Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund Awards 15 Grants for $260,511
The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund is a great source of support for your conservation projects. With proceeds from scratch ticket sales, grants are awarded twice a year, totaling approximately $700,000 annually. The next deadline is February 1, 2017.
I attended the October 27, 2016 MOHF Board meeting where proposals are voted on and awards determined. Here are some tips I learned to help make your next proposal strong and award-winning.
1. Obtain the support of the relevant Maine Agency Commissioner. For example, when you submit a proposal through the Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Department, Tom Gordon is your contact; however, be sure you have the support of Commissioner Walter Whitcomb. It's a non-starter if you do not have this basic support.
2. Provide as much information as possible about how the proposal fits the category you selected. For example, if you are submitting under Category 2 - Acquisition & Management of Public Lands, Parks, Wildlife Conservation Areas and Public Access you could use subheaders such as "The project involves a public outdoor recreation site and facility of regional significance." Then, provide two to three sentences that support this.
3. Partners are an important part of the proposal. At a minimum you need to obtain an agency support letter (see tip #1). Funders want to see that the applicants are working with like-minded organizations, businesses, and individuals. Project results and outcomes are stronger when there is a partnership guiding the work.
4. MOHF has two rounds of funding each year and the spring round tends to be more competitive. Consider applying in the fall if your project logistics permit.