Sustainable Path Foundation is pleased to release its 2013 Request for Proposals for grant funding. Our 2013 grant program will award funds to organizations managing projects in the greater Puget Sound region that are focused on sustainability. Successful applications will employ approaches based on science and systems thinking (see definitions below) and address intersections between natural systems (e.g., environment) and human systems (e.g., economy, health, community).
About Sustainable Path Foundation
Sustainable Path Foundation is an engaged group philanthropy whose grantmaking is focused on sustainability and informed by scientific understanding and systems thinking.
We believe that:
We are a diverse, interdisciplinary community of people who collectively offer our financial resources, talent, and expertise, and embrace a culture of collaboration in our work. We are inspired by a common mission, core values, and shared vision. We view our grantees as partners in identifying and solving issues facing our region and promote their successes and opportunities for involvement to our community of donors and volunteers. We emphasize innovation in funding both interesting experiments and big-impact projects.
Central to Sustainable Path Foundation’s grantmaking process is our value of collaboration. We work as a committee of Group Philanthropy Partners to select grants through consensus. The unique perspectives and experiences of each member of the Grants Committee work to ensure that we support a variety of projects and strengthen our organization. The Committee relies heavily on our Whole-Systems Solutions Framework when considering grant proposals. New, innovative approaches to issues of sustainability excite us most; however, we also understand that organizations and proposals that have been previously funded often merit consideration.
Sustainable Path Foundation provides funding in support of projects in the greater Puget Sound region that employ approaches based on science and systems thinking. We fund projects that focus on the Puget Sound area and that encompass one or more of the following:
Proposals should clearly state the root problem addressed by the project and the vision of how a successful project will foster sustainability. Proposals should utilize, integrate, and/or generate information from disciplines relevant to sustainability, the natural environment, or human society.
Sustainable Path Foundation is looking for organizations with strong leadership and a clear strategic vision. Both one-time projects and ongoing work will be considered. We value the potential for Sustainable Path to contribute to an organization’s work through collaboration or volunteer activities. Approximately $100,000 is available for new grants in 2013; our typical grant is between $5,000 and $20,000. Partial funding is common. Projects that are collaborative efforts among different organizations may apply. In 2012, we funded eight grants.
If your organization does not meet all of the selection criteria and you would like to discuss your status further, please contact us.
Working definitions of science and systems thinking are published in the Our Philosophy section of the Sustainable Path Foundation website along with an illustration of the Whole-Systems Solutions Framework concept.
Sustainable Path Foundation will host two hour-long information sessions this fall. These seminars are intended for one representative of your organization and other potential applicants to learn more about the group process and philosophy of Sustainable Path and to meet with members of the Grants Committee.Information session dates are:
● Wednesday, November 7th at 4:30 pm
● Monday, November 12th at 8:30 am
Please e-mail Lee at sustainablepath.org if you plan to attend an information session. The information sessions are casual, will include light snacks, and will be conducted informally at the Sustainable Path Foundation office.
Funding will not be provided for:
● General operating expenses (unless directly related to a project)
● Political campaigns or candidates
● Lobbying activities
● Organizations that unfairly discriminate in any manner
● Programs operating outside of the greater Puget Sound region
Application Process and Timeline
Letter of Inquiry (LOI) Application forms are available on the Sustainable Path website. Eligible organizations with requests that meet the Request for Proposal guidelines should provide Letter of Inquiry, which must be received via e-mail by midnight on December 14th, 2012. Please e-mail your LOI to Lee at sustainablepath.org.
Sustainable Path will invite full proposals from selected applicants by the end of February 2013. Full proposals will be due on March 15th, 2013. Awardees will be contacted and funds will be dispersed by June 2013.
Please note that while our Grants Committee coordinates our grantmaking, Sustainable Path engages all of our Group Philanthropy Partners (donors) in the process. We share a portion of finalists’ applications (organization name and mission, project description, objectives, fit with Sustainable Path’s mission) with our larger Group Philanthropy Partner donor circle in efforts to further educate our, and our finalists’, work. Group Philanthropy Partners can learn about projects, attend site visits, and cast votes near the end of the process to allocate small pool of grant funds to selected projects. This money will be added to grant amounts recommended by our Grants Committee.
We are interested in learning about your work and strongly encourage you to call and discuss your proposal idea. Please visit with members of the Grants Committee at an information session or contact Lee Benner, Director of Operations, at our office at (206) 325-6690 x244.
Seattle Audubon was impressed with – and appreciative of – Sustainable Path’s level of engagement with the Puget Sound Seabird Survey, especially with the monthly surveys at Seward Park."
- Leah Lee, Seattle Audubon Society (2009)
"The exposure that Facing the Future receives because of our partnership with Sustainable Path Foundation is a tremendous additional benefit. The chance for Facing the Future's work to be introduced among the community leaders and members who make up the Sustainable Path's group philanthropy increases awareness of FTF and strengthens our connection to the community."
- Beth Hintz, Facing the Future (2009)