Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Environmental Education and Conservation


Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math Education


College of Education


Patterson, Gary


Conservation of natural resources; Land use--Planning; Proposal writing for grants


Science and Mathematics Education


The purpose of this study is to solve the dilemma of how to acquire funding for operational expenses of a private nonprofit land conservation organization through foundation grants. A model grant proposal is also developed as part of the study.

The methods employed to determine strategies and to develop a grant proposal for funding of operational expenses for a private nonprofit land conservation organization include: review of literature on grantswriting, and interviews with foundation representatives, conservation organization grantswriters and others in the field of conservation organization fund raising.

Based on the literature review and interviews carried out, it was determined that grant funding for operating expenses is difficult to acquire except under special circumstances when there is justification for the appropriation of seed money or for administrative costs associated with a special project that the foundation deems worthy of funding.

Organizations requesting seed money must have a compelling argument supporting the need for the organization. Under such circumstances, it is not uncommon for seed money to be granted for one to two years in the form of a start up grant. Foundations are more likely to fund special projects because they are often viewed as useful in highlighting the foundation's accomplishments. When a foundation is interested in funding a special project, consideration will usually be given to allocation of approximately 15 to 33 percent of the grant funds for administrative costs such as staffing and office expenses.