SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS 2023 MINI-GRANT PROGRAM FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS PARTNERSHIP?
The Susquehanna Riverlands is one of eight Conservation Landscapes supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and is a partnership between the Lancaster Conservancy, which serves as the program’s external lead, DCNR, and a constellation of community organizations. The Partnership is focused on advancing four key areas outlined in the Strategic Plan: (1) habitat and trail (re)connectivity, (2) sustainable public access to the Susquehanna River and its surrounding natural lands, (3) emphasizing community partnership and collaboration, and (4) ecosystem health.
HOW DOES THE MINI-GRANTS PROGRAM WORK?
The Lancaster Conservancy, as the external lead of the Susquehanna Riverlands, administers the Mini-Grant Program with funding provided through DCNR. Single-year grant requests for a minimum of $2,500 to a maximum of $25,000 are considered for projects that work towards advancing the mission and goals of the Susquehanna Riverlands Partnership, outlined in the Susquehanna Riverlands Strategic Plan. All interested applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Susquehanna Riverlands Strategic Plan, which outlines our landscape’s mission, vision, and goals for the future, prior to pursuing a Mini-Grant. Applicants can contact Jenn Teson to discuss their project before applying.
2022 Keystone Trails Association Conestoga Trail Saturdays
WHAT ARE THE STEPS IN APPLYING FOR A SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS MINI-GRANT?
Applicants should first review the application instructions before applying. All interested applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, May 8, 2023, to be considered for funding. Following review by a selection committee, eligible organizations will be invited to submit a formal grant application that will ask for a detailed scope of work, budget, and related items due no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, June 12, 2023. Click here to preview the grant application. The review committee will make its final funding determination by June 26, 2023.
WHERE CAN I SUBMIT A LETTER OF INTENT?
Click here to submit your Letter of Intent (LOI) online.
WHAT ARE THE GRANT REQUEST LIMITS?
There is a minimum grant request of $2,500 and a maximum of $25,000.
WHAT COSTS ARE ELIGIBLE?
Because Mini-Grants are partially funded by DCNR, they must follow DCNR’s policies. Please refer to DCNR’s Partnerships Eligible and Ineligible Grant Project Activities, Costs, and Match policy.
DO CONTRACTORS HAVE TO BE SELECTED ON A COMPETITIVE BASIS?
Yes. Mini-Grants are partially funded by DCNR; DCNR requires that contractors be selected on a competitive basis. For construction projects, this may require grantees to follow DCNR’s Competitive Bid Policy depending on the cost of the project. For consultants, grantees will be expected to use DCNR’s selection process. Municipal entities must follow applicable bidding laws. Non-profit organizations should officially establish and follow a competitive purchasing policy. Non-profit organizations that do not adopt a purchasing policy must follow municipal bidding laws.
Upon written request from the grantee, DCNR may, at its sole discretion, waive its competitive contractor selection process policy.
DOES THIS GRANT PROGRAM REQUIRE A MATCH?
Yes, a 1:1 match is required. At least 25% of the match must be in cash. Grants with more than than 25% cash match may be scored higher.
WHO CAN APPLY?
Municipalities, including municipal and local government agencies, 501(c)(3) non-profits that are registered with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charities, and some educational entities are eligible to apply.
Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape
WHAT KINDS OF PROJECTS ARE ELIGIBLE?
In general, projects should take place within the Susquehanna Riverlands region, which is a PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources designated region that includes all municipalities in Lancaster and York Counties that touch the Susquehanna River and boroughs surrounded by these communities (see map above). Projects that occur outside this region may be considered for funding provided they have a direct, tangible benefit to the region and demonstrably advance the mission of the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape. Projects should also address two or more of the following priorities identified in the Susquehanna Riverlands Strategic Plan: (1) habitat and trail (re)connectivity, (2) sustainable public access to the Susquehanna River and its surrounding natural lands, (3) a renewed emphasis on partnership and collaboration, and (4) ecosystem health. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Jenn Teson at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss their project before applying.
I HAVE APPLIED TO THE SUSQUEHANNA RIVERLANDS MINI-GRANT PROGRAM IN THE PAST, THIS APPLICATION LOOKS DIFFERENT. HAS IT CHANGED?
Yes! In 2019, the Susquehanna Riverlands Partnership adopted a new strategic vision that emphasizes four areas of focus: (1) habitat and trail (re)connectivity, (2) sustainable public access to the Susquehanna River and its surrounding natural lands, (3) a renewed emphasis on partnership and collaboration, and (4) (2) ecosystem health. We are interested in supporting projects that align with two or more of these areas. In 2022 we also moved all application processes to an online format. If you have any questions or technical issues with the online forms, please contact Jenn Teson at email@example.com or (717) 392-7891 ext. 204.
WHO REVIEWS LOIs?
A Mini-Grant Selection Committee comprised of Partnership Members will review the LOIs.
HOW WILL THE SELECTION COMMITTEE DECIDE WHICH LOIs ARE INVITED TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION?
The Selection Committee reviews Letters of Intent primarily to confirm project eligibility. The Selection Committee may respond with tips for improving an application based on information provided in the LOI. If the Selection Committee determines your project and organization are eligible for funding, you will receive a link to the full application.
2019 Alliance for the Bay Riparian Reforestation
HOW WILL THE APPLICATIONS BE EVALUATED?
A diverse committee made up of several partnering organizations and interests will rank the applications based on the following criteria:
- Has sufficient project scope
- Promotes partner collaboration
- Provides goals and objectives aligned with the Susquehanna Riverlands Strategic Plan
- Overlaps two or more of the four areas of focus (described above)
- Provides metrics from demonstrating measurable Success
- Match has been secured (cash and in-kind)
WHO DECIDES WHAT APPLICATIONS ARE AWARDED?
A Mini-Grant Selection Committee comprised of Partnership Members will decide who will be awarded funding based on whether the project meets the above-stated criteria.
WHEN DO WE HAVE TO HAVE THE CASH MATCH AVAILABLE?
Your cash match should be available when you list this match on your grant application. Your final grant application must include a support letter from the partner organization(s) that notes the agreed upon donation amount.
CAN A NON-CASH MATCH BE USED?
Yes, but at least 25% of your match must be cash. Non-cash match can include donated materials, professional time, volunteer time, and services conducted in-house for which the grantee organization does not receive compensation. Your grant application must include a support letter from the partner organization(s) that notes the agreed upon donation amount.
CAN I MATCH THE MINI-GRANT TO ANOTHER DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES (DCNR) GRANT?
No. The funding for the Mini-Grant Program is provided by DCNR, specifically the Environmental Stewardship Fund. Per DCNR policy, you cannot match DCNR funds to DCNR funds.
IF AWARDED A MINI-GRANT, HOW MUCH MONEY WOULD WE GET UP FRONT?
Terms can vary, but generally you would get up to 50% of the amount up front and then 40%. The final 10% will be provided after sufficient close out materials have been submitted.
WHAT ARE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE GRANT AGREEMENT IF I AM AWARDED A GRANT?
Mini-Grant funds originally come from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) as part of DCNR’s Environmental Stewardship Fund Program. The Lancaster Conservancy, which serves as the External Lead for the Susquehanna Riverlands Conservation Landscape, is the grant administrator and requires any mini-grant recipient to comply with standards that are expressed in DCNR’s terms and conditions. For a sample contract, click here.
WHO SHOULD I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?
117 South West End Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603
(717) 392-7891 ext. 204