To EMSWCD grantees, partners, and supporters: We know how deeply all of you have been affected this past year by the upheaval and uncertainty that surrounds us. Here at EMSWCD, we have continued to do our work the best we can and to look for ways to support our communities. Ironically, it is in these extraordinary times that we are presented with a rare opportunity to consider how we may want to do things differently, to move in a direction that responds to the weight of this historic moment.
In this vein, EMSWCD has decided to take a “strategic pause” for the 2021 Partners in Conservation (PIC) Grant cycle – suspending the competitive grant opportunity for one year. While we will forgo the normal application process for PIC 2021, EMSWCD is committed to supporting our grantees and partners through this challenging time, and we intend to do this by extending some current grants and offering non-competitive new grants for our regular grantees for the fiscal year 2021/22. We have developed our initial criteria for this continued funding (please see below). The SPACE grant program will continue to operate as usual.
During this time, our staff will have the opportunity to address many aspects of our grant funding program with an eye toward greater equity and more strategic funding. We plan to conduct an evaluation of EMSWCD’s grants program in light of changes in the context of our regional funding, to implement new DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and other strategic initiatives, and to more fully engage with partners, grantees and other stakeholders about the future of our grants program.
Our hope is that through the work we accomplish during this “strategic pause,” our grants program will become more effective and more responsive to our diverse communities.
Please contact Suzanne Easton, Grants Program Manager, if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 18th, 2020 Update
We recently informed you of EMSWCD’s decision to take a “Strategic Pause” for the 2021 PIC cycle, suspending the competitive grant opportunity for one year. As stated, EMSWCD is committed to supporting our grantees and partners through this challenging time, and we intend to do this by extending some current grants and offering non-competitive new grants for our regular grantees for the fiscal year 2021/22.
Our priority is to support those organizations that have come to depend on PIC funds to carry out their regular programming. While this will certainly leave some worthwhile projects ineligible, we believe this pause in the EMSWCD grant program will reap long-term benefits for all the communities we serve.
With these goals in mind, we have developed specific eligibility criteria for continued funding during this period. To receive 2021 PIC funding, the prior PIC grantee will:
- Have been awarded at least 2 PIC grants within the last 4 years.
- Be in good standing with solid past performance (COVID impacts taken into account).
- Have demonstrated project need and ability to continue with activities consistent with prior grants.
While these criteria will be used for granting extensions and renewing grants, in unique and urgent circumstances we may make allowances for awarding a grant that does not meet these requirements.
We anticipate that funding decisions will be made in February/March of 2021 through an internal staff review process. The level of funding will be decided on a case-by-case basis but will likely be in line with the annual amount an organization has received in its most recent grants. New funds will be available on July 1st, 2021 as extensions and new Funding Agreements are completed.
Please contact our Grants Manager, Suzanne Easton (email@example.com) by January 10th, 2021 if you believe you meet the above criteria and would like to be considered for a funded extension or a new grant.
updated November 18th, 2020