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Flood Resilience Grants Training Project

Technical Assistance for Grassroots-Led Flood Resilience Efforts in Virginia

Request for Applications

A collaboration of Environmental Defense Fund and the Virginia Conservation Network


Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Resilient Coasts and Watersheds team, in conjunction with the Virginia Conservation Network (VCN), is pleased to pilot the Flood Resilience Grants Training Project, an intensive training and coaching opportunity for grassroots organizations interested in pursuing funding for advance flood resilience projects and campaigns in the Commonwealth.

A small group of around four organizations will be selected to participate in a four-month training program aimed at demystifying foundation grant-giving processes and requirements with an emphasis on foundations and grantmaking by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). The training will also provide custom support for each participant in developing a “submission ready” application.


1. Each participant organization will produce a “submission ready” foundation or NFWF grant proposal within the project period.

2. Each participant will gain new knowledge and confidence regarding the grantseeking and proposal development process.


With an anticipated timeline of early August through December 2022, the training will feature three components:

1. A four-part interactive webinar series

2. Development of key grants-related materials by participants

3. One-to-one coaching calls with a professional grant writer who has reviewed and revised the materials.

We anticipate that this training program will require a minimum of 50-75 hours of total organizational involvement, spread over the four-month period, by at least one dedicated member of each participating organization.

All participants will be asked to prepare a “submission ready” grant proposal by the end of the training.

Overview of the Webinar Series

Webinar Topics Curriculum Planning for Competitive Grants that Advance Your Goals (early August)• Developing competitive concepts (concept papers) • Developing comprehensive budgets • Designing for impact (logic models, evaluation, partnerships) Identifying Prospective Funders & Preparing to Write Competitive Grants (September)• Orientation to prospecting using the Foundation Directory • Developing a simple prospecting database • Calendaring your grants activity Writing Competitive Grants (October)• Common elements of foundation grant proposals, with emphasis on narrative elements • Assembling and managing grant writing / review teams • Persuasive writing for foundation or NFWF grantseeking Funder Cultivation & Stewardship through the Grants Life Cycle (November)• Overview of the “grants life cycle,” from concept development through implementation and reporting • The importance of assessment and evaluation • Best practices for funder cultivation (program officer outreach, networking, reporting)

Note that exact webinar topics and dates may be changed or refined in advance of the training onset.


Participation in the Flood Resilience Grants Training is free of charge but asks for a sustained commitment of time and energy over a fairly rapid timeline of approximately four months. In addition to attending all webinars (scheduling to be determined based on all participants’ availability), participants will be asked to complete the following steps according to established deadlines:

Step 1: Write a Concept Paper (1-2 pgs) and Develop a Preliminary Budget Step 2: Identify a Foundation Prospect (at least 1)

Step 3: Develop Draft 1 of a Foundation Application

Step 4: Develop Draft 2 of a Foundation Application

Before and after each step, participants will schedule one-to-one coaching conversations with a professional grant writer who will also review and edit their draft materials. Total organizational time commitment is estimated to be 50-75 hours across the four-month training period.


Interested organizations should prepare a 1-2 page Letter of Intent (LOI) using this template OR by completing this form. Either format should provide the following information: • Include preferred contact information.

• Describe your organization’s past and current experience with grantseeking, highlighting any strengths and challenges.

• Explain how participation in this training will support your organization’s overall capacity, including to start or expand flood resilience efforts.

• Indicate your organization’s commitment to successfully completing all aspects of the training, including attending all webinars, drafting materials according to established deadlines, and engaging in one-to-one coaching conversations. Please note the requirement to actively develop materials and the estimated 50-75 hours of involvement over approximately four months.

• Indicate who will participate. Organizations are welcome to enroll one or two staff members. If two participate, they can work together on one submission for the organization.

This is a competitive opportunity and participating organizations will be selected from among those who apply. Criteria for selection include:

• The organization is poised to benefit from this experience in terms of both grants-writing capacity building and future impact on flood resilience.

• The applicant organization has sufficient time and capacity to dedicate 1-2 individuals to successfully complete the training.

• Environmental Justice, grassroots, community-based and organizations serving communities of color are especially encouraged to apply.

• All are welcome to apply; previous partnership with Virginia Conservation Network is not required.

Submission & Deadline

Please submit this form or email your LOI to Emily Steinhilber ( by midnight on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Questions? Contact Emily and Grace Tucker (


Dr. Kristina Weaver (Weaver Strategies LLC) is a professional grant writer and facilitator with more than a decade of experience helping people understand grantseeking, develop competitive proposals, and win awards. Trained as a social scientist and environmental mediator, Kristina is passionate about supporting community-based organizations get the resources they need to advance social and environmental justice. Since 2011, Kristina has helped a wide variety of clients win more than $44 million in awards from foundation and government funders.

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