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How to Apply to a Grant

Spring 2024 Call for Proposals

The Oregon Conservation and Recreation Advisory Committee is pleased to announce an opportunity for funding for conservation and recreation projects in 2024.

  • NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS! The Spring 2024 Request for Proposals is an online only application process. APPLY HERE. The application questions are HERE for those that want to get a head start off-line (please note that some features of the online application won’t appear in the PDF).
  • Accepting applications through a new grant software portal. Here is a Guide for applicants on how to apply. Strongly encourage all applicants to read through the guide, it includes a video tutorial, guidance on how to create an account/log on, apply for a grant, navigate your dashboard, and important information on completing application forms.

  • This application period will open on January 30, 2024, and will remain open until March 26, 2024. Please make sure you complete the funding application before 11:59pm on March 26, 2024.
  • Based on available funds, approximately $200,000 will be granted to projects that address outdoor equity in conservation/recreation and other OCRF Program Priorities. The maximum allowable grant request for these projects will be $50,000. The OCRF Program seeks to continue its support for smaller, newer organizations particularly those arising from underserved, environmental justice communities.

  • Approximately $800,000 will be granted to projects that address the impacts of drought on Oregon's fish, wildlife and their habitats. The maximum allowable grant request for drought projects will be raised in this round of funding to $140,000. Projects seeking this level of funding must address drought AND have a significant, measurable impact/benefit in alignment with the OCRF Program Priorities.

  • A newly required cap on institutional/organizational indirect overhead rates at 20% of the requested project budget.

  • Eligible entities include any tribe, watershed council, soil and water conservation district, not-for-profit corporation, school, institution of higher education, state agency, federal agency, local government, or private not-for-profit institution of higher education. Private not-for-profit organizations must have tax-exempt status under the IRS Code Section 501(c)(3). For more information on eligibility and other grant rules, visit the OCRF Division 98 Administrative Rules.

  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to read through our updated project insurance guidelines.

How the Committee will evaluate proposals

Informational webinars were held to answer any application questions on February 17th and March 10th

View the March 10 Webinar on YouTube

View the February 17 Webinar on YouTube

Winter 2023 Call for Proposals - Informational Webinars
Feb 17, 2023 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Mar 10, 2023, 01:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)


The OCRF Advisory Committee has recently adopted updated scoring criteria document that will be used to  evaluate proposals. These criteria are in alignment with the OCRF Advisory Committee Expenditure framework and are outlined below.

  • Clarity of the proposal – well presented, organized and with clear deliverables. Clear budget.
  • Cost efficiency of the proposed actions – the Committee seeks projects that maximize the use of funds to achieve the stated outcomes and will consider the reasonable application of administrative costs. The OCRF Advisory Board has recently placed a 20% rate cap on indirect / administrative fees that can be applied to application budgets.
  • Timeliness and/or have the necessary approvals in place – the Committee seeks projects that will be implemented quickly
  • Outdoor Equity - How well projects engage Oregonians in the solution to a key conservation issue or in recreational opportunities that reach out to and engage people who have not participated in the past because of language barriers, financial barriers, access barriers, etc.
  • Impact or scale of the proposed actions – the Committee seeks projects that have high impact on participating individuals or the target species or habitat.
  • Proven track record of applicant to achieve stated outcomes
  • Appropriate partnership and demonstration of partner investment – project engages a variety of partners and shows commitment from participants and is clear about what each partner has committed to the project
  • Measurability – the applicant has identified the ability to quantify the results of the project
  • Project outcomes align with OCRF Program Priorities identified in the Expenditure Framework and are consistent with the Oregon Conservation Strategy
    • Addresses the types of diversity identified in the Portfolio Metrics (see below section)
    • Integration/intersectionality between conservation and recreation
    • Connection to ODFW needs, missions, and recommendations
    • “Highest Priority” Areas

For more information, please see the official scoring criteria document.

Expenditure Portfolio

The OCRF Advisory Committee seeks to make multiple, diverse expenditures. The below list is an informal characterization of the metrics the OCRF Advisory Committee will consider to ensure that the suite of projects they select are diverse enough to represent the breadth of work the Committee can support.

  • Diverse geography (east/west, north/south, urban/rural, OCS ecoregions)
  • Diverse taxonomically (fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, mammals, invertebrates)
  • Diverse representation of program priorities (see Expenditure Framework)
  • Diverse partners engaged & included in the overall portfolio
  • Directly engages Oregonians in the solution to a key conservation issue or in recreational opportunities that reach out to and engage people who have not participated in the past because of language barriers, financial barriers, access barriers, etc.

For more information, please review the Conservation & Recreation Advisory Committee's Expenditure Framework.

Commonly Asked Questions about Grant Applications:

  • Does the OCRF require project “match” as part of a project application?
    • NO - The OCRF has no minimum match requirements or any match requirements. The OCRF is looking for projects that can demonstrate that if funded they have the resources to complete the proposed project objectives. It is key to show how the work would be completed within the proposed OCRF project budget, or how other resources might fit into the completion of the proposed project.
  • Does the OCRF accept letters of support as part of a project application?
    • NO – The OCRF does not accept any other documentation other than what is presented in the allotted application pages. Project partners should be listed within the application and how they will be involved in the project described.
  • How does the OCRF define overhead/indirect costs in a budget request?
    • The OCRF has capped the allowable overhead/indirect costs that an applicant can request in their budgets at up to 20% of the expended budget. An example of this is if a project is asking for $20,000 in supplies/personal costs, then an applicate can ask for up to $4,000 in overhead/indirect costs for a total project costs of $24,000.
    • The OCRF does not require an application to list all costs included in their overhead/indirect budget requests. Allowable costs that can be included in this request include but are not limited to office rental fees, office supplies, project insurance, personal costs not directed related to the project but essential to the organization to function.
  • How long after an application is submitted, if a project is awarded, would funds be available?
    • The OCRF application process tends to take roughly 8 months from application to contracting.
  • How are funds distributed to awarded projects?
    • Projects that receive funding from the OCRF can be set up as a reimbursement or as a prepayment of up to 90% of total project budgets. Projects are asked to designate what type of payment method they are requesting in their project application.

Urgent Grant Process

If you have an expedited need for funding from the OCRF that cannot go through our regular grant cycles, please fill out an Urgent Grant Pre-Application and submit to:

To be considered in OCRF’s Urgent Grant process, please demonstrate your project is time-sensitive and addresses a critical need, and why you are unable to wait for the normal OCRF grant solicitation. The steps to receive an expedited grant are more thoroughly explained in the Urgent Grant Process document below. Please keep in mind that even though urgent grants are on a faster track than our normal cycle, it will still take several months to approve and execute agreements before the work can begin.


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