Funding Opportunities Desk Guide

On this page:  Introduction  |  About the Guide  |  
                      Funding for FS Units  |  Funding for Partners  |  
                      Fire Plan Funding  |  National Events  |  Links  |  

Introduction for the User

Declining budgets and workforce reductions are challenging Forest Service employees to find innovative ways to fund projects.

Using partnerships can enhance our capacity to accomplish work while building strong relationships and constituencies. Not only can partners provide additional project funding, but they also bring expertise, labor, and other resources to the table.

Partnerships also provide more opportunities for grant seeking, as many funding sources prefer and some even require partnership collaborators. Funders believe that partnerships inherently bring increased potential for project success because of the partners’ accountability to one another, along with additional funds that can then be leveraged, which effectively makes the granting organization’s dollars go even further.

This Desk Guide uses a table format to list over 200 grant sources and funding opportunities. The Regional Partnerships office developed this Desk Guide to provide a look at funding opportunities from many sources, including public and private foundations, government initiatives, and others. This Desk Guide will help identify potential funding sources/opportunities for environmental projects and programs. It is the starting point for staff seeking funding opportunities to help with local projects.

The Guide is a tool to help you get started, but you'll only be successful when you actually pick up the phone and begin building the relationships and explaining your project ideas to potential funders. Only then will they truly understand the need and intent of the project, and you will understand the goals and objectives of their organization. The more you can link your project directly to their goals and objectives, the more successful you will be.

Share this Guide with your community partners.


About the Desk Guide

This Desk Guide has been organized into three separate sections on funding opportunities– funding for Forest Service (FS) units, funding for Forest Service partners, and funding for both related to the National Fire Plan-- each explained in the section headers. Within each section is a funding opportunity table, and (for the first two) a summary deadline calendar. A fourth section tells of national events that Forest Service units participate in annually. Some may have some funding sources with them but most do not. They are opportunities for partnering at its best, at the community level. A fifth section provides links to more useful websites.

Funding Opportunity Table

The funding opportunity tables give an overview of foundations/organizations interested in environmental grant-making. The information in the tables should serve as a jump start for grant seekers but should not be considered comprehensive.

Summary Calendar

The summary calendars offersa “snapshot” of deadlines associated with the various funding sources and opportunities. The calendars summarize application deadline information from the funding opportunity tables. Potential applicants should contact the source to learn about procedures the grant-making organization(s) requires.

National Fire Plan

Congressional action and funding support the National Fire Plan. Agency personnel and community partners alike have become more interested as these programs are becoming better defined and implemented. The funding opportunity guide for the National Fire Plan is provided here for Forest Service units and Forest Service partners.

National Events

The national events listing is not inclusive but has typical events in which Forest Service units have participated. Local and regional contacts and websites addresses should help you get started.


Funding Opportunities for Forest Service Units
(Forest Service units may receive funds from these sources)

This section covers Forest Service-eligible funding sources. A funding opportunity is considered “FS eligible” if its guidelines provide for grants to federal government agencies and/or do not specifically identify government as non-eligible.

Please confirm the eligibility information directly with the funding source before submitting a proposal or letter of inquiry, as these organizations often change their funding focus and guidelines. This Desk Guide should serve as a jump start for a grant search and should not be considered comprehensive.

This section has two components: 

The Forest Service units funding opportunity table provides FS grant seekers an overview of Forest Service-eligible potential funding sources interested in environmental grant-making.

The Forest Service units summary calendar provides a full-year view of grant application deadlines and application procedures for Forest Service-eligible funding opportunities and includes all funding sources listed in the tables preceding it.

The key at the top of each page offers a brief description of the information noted on the calendar. The calendar entries are based on information gathered from the organization’s website and other materials, verified as of August 1, 2001. Grant seekers should always contact the funding source directly to obtain a full grant application packet and to become familiar with the grant-maker's application process, requirements, and any updated deadlines before submitting an application or letter of inquiry.

The list of notable websites for funding sources in a separate section below may also be useful.


Funding Opportunities for Partners Working with Forest Service Projects
(Partners, not Forest Service units, must receive these funds)

This section covers funding sources interested in the environment and natural resources as well as other Forest Service programs, who do not grant to federal agencies directly. Partners working with the FS units on collaborative projects should seek out the funding opportunities and be the primary grant applicant and recipient. A funding opportunity was considered “FS Partners” if its guidelines provided for grants specifically to non-profits and/or noted that government projects were not eligible. Many of the funding sources require that applying organizations provide proof of their 501(c)(3) status. Educational institutions, tribal governments, museums, Chambers of Commerce, RC&D’s, etc., qualify for funding under many of the “FS Partners” opportunities.

By “non-eligible” we mean that the FS cannot serve as the lead or fiduciary agency in the grant seeking process. Rather, the FS would serve among the partners in a collaborative effort, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) taking the lead. Partners working with FS units on projects and programs must be the applicant to these listed funding sources for grants.

With “FS non-eligible” programs, it is especially important to familiarize yourself with the application guidelines and requirements. Many grant making organizations that distribute funds that are federal in origin don’t allow other federal dollars to be included in matching funds. Situations such as this can significantly impact the financial aspects of the partnership’s efforts. You are encouraged to do your homework. It is very important to confirm the eligibility information directly with the funding source before submitting a proposal or letter of inquiry, as organizations do change their funding focus and guidelines on occasion. The information provided in this Desk Guide is intended to serve as a jump start for a grant search and in no way should be considered comprehensive.

This section has two components:

The Forest Service partners funding opportunity table provides opportunities for projects and programs where FS partners, communities and non-profits are the eligible applicants. In some cases, they may need to apply through the FS field units, e.g. RCA. This table is a useful tool for assisting our partners while benefiting the National Forests. FS employees should make this information available to the partners working with them and in their communities.

A list of some excellent websites for funding sources follows this section.

The Forest Service partners summary calendar provides a year-at-a-glance view of grant application deadlines and application procedures for opportunities for funding where the FS is not an eligible applicant. It includes all funding sources listed in the Tables preceding it.

The key can be found at the top of each page, providing a brief description of the information indicated on the calendar. The calendar entries are based on information gathered from the source organization’s website and other materials, and the information was verified as of August 1, 2001. Grant seekers should always contact the funding source directly to obtain a full grant application packet (if available), and to thoroughly familiarize themselves with the grant makers application process, requirements, and updated deadlines (if applicable) before submitting an application or letter of inquiry.

A list of some excellent websites for funding sources is in a separate section below.


National Fire Plan Funding Opportunities - 2001
(Some opportunities are for Partners and some for Forest Service units. Check Funding Eligibility Requirements)

The US Congress allocated special monies in 2001 to be used over the next 2-5 years in the National Fire program. Involved agencies assembled a plan before the monies could be expended. The Western Governors and the State Foresters were influential in seeing that community collaboration was a key element in using these funds.

Partners and agency personnel should be familiar with the opportunities the National Fire Plan offers. In the Southwestern Region, the Plan is being coordinated by a Council including the USFS, BLM, FWS, and State Forestry. Bob Leaverton, (505-842-3206). USDA Forest Service of the Regional Office is our FS contact for implementation of the National Fire Plan.

This guide should help you explore funding opportunities for your projects. Direct questions to the contacts in this Guide. Note that the Guide is specific to 2001. For 2002 and beyond, call the listed contact person for current information.


National Events

National events can nurture partnerships and do work while having fun. Events in this section are the major events in which Forest Service units have participated and is not all-inclusive. Add to it!

Contacts are given locally and regionally, as well as websites and sponsoring organizations, when known. Use these contacts to ask your initial questions and to become involved with one or more of these national events in your local community.


  • National Invasive Species Week. Contact your forest range con. or Gene Onken, RO Range, 505-842-3227


  • Earth Day (22nd). Contact your forest PAO.
  • National Arbor Day. (CO, SD, KS, NE: last Friday. WY: last Monday.) General info, contact John Hinz, RO SPF, 602-225-5271.
  • National Volunteers Day. Contact your forest SYVP Specialist or Marlette Lacey, RO SYVP, 303-275-5325.


  • Bear Awareness Week (2nd week). Contact Gail Tunberg, R3 Regional Biologist, 505-842-3262.
  • Celebrating Grasslands (3rd full week). Contact Jeff Abegglen, Region 2, 308-432-0314.
  • Celebrating Wildflowers Week (3rd full week). Contact your forest botanist or Regional Botanist Andrew Kratz, 303-275-5009.
  • International Migratory Bird Day (2nd Saturday). Contact your forest biologist or Regional Biologist Melanie Woolever, 303-275-5007.



  • National Public Lands Day (4th Saturday). Contact the National Partnership Coordinator, RHWR WO, 202-205-1706 or NEETF the sponsoring organization, 202-833-2933.


  • National Wolf Week. Contact your forest biologist or Regional TES Biologist Nancy Warren, 303-275-5064.
  • Fire Prevention Week (2nd week). Contact your forest Fire Staff or forest PAO.


  • Audubon Christmas Bird Counts. David Klute, All-bird Conservation Coordinator, Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW), 303-291-7320.


Other Useful Funding Links

  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. The "Bible" for all grant seekers and grant writers (contains many volumes). Libraries offer printed versions. Definitely NOT a Desk Guide. Complete and updated regularly. For the online version, go to and search for "Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance."
  • Forest Service Region 2 G & A Website. NO PUBLIC ACCESS. An excellent source for authorities, agreement types, and sample documents.
  • The Foundation Center. Includes regional library and educational opportunity information for the person involved in grant writing and research.
  • Treelink. Offers urban forestry resources; information and links for all urban forestry aspects.



The Region 2 Regional Partnerships Office prepared this guide.

This list is a resource guide to Forest Service funding opportunities and for working with partnering organizations. This list is not comprehensive, and the information is subject to change. An organization's inclusion on this list does not present an endorsement of its programs, and the Forest Service is not responsible for information accuracy. All information included in this guide was obtained from current publications from the listed funding organization, the organization's’ website, or current foundation and government grant award guides.

Most funding organizations want to know more about prospective applicants' projects before an application is submitted. If the respective application due date has passed, consider using the date as a guide to next year’s funding cycle. Check with the funding organization concerning current grant application procedures.