1. What are your deadlines for grant proposals?

Proposals are considered semi-annually (spring and fall rounds):

Preliminary application due by 5 p.m.
Spring round: March 1
Fall round: September 15

Final application (invitation) by 5 p.m. (specific dates provided in the invite)
Spring round: Early April
Fall round: Late October

If the application deadline falls on a weekend, then the applications are due by 5 p.m. ET on the Friday immediately preceding the deadline. Paper copies of final applications must be received by the Trustees by the application deadline. No exceptions are made for late applications.

2. Does the Trust make grants to individuals or private foundations?

No, the Trust does not make grants to individuals or organizations classified as a private foundation. The applicant must be an organization described in paragraph (1) or (2) of Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (i.e., a publicly supported charity or a governmental unit).

3. What is the average dollar amount of grants awarded?

Grants are awarded semi-annually and are one-time cash awards of varying amounts, generally less than $15,000.

4. How many grants do you award each year?

On average, 15-20 grants are awarded annually.

5. What are the chances that my proposal will receive support?

The Trust receives a large number of applications each year and funds those projects that support the goals and objectives of its patron, William P. Wharton, and those that will make a significant difference with lasting tangible results.

With respect to land conservation grants, the Trustees and Advisors will consider projects that promote public use and enjoyment of protected properties, but they prioritize projects that promote natural resource protection over those that promote public recreation.

The Trustees and Advisors are focused on awarding grants that act as levers to attract matching funds that otherwise would not be forthcoming, as well as grants that encourage cooperation among conservation-minded organizations, both public and private, in meeting common goals.

The Trust generally does not support seminars or educational meetings or programs for youth below the college level. Exceptions may be considered if the purpose of the meeting or program is focused on specific and worthy environmental objectives that will, in the Trustees and Advisors' judgment, be capable of implementation by participants in the foreseeable future.

While the Trust’s grants are normally not intended to provide general operating support (see definition below), the Trustees and Advisors will consider such grants to smaller organizations with innovative ideas and projects that would not be implemented absent outside financial support. When operating support is requested, it must be clearly described as such in the preliminary grant application. In addition, the Trust does not approve applications which include "administrative cost" or "overhead" applied as a percentage or add-on by a parent organization or host institution such as a university, research facility, or other large non-profit organization.

General operating support, also known as unrestricted or core operating support, fund a grantee's mission rather than specific projects or programs. It includes administrative expenses such as salaries, utilities, development, engagement, and marketing.

6. How do I submit an application?

Please read through application process for specific instructions.

7. How long does it take for a proposal to be approved?

The Trustees and Advisors meet semi-annually, generally in May and November. All applicants will be notified of the Trustees' decision within 10 business days after the meeting.