Watershed Fund Capacity 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, depending on the grant cycle. 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. Capacity Support is available in late Spring.


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.

Who Qualifies for Support?

All MWCC Watershed Partner organizations are eligible. MWCC Nonprofit Partner organizations are also eligible, but the competitiveness of their proposals will depend on demonstration of a “meaningful step” in organizational capacity for local watershed organizations with whom the Nonprofit Partner is working closely.

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. Project proposals must be submitted via an online proposal form provided by MWCC each Spring. Questions asked and used to review applications are:

  • 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? This may include increased capacity to deliver on-the-ground restoration projects.
  • 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 and billing rates
  • 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
  • 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 restoration or other projects
  • Implementation of conservation practices

Review Criteria

Among other factors, review criteria will include:

  • Use of Watershed Approach principles by the applying organization, and within the proposal
  • 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
  • The extent to which the proposal will increase capacity to deliver on-the-ground restoration projects
  • The extent to which the proposed project may be beneficial to and replicable within other watersheds

Reporting Form for Current Project Support Recipients

Coming in May 2020!


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