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Whether you are looking for new prospects, or some fresh fundraising ideas for Earth Day, you need a crash course in proposal writing, or you have no idea how to get started about development planning, these fundraising resources are a must for any conservation, environmental education, or green activist group!


fundraising resources for environmental nonprofits



These sites will help you hone a prospect list and loan ideas about where you can look for funding:

1. Fundsnet Services has 17 pages of the best foundations funding environmental nonprofits.


2. The Center for Nonprofit Excellence regularly updates an impressive list of national competitive opportunities.


3. Guidestar has a full list of environmental education and conservation granters.


4. The EPA keeps an active list of resources and opportunities for conservation and environmental nonprofits.


5. Government grants available for sustainable communities through HUD, EPA, and DOT.
Sustainable Communities


6. If your organization is doing anything creative to promote conservation, you might be eligible for a loosely defined conservation innovation grant through the NCRS.


Proposal writing

Writing proposals is a daunting task to many nonprofit professionals, but it shouldn’t be considering all of the help available for free. Take a look at these letters and sample proposals if you need help framing your green ask.

7. A sample proposal letter specific to environmental projects.
sample proposal letter


8. A step by step guide from the Grantsmanship Center on how to put together a good proposal for capacity building.
proposals capacity


9. Use National Resource Defense Council’s superbly researched and documented statistics on nearly all environmental issues from global warming to wildlife to build a case.


Research and background for planning

When you are tasked with development planning and are not a development planner…

10. Training Resources for the Environmental Community’s Conservation Fundraising at a Crossroads is an excellent training guide for environmental nonprofits to build a culture of healthy fundraising within their organizations. Read it to see where your organization should get started!
grassroots crossroads


11. Foundation Center has honed a fantastic literature list for environmental nonprofits to learn about fundraising and development.
Foundation Center


12. Institution for Conservation Leadership’s Managing in Hard Times can help conservation nonprofits think about what they will do if they do not get 100% of their grant asks. Their contingency budget template is a great add on to any operating or program budget.


Green grassroots fundraisers

If you want to mobilize your volunteers to help you fundraise, or are just looking for a simple way to “greenly” make a bit of project revenue, try these environmentally friendly small scale fundraisers.

You could also launch an online t-shirt fundraiser through Bonfire to raise money for your nonprofit, and to give your donors something in return for their continued support. With their print-on-demand model, there’s no risk of unsold products going to waste because they only print what you sell. If you’re not sure how to design your shirt, try adding your organization’s logo, or check out some of the other environmental t-shirts sold on their site.

13. Bottle cap murals for a green art fundraiser that involves a whole group in recycling something that might not always be recyclable.
bottle cap mural


14. DIY reuse crafts projects to sell or raffle!
diy crafts


15. Terracycle pays schools and other groups to recycle juice containers.




If you need help beyond your internal capacity, look to consultants. You can save money by freeing staff time and get the job done more efficiently. I have worked with the organizations listed below:
(Note: This is not an endorsement.)

16. Rock Environmental has affordable solutions for development consulting if your organization cannot fit a full development staff into the budget.


17. Conservation Impact has an impressive portfolio of helping nonprofits all over the US with development.


18. The Land Trust Alliance has a comprehensive list of local capacity building consultants for conservation organizations.
Land Trust Alliance

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