Intermountain West Funder Network Small Grants

Deadline: September 14, 2012

IMWFN will provide grants of $2,500 – $15,000 to support projects engaged in innovative problem solving in their communities. The IMWFN hopes these grants will support authentic community engagement that leads to environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and economically prosperous regions and communities.


The small grants program at IMWFN is intended to help IMWFN members deepen their understanding of the work that is happening in the Intermountain West, sup­port groups engaged in creative problem solving in their communities, help increase the exposure of such work and help facilitate taking that work to scale. In addi­tion, the IMWFN hopes to share useful lessons learned through these grants with other funders and community groups throughout the region.

The small grants program will identify existing and emerging projects across the Intermountain West that are using creative and resourceful means to engage people in strengthening their communities and serving as good stewards of natural resources.

The primary focus of the small grants program will be to lift up examples of innovations that expand our thinking about how a community or region is engaging its constit­uents to create innovative solutions to a variety of topical issues, e.g., sustainable land use, water, public lands, etc.

Information on the IMWFN Small Grants Program

Dollars Available, Size of Awards, Term: Selected projects will receive grant awards in the range of $2,500 – $15,000. We anticipate that the funding pool will support approximately 5-10 partnership projects in the first year. Grants will support projects to be carried out within a twelve-month period, in most cases.

Application Deadline: 5 p.m. MT on September 14, 2012.

Review Process: IMWFN has created a Selection Com­mittee to make funding decisions. The committee will make grants based on a project’s alignment with the IMWFN’s core values, selection criteria and the project’s potential for significant impact. In some cases the com­mittee may request additional materials from applicants. Applicants will be notified of the Selection Committee’s decision by October 8, 2012.

Project Eligibility

Eligible Grant Recipients: Locally based 501(c)(3) non­profit organizations located in the IMWFN geographic focus area (see Addendum: Geographic Focus).

Selection Criteria:

The Selection Committee will consider the following key elements in the selection process; successful applications will meet one or more of the following criteria:

• Project demonstrates innovation and application of creative ideas in local problem solving.

• Project includes collaboration between two or more diverse stakeholders on issues relating to land use, growth and development who are engaging their communities to create a shared vision and implement a plan.

• Potential of project to create long-lasting impact, with an effective problem-solving model that could be adapted and/or scaled up to be used in other areas of the Intermountain West.

• Project creates impact in multiple issue areas: e.g. land use and development, civic engagement in planning process, creating alliances among dispa­rate stakeholders.

• Projects include leadership by and/or significant partnership with organizations serving popula­tions most affected and/or disadvantaged by the issues.

• Smaller organizations with budgets under $500,000 will receive preference.

• Projects with matching funding from one or more local philanthropic sources (e.g., commu­nity foundation, local individual donors) in place will receive preference.

Application Requirements

A complete proposal will include three required components:

1. Proposal narrative (3 pages maximum) using the attached application form.

2. Project budget (1 page maximum) that highlights both projected expenses and projected income including the amount requested from the IMWFN.

3. Copy of current 501(c)(3) determination letter.

4. (Optional but preferred): Documenting the Matching Funding – If a project is submitting a match for IMWFN grant funds, please include a letter(s) of commitment or intent to commit from your donor/philanthropic partner(s). Matching funds of at least 1:1 are encouraged.

For further information, Application Form and Frequently Asked Questions about the Intermountain West Funder Network Small Grants Program, visit Ap­plication available at:


The mission of the Intermountain West Funder Network (IMWFN) is to inspire and expand funding and phil­anthropic leadership to engage people in strengthening communities and serving as good stewards of natural re­sources. We do this work through educating funders and bringing funders together with their nonprofit, public, and private sector partners to address local and regional growth and development issues on the ground through ef­fective and innovative approaches to community engage­ment.

Core Values Statement:

The IMWFN is committed to supporting authentic com­munity engagement that leads to environmentally sus­tainable, socially equitable, and economically prosperous regions and communities.

Geographic Focus:

The Intermountain West Funder Network’s focus is on the eight-state region of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. In addition, we recognize that Eastern Washington, Oregon, and California have many geographic and topographic similarities with their neighboring states to the east and resource challenges in the eight-state region are heav­ily impacted by what happens in these states. Therefore, when applicable, we will also focus on the eastern portion of Washington, Oregon, and California.


The Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities serves as fiscal agent and lead staff for the IMWFN. The Funders’ Network builds on its 12-year history of supporting and advising issue- and place-based funder collaboratives in order to help staff and guide the development of the IMWFN. We believe that the suite of tools available to funders—investing, grantmaking, col­laborating, convening, facilitating, and more—uniquely position philanthropy to play a leadership role in advanc­ing smarter growth policies and practices that improve decision-making about growth and development issues, leading to more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable communities for all.

Related Resource
IMWFN Small Grants Guidelines and Application