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Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits, Agencies, Schools, and Associations in
Eligible Areas to Plan Projects that Will Help Improve Water Quality

Stewardship Fund Program - Planning Grant

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

05/01/22 4:30 PM


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Grants of up to $20,000 to Minnesota nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, community groups, and professional associations in eligible areas to plan projects that will help improve water quality. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to applying. All project types should benefit people who live, learn, and/or work in or near the MWMO watershed, which covers about 40 square miles in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Any physical projects must be located within MWMO boundaries or drain to receiving water bodies within the watershed.

Applications that include improvements on private lands will be considered. These projects will be more competitive during review if they show ongoing benefits such as public access, public education, and environmental improvement or protection.

The MWMO is particularly interested in supporting engagement or physical projects that will reach underserved populations (neighborhoods or residents not previously involved in MWMO projects) and projects located in environmentally sensitive areas as defined by the MWMO Watershed Management Plan or the MWMO Board of Commissioners.

Project Examples:

  • Evaluation of a site, or combination of several sites, including drainage areas, impervious surfaces and associated runoff. Engineering for schematic stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to manage this specific volume and rate of water (this is often called a Stormwater Master Plan). This may include costs, prioritization of BMPs and an estimated construction timeline.
  • Natural resource management plans and/or construction documents and specifications for erosion control practices, native plant buffers around waterbodies, and ecological restoration (e.g., removal of invasive species and establishment of native species)
  • Program designs that could result in positive, long-term changes in community behaviors, such as improved water conservation practices, reduction in use of polluting agents (e.g., road salt and lawn chemicals) and use of stormwater BMPs
  • Calculations and modeling for site-specific stormwater BMPs and other practices to reduce pollution, combined with a plan for reporting on the effectiveness of new technologies and approaches
  • Soil borings or other tests that help assess the likely success of a project
  • Schematic design drawings for replacement of impervious surfaces with high-capacity pervious materials
  • Development of an educational curriculum, creation of a communication or behavior change campaign, or other outreach/engagement projects
  • An interpretive framework for an exhibition and a plan of action for implementation
  • Water quality themed educational activities and workshops for an area

Reimbursable Expenses can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180250

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant up to $20,000 (MWMO anticipates a requested grant amount of $10,000–$15,000 on average).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following are eligible applicants for MWMO funding:
- Registered non-profit organizations: 501(c)(3) or other IRS code approved tax exempt organization that meets the Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Act.
- Officially recognized neighborhood groups
- Business and professional associations
- Schools
- Local units of government

Eligible applicants may not serve a dual role as project manager and project consultant. In other words, the MWMO cannot fund consulting services (e.g. coordination of project, curriculum development, design, engineering, and technical services) by the applicant. The MWMO can, however, fund project management (e.g. managing funds, administration, or reporting) services by the applicant.

Individuals or private business are not eligible applicants and should not submit the application to the MWMO on behalf of an eligible applicant. However, individuals, homeowner and condominium associations, and private businesses may be listed as a partner in an application submitted by an eligible entity.

The following project expenses are not eligible for reimbursement or use as matching funds:
- Costs incurred before a funding agreement is fully executed or after the grant expires
- Any costs not directly related to the funded project
- Costs associated with activities that are a normal part of the organization’s activities (e.g., production of an organization’s regular newsletter)
- General overhead or administrative fees that are not specific to this project
- Features that are deemed aesthetic or decorative only
- Lobbying activities
- Building plumbing
- Traditional pavement (e.g. asphalt, curbs, aggregate subbase)
- Regulatory requirements, such as sanitary sewer line disconnects
- Environmental projects that don’t prevent stormwater pollution, protect water quality, or improve habitat and natural resources

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the MWMO to discuss ideas and ask questions in advance of applying. Please join MWMO staff for an information session on February 9 ( or February 15 ( to learn more about the grants, or reach out to the contact below to connect with staff.

Pre-Application Information:

- Deadline: Friday, March 11, 2022, by 4:30 p.m.
- Applications will first be reviewed by MWMO staff. The MWMO will invite selected applicants to meet to discuss their proposal in more detail and provide the opportunity for revision. Final applications are due Sunday, May 1, 2022, and will be reviewed by MWMO staff and the MWMO Citizen Advisory Committee. The recommendations for grant award are reviewed and must be approved by the MWMO Board of Commissioners. Notification of award will follow the July 2022 board meeting.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the MWMO to discuss ideas and ask questions in advance of applying.

A 25 percent match is required.

Eligibility Requirements:

More information:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit applications by email to:

Alicia Beattie
Capital Projects and Stewardship Specialist
612-746-4989 or

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
2522 Marshall St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418-3329

Grant Coverage Areas:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota

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