Environmental Initiative Program

THE LAURA JANE MUSSER FUND assists public or not-for-profit entities to initiate or implement projects that enhance the ecological integrity of publicly owned open spaces, while encouraging compatible human activities. 

The Fund's goal is to promote public use of open space that improves a community's quality of life and public health, while also ensuring the protection of healthy, viable and sustainable ecosystems by protecting or restoring habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species.

Grants of up to $35,000 may be made for programs in this program. The Musser Fund is likely to make a total of 4 to 6 grants in the Environmental Initiative this year. This is a very competitive granting initiative.

ORGANIZATIONS SEEKING FUNDING MUST DEMONSTRATE:

  • Stakeholder involvement and contributions
  • A plan for the long term financial and environmental sustainability of the proposed program

THE MUSSER FUND WILL CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF GRANTS:

  • New or existing programs or projects
  • Programs in the planning phase, or implementation phase 
  • Capital expenses
     

LIMITS OF GEOGRAPHY:

  • Programs in Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wyoming may apply

WHO CAN APPLY:

  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
  • Local Units of government

HOW TO APPLY:

Proposals will be accepted through the online portal between February 12 and March 12, 2014. Funding decisions will be announced in July 2014.

Please construct your application with the following attachments (see below for inclusions).  We suggest you read through the grant inclusions below PRIOR to going to the online.

The online proposal process will include:

  1. Short  Project Overview (2 pages or less) - please use the template in white box above
  2. Proposal Narrative (please limit your narrative to a total of 5 pages
  3. Personnel - staff and Board of Directors
  4. Budgets (as listed below)
  5. Letters of Support
  6. IRS Status 501(c)(3) letter

Please carefully construct this overview, as it is the first information about your project viewed by the Musser Fund.

Only complete and qualifying proposals will be accepted.

To apply please click here.

Short Project Overview (2 pages or less - see template above):

  1. Please identify the name, location and critical characteristics of the open space to be pursued by your project
  2. Explain how the project promotes public use of open space that improves a community's quality of life and public health, while also ensuring the protection of healthy, viable and sustainable ecosystems by protecting or restoring habitat for a diversity of plan and animal species
  3.  Specifically identify the stockholder in your project and the contributions (financial or other) they have made toward the project goals
  4. Briefly explain your plan for long term financial and environmental sustainability of the proposed program

Please carefully construct this overview, as it is the first information about your project viewed by the Musser Fund. 

Proposal Narrative (5 pages or less):

  1. Background: What is your organizational background? What is your organization's experience in this area?
  2. Environmental Resources in Focus: Please describe the open space for which you are seeking support, including a description of the public entity responsible for maintaining the open space.
  3. Goals and Activities: Describe the overall goal(s) of your program and provide a timeline for implementation of the program goals and activities.  
    1. Describe how the program will: Promote public use of the open space described above while improving the community's quality of life and public health. 
    2. Ensure the protection of healthy, viable and sustainable ecosystems by protecting or restoring habitat for a diversity of plant and animal species.
  4. Community involvement & Stakeholder Engagement: Describe the community's involvement in this program.  Describe the key stakeholders and how they will be involved.  (Signed letters of support from key stakeholders are required as described below). 
  5. Project Leaders/Organizational Chart: Identify the leaders of the program and their qualifications and include an organizational chart with your application.
  6. Outcomes & Community Impact: List your program outcomes and the community impact of this program.  Provide a description of your plan for the financial and environmental sustainability of this program.

The Directors of the Laura Jane Musser Fund continue to be interested in the replicability of programs requesting funding.  If you have plans to share your program results, please include them in your proposal.

Personnal:

  • Staffing - identify the organizational leaders and the experience they bring to the organization
  • Board of Directors- list the members of the Board of Directors, their affiliations and their terms

Budget:     

  • Organizational budget (or if public entity, departmental budgets) - for the previous year and for the current year.  Please itemize revenue and expenses: include revenue sources and amounts.  For the current year budget, itemize what is secure and what is pending (please explain any large surplus or deficits).
  • Project budget with detailed revenue sources, amounts and what is secure and what is pending. 

Letters of Support

  • Please include signed letters of support from at least two (but not more than four) community members and institutions involved in your proposed program. In addition, please provide a letter of support from the local government entity that is most closely involved in your program. Please make sure the letters are signed, and when appropriate, on letterhead. The Fund is only able to consider letters that are attached to the proposal when it is submitted.

IRS Status:

  • Please include a copy of your 501(c)(3) statement.  If you are a unit of local government, please provide a detailed letter of endorsement for the project on agency letterhead, signed by a head officer of your unit of government, indicating awareness of and support of this proposed program.