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Community Response Fund

The Community Response Fund (CRF) is for work being done that enhances the greater objectives of our Growth Management and Aquatic Ecosystems programs*. With this program, the Foundation aims to honor and sustain the rich history of grassroots engagement in our state and bring new voices and organizations into our grantmaking.

The Community Response Fund is for grants up to $3,000 for one year.

The Community Response Fund serves two main goals:

  1. Grassroots Engagement: We invest in local organizations that are often the first to see, experience and understand environmental needs, threats and trends, but they may lack the resources of larger organizations to respond.
  2. Environmental Movement Building: We support efforts to center new voices in the environmental movement and encourage proposals that will grow the base of environmental advocates beyond those historically heard.

In both cases, sample activities may look like:

  1. Lead community engagement on a proposed plan, vision or process.
  2. File lawsuits or comments to stop proposed projects or activities that violate local, state or federal environmental regulations pertaining to aquatic ecosystems, land use or native species.
  3. Support leadership development and organizing capacity, particularly in under-resourced communities.
  4. Support for: trainings, list-building, canvassing and developing and implementing communications needs.

Likely Candidates:

  • Community-based, locally-focused organizations
  • Applicants with a need for one-time funds for a discrete project
  • Organizations piloting new projects, seeking small start-up funds

While we do not place limits on the size of organizations seeking CRF grants, state and national organizations are strongly encouraged to look at our standard grant program for support.


The Community Response Fund will be available once a year in October. Applicants to the Community Response Fund must use the same initial process as other applicants, beginning with an email to staff. Once staff has decided a request meets our criteria, you will be asked to submit a short application. Only if we feel we need more information will you be asked to submit supplemental materials. It is our aim to make the process as streamlined as possible. Decisions will be made within 4 to 5 weeks of the deadline.


  • All organizations that meet our general criteria are eligible for CRF grants
  • Following the successful completion of a final report, 2020 CRF grantees are eligible to make application inquiries in the 2021 CRF cycle OR the 2022 Standard grant cycle.
  • Organizations not selected for a grant may reapply in consecutive rounds
  • Organizations that have current Standard grants are not eligible to apply for a CRF on other work for their organization, however, they may serve as a fiscal sponsor for another project.
  • An organization may receive a maximum of three consecutive CRF Grants, and may not apply again for one calendar year.
  • Organizations that meet our general criteria but whose timing needs for funding will not align with either our standard or CRF deadlines are encouraged to contact staff to discuss other potential funding sources.

* Please see our Aquatic Ecosystem and Growth Management programs for more detail on the objectives, strategies and limitations of these programs.