Eligibility and Priorities Columbia River Fund

To be eligible for a 2024 grant, the applicant and project must meet the following criteria:

  • Geographic Focus: Projects designed to improve and protect clean water and aquatic habitat in the Columbia River Basin. To be eligible for a grant, the projects must benefit:
    • the main stem of the Columbia River from Richland downstream to its mouth at Astoria
    • Additionally, we have limited funds for Columbia River tributaries in the Wenatchee area including the reaches upstream from Richland in the general vicinity of Malaga in Chelan County, as well as tributaries north of Wenatchee.
  • Types of Projects Supported: Water stewardship, legal advocacy, outreach and education. We especially encourage proposals which specifically serve vulnerable or underserved populations including low-income communities, people of color, students, seniors, veterans, immigrants, and non-English speakers conducted by organizations that have a demonstrated track record of working with these communities. Proposals that involve impacted communities, benefit vulnerable populations, and are centered around principles of equity and environmental justice are especially encouraged.
    • Proposals that are primarily restoration focused and lack equity and environmental justice elements will be considered but are less competitive than those that engage with historically marginalized communities in some way.
    • Additionally, outreach and education projects must have a clear water quality improvement benefit.
  • Applicant requirements: The applicant must demonstrate the capacity to complete the proposed project, including experience in successfully conducting similar or otherwise related work in the past.
  • Duration of Support: Many applicants seek a one-year grant; however, you do not have to ask for a one-year grant. It is permitted to request a shorter or longer grant period if that is what you need. Even if you are asking for multi-year support, the maximum request cannot exceed $40,000.
  • Frequency of Applying: Organizations that have been funded may only re-apply in the next cycle after their grant report has been submitted and approved. Organizations with an active grant from this Fund are not eligible to reapply.
  • Non-profit Status: The applicant must be a 501(c)3 organization, fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)3, or a governmental or tribal entity. Note: The Rose Foundation strictly limits university overhead to 5% of the total requested amount.
  • Small Organizations: In the 2024 grants cycle, the Fund is encouraging small and community groups to apply. If your organization has an annual budget of $100,000 or less, we recommend applying for a grant of $10,000 or less, and we encourage proposals from local, volunteer-based groups. We welcome first time grant seekers and want to help new applicants and emerging organizations navigate the grant application process.


Examples of Allowable Projects and Activities

Here are some examples of the types of projects and activities that are eligible for funding. Due to limited funds, the following types of projects have been designated as priorities:

  • Legal strategies, policy development, and associated public outreach and education directed towards protecting the watershed and impacted communities, especially historically marginalized communities.
  • Community organizing, public/environmental education to protect water quality and prevent degradation of the watershed, especially where the voices of historically marginalized communities are included.
  • Green stormwater infrastructure
  • Water quality monitoring and testing including sediment impact analysis, especially if the project also includes an element that uses the data to promote enhanced water quality.


Examples of Projects that are Not Allowable

  • Endowment, capital improvement or other similar projects, including land acquisition.
  • Grants to individuals.
  • Grants to for-profit businesses.
  • Grants for general operating support.
  • Grants for projects that are not primarily related to the Columbia River Watershed.
  • Grants for electoral involvement.
  • Grants for lobbying.
  • Grants for Columbia Riverkeeper.



Timothy Bell, PNW Program Officer

Jodene Isaacs, Mitigation Funds Director

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