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Deadlines for proposals are February 7, 2013.
Seeking Grant Proposals for 2013 Activist Network Projects
ONE-PAGE STEP 1 PROPOSALS DUE JANUARY 31
The Activist Network Support Team is now soliciting grant proposals for 2013 projects.
Our goal is to support projects that promote collaborative volunteer activity, empower Sierra Club members to act on behalf of environmental causes, and increase capacity for regional and national grassroots action. Projects must be national or regional in scope. The three kinds of projects we are supporting:
We encourage proposals from Chapters or Teams working to engage non-traditional constituencies such as youth, faith, labor, low income, or business communities. All proposals must include volunteer engagement and leadership development along with measurable benefits to the environment.
See these four examples from 2012 that resulted in funded projects.
Instructions for 2013 Proposals
We are continuing the two-step process we launched in 2012. The first step is a one-page overview of your proposed project.
Step 1: Submit a one-page overview of what you want to do.
Answer the following questions:
1. What measurable outcome do you want to achieve in the world?
(Example: EPA strengthens mercury rule.)
(Because mercury pollution harms pregnant mothers and others.)
3. What activities or tactics will you do to make this happen? (Host a house party, organize people to testify at hearing, lobby public officials, make presentations to community groups.)
4. How will you engage new people and grow them into leadership positions?
5. How much do you anticipate spending and what would the grant funds be used for? (Estimate is fine. More detailed budget in part 2.)
6. Are you applying for c3 (educational/administrative) or c4 (legislative/advocacy) funds? Not sure? Find out here.
Any answers to questions we didn’t ask? (But keep all of this to one page.)
Proposals will be reviewed on four criteria:
Please post your project as a blog or uploaded file and forward the web address to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, the co-leaders of the Activist Network Support Team.
The Activist Network Support Team will decide next if it is inclined to support this project. If no, we inform the team. If yes, we work with you to refine this one-pager so it can serve as a public description of the project. We will also ask you to complete the second step of the process.
To receive grant funding for a project, the team must have a team charge approved by the Activist Network Coordinating Pair. Teams may apply for funds with a team charge pending, but funding is contingent on approval.
Step 2: Submit a full project plan with budget. Don't be harder on yourself (or us) than you have to be: Try to keep it to two pages or less. We appreciate the time and effort that goes into preparing your proposal.
1. Describe your proposed activities and tactics, and how they will help you reach your goal. Be clear about the specific environmental benefit (or harm avoided) you are seeking. Include a realistic estimate of how many new activists you will recruit along with how you plan to recruit them (an activist is someone who participates in the activities promoted by the Team).
Also a realistic estimate of how many new leaders you hope to develop (a leader is someone who can speak for the team, coordinate team efforts, and mobilize other volunteers) and the activities making this possible. Also an estimate of the number of existing activists and leaders who will be engaged.
2. Include a work plan for the next year (or term of the project) with proposed activities and any desired outcomes. (Example: Host three house parties showing video in March. Recruit one new volunteer at each house party.) If there are important benchmark dates related to your project (e.g., comment period deadlines), please include that here.
3. Develop one or more volunteer job descriptions/task descriptions so we can help you recruit volunteers and promote your project.
4. List any other participants in your project (Sierra Club entities, outside allies, government officials or agencies, business or corporate allies, etc.).
5. Submit a detailed budget, including any amounts that will be used to pay for consultants, travel, meetings, conferences, or memberships. Funds will not be allocated for staff salaries. If you are receiving funds from any other source, please include that information (funding sources and dollar amounts) as well. (Specify c3 or c4 funding.)
6. If your team has received project funds before, link to your team’s progress report on the Activist Network’s online community. If this is your first proposal, please tell us more about your team and its accomplishments.
Grants for Organizing Events/Trainings
Teams are expected to rely on conference calls, email, and online community tools to communicate in order to to keep costs and carbon footprint low. Getting together in person, however, has been demonstrated to offer great value in building teams and can kick-start advances to projects. We funded six team organizing events/trainings in 2012. (Here are three reports: No Nukes Summit Exceeds Expectations, Everyone Wins with Complete Streets, International Team Charts Future.)
To qualify, teams must meet the following criteria:
Use the same two steps as above. If you do not have a specific project fleshed, and need a meeting to plan and develop one, make your best case for why a face-to-face meeting is necessary.
Teams are responsible for managing all the logistics for their meetings, though Beyond the Bay can do most of it. Frugality is the norm. We encourage teams to combine team meetings and project work. (A good example is the Marine Team’s May 2011 Blue Vision Summit Project, which combined a team meeting, the Blue Vision Summit (a two-day conference), and a lobby day.)