Environmental Funds have a dual nature – they must secure funding but also effectively distribute it in support of their mission. Most provide reliable annual funding streams to cover the recurrent costs of managing protected areas and other biodiversity conservation programs. Many funding programs, like the Amazon Region Protected Area Program (ARPA), support government investments in equipment, infrastructure maintenance, travel and supplies. Other grant programs are designed to support nonprofit or local community efforts in conservation and sustainable development – and are usually open and competitive.
Grant Making Policies and Procedures: to determine how this money will be spent, many Environmental Funds establish Grant Making Policies and Procedures. Some like the Arranayk Foundation lay out their approach in separate documents while others include grant making policies and procedures in their Operations Manuals – found in Finance and Administration section. Others, like the Forest Conservation Fund Grant Making Procedures Manual, of the Jamaica Protected Areas Trust, provide fully detailed formats, templates and suspension and termination clauses, consistent with their donor requirements.
Call for Proposals: once an Environmental Fund has a solid understanding of how it will administer grants it usually releases a Call for Proposal, a public announcement of grant availability and general guidelines. The Call for Proposal clarifies who can apply, where the work should take place, thematic priorities, deadlines, and minimal requirements for applying. Call for Proposals range from simple announcements to in-depth detailed outlines.
Grant Application Formats provide more detail and the specific information that the Environmental Fund wants from grant applicants. In large part due to different donor requirements, and to some degree reflecting the sophistication of in-country grantees, some of these are very simple “fill in the blank” type forms, while others request detailed and extensive amounts of information.
Grant Agreements: once selected, the Environmental Fund and the Grantee sign a Grant Agreement laying out roles, reporting responsibilities, procedures for financial reporting, and suspension or termination options.