The Funders Network (TFN) and The Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) offer the Partners for Places (P4P) fund to create or improve collaborative partnerships between a local government sustainability and/or water department, frontline community group, and place-based funder. P4P defines: (1) a frontline community as those experiencing the most immediate and worst impacts of climate change; and (2) frontline community groups as those whose primary mission is to represent and serve these people, improving living situations by addressing the root causes of oppression and injustice, economic disadvantage, and environmental harm. A local or regional, place-based funder is an entity who regularly makes grants within a community from annual philanthropic resources. A community foundation and/or a private or corporate foundation that focuses on a greater metropolitan area or larger regional area qualifies. The P4P invitations to apply are competitive. Funding is not guaranteed to those who have received a mini grant, if these groups decide to apply in a P4P full funding round.
Mini Grant Purpose: This opportunity supports the building of collaborative partnerships, so that these groups can connect and align to produce work that advances equitable sustainable climate action and/or green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) projects. The purpose is to address frontline community priorities and apply a racial equity approach to collaborative project planning and implementation. Mini grants are intended to be used to strengthen the relationships between applying partners as they build work plans together. Ideally, these partners will jointly develop and submit a full P4P application in a future funding round. However, P4P considers strengthened partnerships a good return on investment, even if there is not a request for more P4P funding.
Mini Grant Eligibility. A mini grant application should include: (1) a frontline community group; (2) a local government sustainability and/or water director that has completed the free and publicly available USDN Equity Foundations training or equivalent at time of submission; and (3) a place-based funder. Each collaborative team may only submit one application per P4P investment cycle and are ineligible to apply if they already have an open P4P award. A community with an open grant may apply if the work is led by a different team (e.g., a water director as opposed to a sustainability director from the local government, a different frontline community group, and/or a different local foundation). Previously having been awarded a P4P mini grant does not preclude a new mini grant application. All partners actively participate in the building of the collaboration, if awarded.
Mini Grant Budget. Mini grant requests can be up to $10,000. Mini grant applications should include how the funds will be used. Hiring an expert to facilitate the integration of equity principles into the partnership’s processes must be included in the budget. Examples of other activities that can be funded include: (1) hiring a water and/or sustainability expert for coaching on process planning and/or project design; (2) planning, hosting, and facilitating a convening for local government leaders, frontline community group(s), and place-based funders; and/or (3) hiring support to help draft a full application to P4P, if it is determined beneficial to apply. If the partners decide not to apply to P4P, the final deliverable for a mini grant award is a short report indicating how the mini grant impacted shared work, how the funds were used, and explaining why the partnership is not seeking P4P grant funding. All three partners should have a chance to add to this report before it is submitted. Feedback can also be giving directly to P4P anonymously, by requesting a meeting with Ashely Quintana. We encourage applicants to include stipends for or to cover the costs of frontline community group participation in this mini grant project.
Mini Grant Process. Mini grant applications are open between each P4P invitation to apply, with decisions made by staff shortly after each application period closes. This allows proposing teams to have time to coalesce before applications are due. Full payment is made at the time of award.
Mini Grant Application Timeline.
i. Round 4 mini grant application opens - January 24, 2022
ii. Round 4 mini grant application closes - DEADLINE EXTENDED - March 31, 2022
Applicants: Partners should identify a 501c3 non-profit to serve as the grant recipient, accepting and managing grant funds on behalf of the partners post-award. This could be a local foundation or non-profit organization. Typically, one of the proposing partners serves as fiscal sponsor for the team. This information will be included in the applicant section. Please complete all sections of this application form by 11:59 p.m., any time zone, on Thursday, February 24, 2022