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MET General Grant Program

Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET)

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Grant amount: US $10,000 - US $40,000

Anticipated deadline: The deadline for this grant has passed

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Research, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Massachusetts

Location of residency: United States


The Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET) is one of the state's largest sources of funding for water quality initiatives. Our goals are to improve and safeguard the quality of the waterways throughout the Commonwealth. 

General Grants

The waters of the Commonwealth face immediate and growing threats such as runoff pollution, mismanagement of water withdrawals (excessive summer use, sewering out of basin, etc), bacterial pollution, nitrogen pollution, chemical pollution, temperature change, invasive species and habitat degradation and loss. Climate change and development pressure further exacerbate these problems as natural communities and riparian buffers are displaced, and water infrastructure must accommodate wider ranges of floods and droughts. Massachusetts continues to develop land at a pace that far exceeds human population change. These continuing problems endanger ecosystems and human health.

The General Grants, funded solely by the revenue generated from the sale of our three environmental license plates, support nonprofit organizations and municipalities in efforts to restore, protect, and improve water and water-related resources of the Commonwealth. Proposals are accepted once annually for programs and initiatives that address threats to the health of the state's water bodies and watersheds.

These grants provide funding to support programs, research, and other activities that promote the responsible stewardship of the Commonwealth's water resources. MET's goal is to encourage development of new approaches and ideas and to spur innovation among grantees or partnering organizations.

To achieve these outcomes, the Trust supports projects that:

  • improve water quality or quantity,
  • conserve aquatic habitat and species,
  • reduce runoff pollution,
  • mitigate the effects of climate change on water resources,
  • promote human health as it relates to water resources, and/or
  • other efforts consistent with the Trust's mission. 

The scope of eligible activity is intentionally broad. The Trust seeks innovative projects that will benefit the water resources of the Commonwealth. Examples of the kinds of issues that the Trust seeks to address through this program include, but are not limited to: 

  • Point and non-point source pollution (including runoff, bacterial, chemical, and nutrient); 
  • Water conservation and enhancing flow;
  • River and estuary continuity and restoration;
  • Monitoring marine, estuarine, and freshwater systems; 
  • Endangered and threatened species and habitat; 
  • Human health issues that result from degraded water resources;
  • Environmental education pertaining to water resources; 
  • Low-income or “environmental justice” communities; and/or 
  • Research on emerging environmental issues.

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


  • Eligible applicants:
    • This grant program is open to any Massachusetts public or §501(c)(3) certified non-profit organizations, including, but not limited to: 
      • Municipalities
      • Nonprofit Organizations (§501(c)(3) or fiscal partnerships with §501(c)(3) organizations)
      • Public or nonprofit educational institutions, including school districts
    • Organizations based outside Massachusetts may apply provided that the proposed project takes place in Massachusetts.
  • Funds may only be used for the public purposes outlined to meet MET goals.
  • All projects funded by the Trust must increase understanding of or restore, protect, or improve the condition of a water body of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, including oceans, harbors, bays, rivers, aquifers, and watershed resources.
  • The Trust will accept only one Letter of Inquiry per organization per year and will fund only one project per organization per year. 
  • The Trust will fund only those costs directly associated with project activities.
    • Staff time, fringe benefits, and general operating expenses may be funded only if incurred as a direct result of the project work.
    • The Trust will consider providing overhead on a case by case basis, but will not exceed 25% of the proposal request.
    • Trust will consider support for activities surrounding potential land acquisition, conservation, restoration and/or protection provided that the request is in accordance with the program guidelines.


  • In general, the Trust prefers those projects that:
    • Support new programs and projects rather than the operation of existing programs;
    • Involve collaboration with other non-profits, municipalities, or private partners;
    • Leverage additional funding or in-kind resources to maximize the impact of MET grant funds;
    • Include outreach to the media and general public, other non-profits, municipalities, and community leaders to share project approaches and results;
    • Recognize the interdependence of land and water;
    • Address issues with a cross-boundary approach (local, regional, state);
    • Address global issues at a local level;
    • Address social/environmental justice concerns;
    • Build and strengthen the capacities of organizations and partnerships; and
    • Define clearly expected outcomes and include metrics for measuring success.
  • In general, the Trust considers proposals without overhead more competitive than those that include overhead expenses.
  • Proposals that would augment the Trust’s investment by leveraging funds from other sources are strongly preferred.
  • Matching funds are a preferred but not mandatory proposal specification. 
  • Partnerships and collaborations between organizations that can bring many resources to bear on the project are strongly preferred.
  • Preference will be given to proposals that include commitment of local resources and cash.


  • State and federal agencies and commercial organizations are ineligible to apply.
  • State laws require that no funds can be used in support of political or religious organizations.
  • If a grantee-organization has a current multi-year grant with the Trust, it may not apply for funding until the project is completed.
  • This program does not generally fund capital purchases, defined as those with a lifespan of longer than five years (except in the case of demonstration projects).
  • This grant program does not fund land acquisition per se.