The Long Island Sound Stewardship Fund (LISSF) 2022 Request for Proposals (RFP) - The Long Island Community Foundation
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Proposal Due: Wednesday, February 2, 2022

All applications must be submitted electronically (see “Grant Application Instructions” click here).

No mailed or emailed proposals will be accepted.

OVERVIEW

The Long Island Sound Stewardship Fund (LISSF) is a competitive grant program seeking proposals to restore and protect the health and living resources of Long Island Sound. We are interested in empowering communities of all kinds (including communities typically underrepresented in environmental programs and projects) to access, improve and benefit from Long Island Sound, its waterways, and surrounding lands. Up to $500,000 is expected to be available for grants in 2022. The most competitive proposals will incorporate multiple values including sustainability, resilience, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The LISSF aims to:

  • support nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) working on issues and projects that address the strategies and Implementation Actions of the Long Island Sound Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). The CCMP also identifies three principles that are important to consider in taking any specific action: resilience to climate change, long-term sustainability, and environmental justice. We welcome submissions that incorporate these cross-cutting issues into the proposal.
  • help build stronger NGOs working in the Long Island Sound watershed in Connecticut and New York (Capacity Building);
  • foster collaboration and innovation (Collaboration);
  • accelerate the “next best step” for tools and strategies (Piloting Tools and Strategies);
  • complete small projects that can serve as an example in a community or region (Small Projects Big Impacts); and
  • support communities and organizations in advancing environmental justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

 

THE LONG ISLAND SOUND FUNDERS COLLABORATIVE

The Long Island Sound Funders Collaborative (the Collaborative) is a group of funders with missions that include clean waters, thriving habitats, and sustainable communities. While most of the funders are not solely focused on this goal, we aim to build our effectiveness through collaboration. Since its inception, the Collaborative has worked together to learn about the myriad issues facing the Sound and possible solutions. The LISSF pools our investments to support projects that address pressing challenges and provide for a healthy, productive, and resilient Sound now and into the future. LISSF is administered by the Long Island Community Foundation (LICF). Foundations providing support for grants under this RFP are the Long Island Community Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Auchincloss Foundation, Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Eder Family Foundation, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Fred and Gilda Nobel Foundation, Jeniam Foundation, McCance Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, New York Community Bank Foundation, Pamela and Richard Rubinstein Foundation, Rauch Foundation, Rockfall Foundation, Westchester Community Foundation.

 

TIMELINE

Dates of activities are subject to change. Please check this page regularly.

  • Presentation of the LISSF 2022 Applicant Webinar from December 10th
  • Webinar recording can be accessed here
  • Proposal Due Date: Wednesday, February 2, 2022
  • Grant Notification & Contracting commences: April 2022

 

A COMPLETE APPLICATION CONSISTS OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • LISSF proposal cover form (to be completed in the portal)
  • Upload the following in this order:
    1.  LISSF proposal narrative (prepare using the outline provided click here; include the headings)
    2.  LISSF expense budget form (form provided click here)
    3.  Current Year, Board-Approved Operating Budget (Note: if you are a university, submit operating budget for your specific department only.)
    4.  Letters of Support (maximum of 4) from partners that are directly involved in project delivery. Recommended where relevant, but not required.

To download a pdf of the LISSF 2022 RFP, click here.

All projects must address issues within part of the Long Island Sound watershed in the states of Connecticut and New York as shown on the Boundary Map.

  • Review the Grant Application Instructions and prepare based upon these instructions.
  • Submit electronically through the portal link that is provided on the Grant Application Instructions.
  • Questions about this RFP? Please consult Frequently Asked Questions and plan to participate in the webinar.  Other questions: LISSF@nfwf.org
  • Questions about the Grant Application Instructions? Contact Jeannie DeMaio, Long Island Community Foundation jdemaio@licf.org

Eligible applicants include non-profit 501(c)3 organizations and educational institutions.

Program Priorities

Meigs Point Beach
Capacity Building
Capacity Building

Capacity Building to increase the effectiveness of organizations that focus on restoration and protection of the health and living resources of Long Island Sound. Capacity building can occur in every part of an organization, including programs, management, operations, technology, governance, fundraising and communications. Some examples:

  • Strategic plan development
  • Communication plan development
  • Fundraising plan development
  • Board and leadership development
  • Technology improvements (such as software, compatibility efforts, and training; equipment is not included)
  • Accounting and budgeting improvements
  • Incorporating members of underserved communities into your organization and/or within direct project delivery
  • Financial management or donor management, volunteer, or administrative software
  • Website design, brochure materials, printing and postage, presentation materials
  • External technical assistance to address organizational challenges
  • Organization, program, and service assessment or evaluation
Collaboration
Collaboration

Collaboration to foster organizations working together for the first time, or in new ways to accomplish a common goal and to achieve greater impact focused on improving the health and living resources of Long Island Sound. More competitive proposals will be about innovative ways of collaborating. Some examples:

  • Project management, design, tools, support and/or services that bridge gaps in technical capacity of multiple partner organizations
  • Multi-organizational agreements
  • Conducting regional forums, meetings or events that provide a space for collaboration and information-sharing
  • Developing new partnerships or integrating and/or merging existing organizations or programs
  • Technical assistance, training, resources, and/or leadership to facilitate action among multiple partner organizations
Piloting Tools & Strategies
Piloting Tools & Strategies

Piloting Tools & Strategies to increase environmental and natural resource impact, or to foster the “next best step” for applicability or scalability across the Sound. Activities may include scoping and design to set the stage for large, multi-year projects. Some examples:

  • Advancing tools and strategies to improve water quality
  • Advancing tools and strategies to restore coastal habitats or improve coastal resilience
  • Advancing tools and strategies to increase the knowledge and engagement of the targeted constituencies or the public
  • Field application of new technologies and management approaches
Small Projects with Big Impacts
Small Projects with Big Impacts

Small Projects with Big Impacts to clean waters, restore habitat, sustain wildlife, and engage the public in restoration and protection of the health and living resources of Long Island Sound. Big impact includes activities with the promise to accelerate local water quality improvements, natural resource restoration, and community outreach and engagement. Some examples of projects or activities for which funds may be requested may be found under “Implementation Actions” in the CCMP. Examples include:

  • Infrastructure and/or habitat restoration projects that reduce or prevent water pollution, or sustain fish and wildlife
  • Design/planning to support activities that set the stage for on-the-ground implementation of water quality improvement or habitat restoration
  • Education and engagement activities
Capacity Building
Capacity Building

Capacity Building to increase the effectiveness of organizations that focus on restoration and protection of the health and living resources of Long Island Sound. Capacity building can occur in every part of an organization, including programs, management, operations, technology, governance, fundraising and communications. Some examples:

  • Strategic plan development
  • Communication plan development
  • Fundraising plan development
  • Board and leadership development
  • Technology improvements (such as software, compatibility efforts, and training; equipment is not included)
  • Accounting and budgeting improvements
  • Incorporating members of underserved communities into your organization and/or within direct project delivery
  • Financial management or donor management, volunteer, or administrative software
  • Website design, brochure materials, printing and postage, presentation materials
  • External technical assistance to address organizational challenges
  • Organization, program, and service assessment or evaluation
Collaboration
Collaboration

Collaboration to foster organizations working together for the first time, or in new ways to accomplish a common goal and to achieve greater impact focused on improving the health and living resources of Long Island Sound. More competitive proposals will be about innovative ways of collaborating. Some examples:

  • Project management, design, tools, support and/or services that bridge gaps in technical capacity of multiple partner organizations
  • Multi-organizational agreements
  • Conducting regional forums, meetings or events that provide a space for collaboration and information-sharing
  • Developing new partnerships or integrating and/or merging existing organizations or programs
  • Technical assistance, training, resources, and/or leadership to facilitate action among multiple partner organizations
Piloting Tools & Strategies
Piloting Tools & Strategies

Piloting Tools & Strategies to increase environmental and natural resource impact, or to foster the “next best step” for applicability or scalability across the Sound. Activities may include scoping and design to set the stage for large, multi-year projects. Some examples:

  • Advancing tools and strategies to improve water quality
  • Advancing tools and strategies to restore coastal habitats or improve coastal resilience
  • Advancing tools and strategies to increase the knowledge and engagement of the targeted constituencies or the public
  • Field application of new technologies and management approaches
Small Projects with Big Impacts
Small Projects with Big Impacts

Small Projects with Big Impacts to clean waters, restore habitat, sustain wildlife, and engage the public in restoration and protection of the health and living resources of Long Island Sound. Big impact includes activities with the promise to accelerate local water quality improvements, natural resource restoration, and community outreach and engagement. Some examples of projects or activities for which funds may be requested may be found under “Implementation Actions” in the CCMP. Examples include:

  • Infrastructure and/or habitat restoration projects that reduce or prevent water pollution, or sustain fish and wildlife
  • Design/planning to support activities that set the stage for on-the-ground implementation of water quality improvement or habitat restoration
  • Education and engagement activities
SIZE OF GRANT AWARDS
SIZE OF GRANT AWARDS

The LISSF has two categories of grants:

  • Capacity Building, Collaboration, and Piloting Tools & Strategies Priorities. Grants are expected to range from $15,000 to $200,000. Please note that few, if any, grants will be made at the maximum award level of $200,000. This is the most competitive category of funding. Proposals requesting grants in excess of $50,000 should demonstrate regional value and scope, significant and robust partnerships, and dramatic impact to the Long Island Sound and the communities and constituencies served.
  • Small Projects with Big Impacts: Grants are expected to range from $5,000 to $15,000.
GRANT PERIOD
GRANT PERIOD
  • All projects must start within three months of notification of a grant award.
  • Recipients of grants under $100,000  have 15 months to complete the project.
  • Recipients of grants $100,000 and over have 24 months to complete the project.
GRANT GUIDELINES
GRANT GUIDELINES
  • Applicant organizations may submit up to two proposals per organization.
  • Funds may not be used for:
  • Marketing efforts that serve to generally promote solely the applicant organization and its initiatives
  • Building or capital or acquisition campaigns, endowments, sponsorships, or to address budget deficits
  • Incomplete applications, or applications requesting funds below the minimum or above the maximum allowable award amount, will not be considered for funding.
EVALUATION CRITERIA
EVALUATION CRITERIA
  • Program Priorities – addresses one or more of the program priorities outlined in this Request for Proposals. The proposal has specific, measurable performance outcomes to evaluate success.
  • Partnerships – formally engage relevant technical and/or local partners to support development and delivery as needed. Criteria are particularly relevant for “Collaboration” proposals and for proposals aiming for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Technical Merit – technically sound and feasible, and the proposed project sets forth a clear, logical, and achievable work plan and timeline.
  • Budget – Costs are allowable, reasonable, and clearly budgeted.
  • Qualifications – The applicant organization has experience relevant to delivery of the proposed project and/or a proven track record of success in implementing projects with measurable results.