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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 support the movement for environmental justice. We recognize the interconnectedness of all environmental issues and encourage applicants to share how their work connects to our grantmaking through the lens of Water (salt or fresh) or Land Use.

We invest in local community based 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.

Coupled with this, we aim to amplify the voices of historically marginalized communities. To this end, we encourage proposals that will grow the base of environmental advocates and empower communities of color working on solutions to local environmental issues.

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

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
  • Organizations led by and based in communities of color
  • 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, our priority is smaller, community based and/or volunteer-led groups. 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, 2021 CRF grantees are eligible to make application inquiries in the 2022 CRF cycle OR the 2023 Standard grant cycle.
  • Organizations not selected for a grant may reapply in consecutive rounds.
  • Organizations that have a current Standard grant may not apply for a CRF.
  • 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