|Youth Conserving our National Forests|
What is the National Forest Foundation Ski Conservation Fund™?
Through its Ski Conservation Fund, the National Forest Foundation (NFF) has teamed up with ski areas, lodges and resorts located on National Forest lands to raise money for the stewardship of their local National Forest. Funds are raised through voluntary contributions from guests at participating ski areas and lodges throughout the country and are matched with NFF federal funds. The NFF awards the funds raised through the program to nonprofit organizations for implementing projects that benefit the National Forest. While award recipients must provide a minimum 50% cash or in-kind match to Ski Conservation Fund awards, the most successful projects raise much more in contributions.
How frequently are funds awarded?
Depending on the number of participating partners on a National Forest and the amount of funds raised, the frequency of award rounds varies. However, funds are generally awarded every one to two years for each participating ski area.
Who is eligible for funding?
Applications will be considered from nonfederal partners, community-based organizations, Native American tribes, and other nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations doing on-the-ground conservation work in or around National Forests or Grasslands. Each Ski Conservation Fund round focuses on a particular National Forest or geographical area. Applicants must work in the National Forest identified as the focus of the grant.
Applications will not be considered from:
- Federal agencies;
- For-profit organizations;
- Educational and research organizations proposing projects that do not show tangible, on-the-ground benefit;
- Organizations seeking general operating support; and
- Organizations seeking funding for litigation or advocacy.
Does my organization need to have 501(c)(3) status to apply for a grant to the NFF?
Typically, Yes. If your organization does not have 501(c)(3) status you will need to utilize an organization with that status as a fiscal sponsor, and they will need to apply on your behalf. The only exceptions to this are for universities or Native American tribes, who are eligible to receive funding under other sections of the IRS code. If you would like to utilize a fiscal sponsor, be sure you understand the NFF’s policy on fiscal sponsorship.
How do I apply to the National Forest Foundation's Ski Conservation Fund?
Please visit the Ski Conservation Fund Application Process page and review the active Requests for Proposals (RFP). If you are interested in applying for any open application rounds, review the appropriate RFP for details on how to apply for that round.
What types of projects are eligible for funding?
The NFF supports projects that address community-based forest stewardship, watershed health and restoration, wildlife habitat improvement, and recreation issues, in proactive ways through innovative, on-the-ground stewardship and citizen-based monitoring projects in partnership with the surrounding community. The NFF Ski Conservation Fund focuses on “action-oriented” projects that serve to demonstrate and evaluate measurable outcomes.
What types of projects are not eligible for funding?
The NFF does not support general operating or overhead expenses, funding for multiple years, political advocacy or litigation of any kind, or scholarly research or education not oriented toward an on-the-ground conservation project.
Is there a typical grant amount?
No. Grant amounts vary depending on amount of funds raised on each National Forest participating in the program.
What is a DUNS number, and how to I obtain one?
The DUNS number is now required for all federal grant applicants to track federal funding. Please visit the White House's instructional page here for a description and instructions.
What program areas does the NFF focus on and why?
As a national organization, the NFF has the capacity and leverage to disseminate lessons learned at the local level, providing an avenue for organizations to benefit from real-world examples and to build stronger technical and institutional capacity. The NFF has selected four cross-cutting programmatic themes around which to structure its work: wildlife habitat improvement, recreation, community-based forestry, and watershed health and restoration. While we believe that all are important, emphasis will be given to proposals that focus on wildlife habitat issues and recreation issues.
- Wildlife Habitat Improvement - supporting strategically focused programs that protect or enhance threatened game and non-game species and the lands on which they depend for survival.
- Recreation - engaging organizations and individuals in on-the-ground conservation projects that help enhance the experiences of recreational users.
- Community-based Forestry - working to build stewardship capacity that will result in sustainable forest management, as well as provide economic development opportunities to local constituencies.
- Watershed Health and Restoration - developing expansive restoration programs to improve water quality, stream-bank health, fish populations, and to reduce erosion.
How do I request my award funds?
To release your awarded funds, please complete and return the signed Award Recipient Agreement included in your award packet. Upon receipt of this agreement, the NFF will process your request. From the date the NFF processes your request, you can expect to receive your award funds in about two weeks.
Our Ski Conservation Fund award period is closing shortly and we haven’t completed our
project and/or requested all the award funds. Can we get an extension?
No. Extensions are not provided through the Ski Conservation Fund.
Due to extenuating circumstances, we’re going to have to revise a portion of our
project. How do we know if NFF funds can be used for the revised project?
NFF funds can only be used as requested in the approved proposal, unless approved otherwise. Please contact the NFF as soon as possible to discuss any program or budget changes you’d like to make. The NFF must approve any changes prior to their implementation.
Where can I find reporting forms and guidelines?
Visit the page for Current Grantees, where you can find all the forms necessary for completing the required reports, as well as additional resource documents to help in your organizational development.
I'm interested in learning about how to add a new ski area or lodge to the Ski Conservation
Fund. Who do I contact?
For information about signing up new business partners, please contact Greg Peters, Associate Director, Development, at email@example.com or (406) 830-3361.
I'm interested in learning about the status of contributed funds for ski areas or National
Forests, or the next expected award round for a National Forest. Who do I contact?
For information about administration of award funds, please contact Adam Liljeblad, Director of Conservation Awards, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 830-3357.
Still have questions about the Ski Conservation Fund? Contact Adam Liljeblad.