Cinnabar Foundation: General Operating Grants

Cinnabar Foundation

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Grant amount: Up to US $15,000

Anticipated deadline: Feb 28, 2021

Applicant type: Nonprofit College / University

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, General Operating Expense

Location of project: Montana, Counties in Idaho: Bannock County, Bear Lake County, Bingham County, Bonneville County Show all

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



The Cinnabar Foundation plays a unique role as Montana’s homegrown conservation fund. Recognizing that the challenges ahead loom large, we invite everyone to invest in a Montana conservation legacy that will live on in perpetuity. The Foundation’s permanent conservation fund is an ideal way to sustain and diversify your conservation investment through donations, bequests, legacy gifts and memorial funds. On behalf of future generations, thank you for investing in Montana’s future today.

We envision a future for Montana and its greater ecosystems that safeguards this landscape of promise, graced by generations of people with a commitment to preserve and conserve its clear waters, restored wildlife, wild lands, and epic national parks alongside sustainable economies.

General Operating Grants

Definition and Purpose: General Operating Grants are unrestricted funds that enable an organization to carry out its mission. Funding awards are intended to underwrite an organization's administrative and  infrastructure costs, assist with strategic financial and organizational capacity, and/or help maintain core programs and essential staff. 

The Cinnabar Foundation supports a wide variety of environmental organizations and special projects, but prioritizes funding to address conservation needs in the following categories:

  • Climate Action (natural resource extraction, renewable energy, reduction of greenhouse gases, climate adaptation)
  • Education and Research (conservation, environmental, species)
  • Environmental Advocacy (diverse statewide environmental issues)
  • Private Land Conservation (wildlife habitat, agricultural lands, open space)
  • Public Lands (access, advocacy, stewardship, wildlife habitat)
  • Sustainable Communities and Agriculture (community-based conservation initiatives, rangeland stewardship, watershed partnerships)
  • Water Quality and Fisheries

Funding Amounts: Applicants seeking General Operating support are advised that grant amounts will not exceed 10% of an organization’s annual operating budget, or $15,000, whichever is less.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Applicants must be established, well managed 501(c)(3) organizations that operate effective conservation programs serving Montana or the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
  • Applicants must have previously received a General Operating Grant (GOG) from the Cinnabar Foundation; or receive a special invitation from the Foundation to apply for a GOG. 
  • Organizations must provide a 1:1 challenge match. An organization that is offered a General Operating Grant will be required to raise an equal amount of funding from other sources in order to claim its Cinnabar award.


  • What we do not fund- While every Special Project application will be considered on its own merits, the Cinnabar Foundation generally will not fund the following type of projects:
    • Capital Improvement (building construction, remodeling, etc.)
    • Community Gardens and Greenhouses
    • Equipment Purchases
    • Exhibits
    • Film Production, Brochure Publication, or Website Creation — unless the product is part of an overall campaign, or there is a defined marketing or distribution plan for the product
    • Projects Where Private Benefits Outweigh Public Benefits
    • Small Scale Vegetation Management Projects