Nonprofit Environmental Education Grants

The Washington Foundation for the Environment (WFFE) gives small grants, generally of up to $2,000 (with a typical grant amount of $1,000), towards well-focused local environmental education projects in Washington state. We often award grants to projects not traditionally funded by the region’s bigger environmental foundations. All applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

Examples of past grant recipients include:

  • Wenatchee River Institute to support a family discovery day at the annual Leavenworth bird festival
  • Pacific Education Institute to support a “train the trainer” workshop for educators interested in promoting the use of Project Learning Tree, Project WET, and Project WILD curriculum guides.
  • Kittitas Environmental Education Network for its Get Intimate with the Shrub Steppe education program.
  • Port Townsend Marine Science Center to expand its education program about plastics in the marine environment to the boating community.
  • North Cascade Institute to support the 2016 Youth Leadership Summit.
  • Friends of the Nisqually to help with carrying out the “Eye on Nature” program for students.

Our grants committee provides initial review of all grant applications. This is followed by an assessment and appraisal by the board as a whole, with additional research into the applicant’s project as a result of any new questions being raised. Successful applicants receive grant money and are asked to provide a report of how they expended their funds, helping us to continually evaluate our own impact and effectiveness as a grantmaking organization.

If your organization would like be considered for a grant, please review our guidelines and submit your proposal and budget via email to Please direct any questions to as well. Grants are reviewed approximately every 6 to 8 weeks.

Grant Application Guidelines

Our grants have ranged in size, generally from $200 to $2000. Typical grants are $1,000. We make grant decisions throughout the year at Board meetings that occur every six to eight weeks.


Funding Goals

WFFE’s primary focus is on environmental education for K-12 youth. We are interested in funding the following categories of projects and organizations:

  • Educational efforts such as workshops, institutes, conferences, and exhibits, which hold the promise of increasing public awareness of, or stimulating productive public debate with respect to, significant environmental issues. Also considered are grants for individual and group scholarships to attend worthwhile conferences and educational programs
  • Environmental projects which have one or more of the following features: (a) the project has come together in a way that is instructive, perhaps representing a significant success of grassroots efforts, or the assembly of an unlikely but necessary coalition; (b) the project could have a significant positive effect on public awareness of environmental issues and action, or on the encouragement of other preservation or reclamation efforts; (c) the project will involve imaginative technical approaches that would make its success instructive; (d) the proposed uses of the project site and access to it will result in education about environmental matters
  • Writing projects that promise to contribute to the understanding of environmental issues and that seem likely to reach a responsive audience
  • Research projects that hold significant promise of providing information needed for intelligent environmental policymaking
  • Start-up funding for new environmental projects and organizations.

The Application

We are most interested in having you tell us plainly what you hope to accomplish. Your application need not be in any set form, but should contain the following information and descriptions:

  • Names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers of persons in your organization who can be contacted for information about the organization and your grant application
  • Schedule for the project
  • Summary description of your proposed project. We would also find useful any printed information you may have, such as studies, reports or proposals, that will give us a good sense of your project and its environmental benefits
  • Any information you have that will help us assess your ability to undertake your described project (e.g., biographies or resumes for key people working on it, references, evidence of past work, copies of brochures or other literature that you may have prepared)
  • Please think about who your target audiences are for your project: who you are trying to engage in specific behaviors or actions. Please include these in your application.
  • A request for a specific amount of money and how it will be used. Please also describe the total amount of money you think you will need to complete the project, and the other possible sources of money you will rely on if you are requesting a grant from us that is less than the total amount you need. (Your grant from us will not necessarily depend on your having raised all the rest of the money you will need. We do need to know that you have carefully thought through your needs and how you hope to meet them).

In short, we need to know both what you hope to accomplish and that you have a good chance of following through. We are not insisting that you be a highly formal organization with detailed records, or that your documents be professionally prepared. We make grants to both new and long-established groups. We simply need to know that you have a well-thought out plan that fits with our funding objectives and abilities.

Expectations of Grant Recipients

Should you receive a grant, we ask that you fulfill the following conditions:

  1. A statement of how the money was spent;
  2. A written description of the work you were able to accomplish, including copies of papers, reports, or studies you generated. We would be especially interested in any descriptions of the process used to accomplish the work that might be of use to groups thinking of projects similar to your own. We would also like to know if you would be willing to share your knowledge or expertise with other groups; and
  3. A few jpg photos showing youth engaged in your grant project. These will be used on our website. (Please have all photo subjects sign the photo release form we send to all grantees).

Please send these materials via e-mail to:




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