Wednesday, March 12, 2008

YSI Foundation Offering Grant Opportunity for Non-profit Volunteer Watershed Monitoring Organizations

Linda Green of URI passes along this grant opportunity from YSI Foundation for a non-profit volunteer monitoring organization. Note the a short application period. YSI makes field monitoring equipment, most notably dissolved oxygen meters.

YSI Foundation Minding the Planet 60th Anniversary Grant

In honor of our 60th Anniversary YSI will be awarding a special $60,000 grant to an organization focused on protecting water resources. Since 1990, YSI has publicly demonstrated commitment to its core values and being a good corporate citizen through its 501(c)(3) Foundation. The Foundation grants have funded a variety of projects, including university environmental science scholarships, large scale restoration projects, a wetlands data center, and equipment for fishermen who lost their livelihood in the December 2005 tsunami. This year the Foundation is pleased to recognize the important work local volunteer monitoring organizations are doing to improve the quality of the nation's water.

Goals of Grant

The YSI Foundation will award $60,000 to an organization that demonstrates a need for capacity building in a volunteer monitoring organization, whose work focuses on activities throughout an entire watershed. The YSI Foundation defines capacity building as any of the following:
• assistancewith staffing,
• or the development or enhancement of outreach and training programs,
• or infrastructure development.

Examples of the types of projects and programs that are eligible for funding with this grant include:
• New watershed volunteer monitoring programs that are being developed and implemented.
• Existing watershed volunteer programs in need of additional staffing such as a coordinator or administrative support.
• Existing watershed volunteer programs that have an opportunity to extend their program through community outreach, training, and education.
• Existing watershed volunteer programs in need of office space, supplies, equipment, etc.

Funding period:
• The grant will be awarded at the 2008 National Water Quality Monitoring Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, May 18-22, 2008.
• One grant will be awarded for $60,000 to the selected organization.
• Grant monies must be spent within three years of receipt. Those monies not spent must be returned to the YSI Foundation for redistribution to other grants.

Eligibility for grant:
• Must be a 501(c)(3) organization or in partnership with a 501(c)(3) organization.
• Organization must conduct work in area(s) relevant to grant theme and on a watershed scale.
• At least 80% of grant must go toward direct activity as written in the application.
• Preference will be given to those organizations that demonstrate an ability to attract matching funds and have a sustainability plan in place.
• Preference will be given to those organizations that can demonstrate an ability to publish or present their work to the larger water monitoring community.

Grant timeline:
• Solicit grant applications: March through April 10, 2008
• Grant applications due: April
15, 2008
• Selection process: April 15 through May 1, 2008
• Grant award announced: May 19, 2008*
*The grant award recipient will be notified prior to May 19th so arrangements can be made for them to accept the award in person at the National Water Quality Monitoring Conference.

There is no official application form. The grant application should contain no more than five (5) pages of text, written in English, including any figures or tables (but not including any cover page or table of contents pages). The grant application must include the following information at a minimum:
• Name of the organization.
• Statement of the purpose or charter of the group.
• Name and title (if appropriate) of the contact person, including contact information (address, telephone number, and email).
• Statement of how the group meets the basic eligibility criteria; 501(c)(3) IRS documentation must be included.
• Brief statement of qualifications.
• Scope of work and project's impact, goals, and objectives.
• Clearly defined measures of success, such as:
• a watershed based monitoring plan
• the expected reach of an outreach program
• the expected number of participants in the program
• Proposed schedule and budget.

Other than the page limit, there are no requirements for formatting of the application.

Responsibilities of grant recipient:
• Submit annual accounting of grant to YSI Foundation.
• Create a final project report describing the goals of the grant, the activities undertaken to achieve goals and objectives, difficulties encountered, work products, and funds spent. The final project report is to be completed within 90 days of the end of the funding period, or within 3 years of receipt of funding, whichever comes first. Include photo documentation.
• Create a final financial report showing the final balance sheet.
• Recipients agree to be featured in news articles about their projects, written and submitted to the media by YSI.
• Recipients agree to work with YSI to publish or present their work to the larger water monitoring community.

Contact for information and application submittal:
YSI Foundation
Attention: Susan Miller, Foundation President
1725 Brannum Lane
Yellow Springs, OH 45387
937-767-7241 ext. 406

Thanks to Linda Green, URI, for passing along this information.

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