outreach. Projects must be directly related to community-led solutions and engagement. Priority will be given to proposals that demonstrate a “meaningful step” in organizational capacity, sustainability, or scaling up of watershed efforts. This money cannot be used for on-the-ground monitoring or restoration projects, or for funding of ongoing expenses.

Who Qualifies for Support?

All MWCC Watershed Partner organizations are eligible.

What is Required of Participants?

Participants will be expected to report to MWCC on both quantitative and qualitative outcomes, impacts, and deliverables, and to provide other information as needed. An interim report will be due in early September 2019, and a final report will be due in mid-January 2020. Project proposal must be submitted via this online form and must address the following questions:

  • Baseline: Where is your organization at now?
  • Goals (Where do you want to be?):  What are your goals for this project?
  • Needs: What skills or resources do you need to reach your goal(s)?
  • How: How will this project bring your organization and/or community from where you are now to where you want to be?
  • Outcomes: What measurable impacts (qualitative and/or quantitative) do you expect to see as a result of this project?
  • Why: Why is this project necessary for the health of your watershed and of your community?
  • Context: How does this initiative relate to developing, planning, or implementing conservation and watershed plans in your area, such as DEQ-approved Watershed Restoration Plans, NRCS Technical Implementation Plans, state or regional Water Plans, local water quality plans, or other community-based conservation plans?
  • Leveraging Opportunities: Please describe direct cash or in-kind match opportunities that will be leveraged if you receive this Capacity-Building funding.
  • Description of Grant Administration Costs: In an effort to help our Watershed Partners determine true program costs, if you are claiming an administration fee in your proposed budget, please briefly include here a description of what your administration costs include.

Examples of Eligible Projects:

The following are merely examples. MWCC encourages and supports innovative capacity-building ideas that will bring our Watershed Partners to the next level in terms of organizational capacity, sustainability, or scaling up of watershed efforts. Please call Terri Nichols to discuss your proposal ideas.

  • Community- and landowner-engagement efforts, including project tours, community meetings, and other initiatives
  • Evaluation of organizational goals and budgetary needs, including determining true program costs
  • Monitoring & evaluating organizational effectiveness
  • Establishing and implementing a communications plan for your organization
  • Creation or redesign of your organization’s website
  • Laying the groundwork for hiring additional staff (Note: Capacity-Building Funds do not cover ongoing staff costs.)
  • Conducting a community-led watershed needs prioritization effort in conjunction with key state and federal partners.
  • Creating and implementing a community engagement plan
  • Establishing partnerships with other local organizations to achieve larger conservation goals
  • Outreach activities to private landowners
  • Establishment of or measurable progress toward community-led:
    • Watershed Restoration Plans
    • Drought management plans
    • Weed management plans
    • Climate resiliency plans
    • Education or outreach initiatives
    • Other conservation planning initiatives
  • Establishing a water monitoring program

Examples of Ineligible Projects

  • Implementation of on-the-ground projects
  • Implementation of conservation practices
  • Ongoing funding of operational costs, staffing, monitoring programs, etc.

Review Criteria

Among other factors, review criteria will include:

  • Proposed project will measurably improve internal operations and/or external community-based conservation efforts
  • Proposed project will provide a “meaningful step” in organizational capacity, sustainability, or scaling up of watershed efforts
  • Relevance to developing, planning, or implementing conservation and watershed plans in your area
  • Use of Watershed Approach principles by the applying organization, and within the proposal

Deadlines for 2019 Funding

  • March 28, 2019 at 5 pm: Deadline to submit project proposals
  • April 11, 2019: Project funding will be decided by MWCC’s Watershed Fund committee and applicants will be notified as to whether their project has been funded.
  • September 9, 2019: Interim progress reports due to MWCC
  • January 15, 2020: Final reports due to MWCC

 

How to Apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Terri Nichols as soon as possible to discuss potential project proposals. You may then submit a project proposal by March 28, 2019, at 5 pm via this online form, which is comprised of the questions listed under “What is Required of Participants?” You must attach to your application a proposed budget, using the template provided.

Questions?

Please contact Watershed Programs Coordinator Terri Nichols with any questions, and to discuss your funding ideas. I look forward to hearing from you!

Terri Nichols
terri@mtwatersheds.org
406.475.1420