Each year, The FairWays Foundation opens its grant application window and welcomes anyone with a will to champion a conservation project to apply for funding. Now moving into our 4th grant cycle, we’re starting to see a dynamic variation to the types of projects we’re asked to support. Our grant committee members love getting together each summer to review the applications and are always so excited to see what worthy projects we can get involved in.
There are a number of reasons why a project is not considered or is rejected – the most common reason being that we cannot fund capital improvements. So, what is capital improvement and why don’t we fund it?
A capital improvement is the addition of a permanent structural change or the restoration of some aspect of a property that will either enhance the property’s overall value, prolong its useful life, or adapt it to new uses. A capital improvement must endure for more than one year upon its completion and be durable or permanent in nature.
For example, if you carry out renovations to a fairway stream and re-build or add a new bridge, we would be unable to fund the bridge element of the project. Other examples would be items such as solar panels, machinery (we encourage applicants to hire any machinery required to complete a project if they don’t already have use of it), buildings, storage facilities.
As a non-profit, we must ensure that every last dollar of funds is used effectively and for causes that benefit the environment and the community surrounding a project in the long term.
If you’re thinking about applying for a grant, it’s important to give the budget portion of the application due diligence. You can leave out any element that would be considered a capital improvement, or if its integral to the project, list it in the budget for the whole project but deduct that amount from the total you request from The FairWays Foundation.