National Forest Foundation

Matching Awards Program

Supporting On-the-ground Work On Our National Forests


The National Forest Foundation (NFF) Matching Awards Program (MAP) provides funding for action-oriented on-the-ground or citizen-based monitoring projects that enhance forest health and outdoor experiences on National Forests and Grasslands.

On-the-ground Projects

MAP supports the implementation of on-the-ground conservation and restoration projects that have an immediate, quantifiable impact on the National Forest System. These projects provide a lasting impact to the lands, waters, and wildlife of the National Forest System through the alteration of the physical environment.

Citizen-based Monitoring

MAP supports citizen-based monitoring as an opportunity for volunteers to become involved in conservation work through data collection surrounding the implementation of a project. While citizen-based monitoring can provide a wide variety of project data, the NFF will only support data collection to inform specific Forest Service information needs, and the Forest Service must show a commitment to using the data in management decisions once collected. Data must be collected using replicable, standardized methods, and reporting formats must be coordinated with Forest Service managers to ensure data transferability.

Focus Areas

MAP supports the strategic focus areas of Forest Health and Outdoor Experiences.

Community Engagement

MAP projects must show a strong commitment to civic engagement and community involvement through the direct involvement of the public. In order for a project to be eligible for funding, it must have significant direct community involvement or civic engagement in the pre-implementation, implementation, or post-implementation phases. The public engagement phase of the standard NEPA process is not sufficient to meet this requirement.


MAP is national in scope and there are no geographic priorities.


The NFF holds two nationally competitive MAP rounds each year. Organizations may have only one MAP award open at a time.

Proposal Deadlines

June 24, 2015 by 11:59 pm Mountain Daylight Time

Notifications of funding selection or rejection are typically made within 12 weeks of the proposal deadline.


501(c)3 nonprofits, universities, and Native American tribes are eligible to receive MAP grants. If an organization does not meet this eligibility requirement, it must utilize an eligible fiscal sponsor, in compliance with the NFF Policy on Fiscal Sponsorship.

Funding Restrictions

Applications will not be considered from:

  • Federal agencies;
  • Regional, state or local governmental entities;
  • For-profit organizations;
  • Consultants;
  • Educational and research organizations proposing projects that do not show tangible, on-the-ground benefit;
  • Organizations that cannot produce a 1:1 cash match of non-federal, project-directed funds;
  • Organizations considering submitting a proposal for a project that cannot be completed within one year of award.

The following project types are not eligible for funding:

  • Funding for outreach and/or education as a primary project component;
  • General operating or programmatic support;
  • Funding for any form of advocacy or litigation;
  • Funding provided to the U.S. Forest Service or any other federal entity.

Match Requirements

MAP requires a 1:1 match of secured nonfederal funds. In-kind contributions are not eligible for use as match but should be documented to show project leverage.

Letters of Support

All applications must include a letter of support from the Forest Supervisor of each National Forest or Grassland unit included in a proposal. Proposals that include work on more than four National Forest System units within a Forest Service Region may choose to obtain a letter of support from the Regional Forester. Do not submit letters from District Rangers or any additional letters of support.

Application Process

Eligibility Questionnaire

To proceed in the application process, complete the MAP Eligibility questionnaire. The MAP Request for Proposals (RFP) can be accessed upon successful completion of the eligibility questionnaire.

Electronic Application

Applications submission is via an electronic submission process. Submission instructions are listed in the RFP.

Funding Type

MAP awards federal funds provided through a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Forest Service. Neither MAP funds, nor the funds used to match MAP funds may be used to meet the matching requirements of any other federal award program.

Typical Awards (2013 -2014)

Average Request: $28,461.00
Median Request: $25,000.00
Average Award: $27,215.00
Median Award: $25,000.00
% of Proposals Funded: 57%
% of Dollars Requested Funded: 54%

Contact Information

If you have questions not answered on this website or in the MAP Request for Proposals, please contact Adam Liljeblad, Director, Conservation Awards at 406.830.3357 or