California Wildlands Grassroots Fund Grant

Rose Foundation

Grant amount: Up to US $5,000

Next anticipated deadline: Feb 15, 2019 5:00pm PST

Later anticipated deadlines: May 15, 2019 5:00pm PDT, Aug 15, 2019 5:00pm PDT, Oct 28, 2019 5:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit Working Professional

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: California

Location of residency: California

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About the Fund

California is blessed with tremendous natural beauty, biological diversity and economic opportunity. Yet, our remaining wildland heritage is in jeopardy from poorly managed growth and development. Californians have long recognized the importance of preserving our spectacular and precious wildlands. The California Wildlands Grassroots Fund (Cal Wildlands) was established to support the heroic efforts of activists to preserve California’s wildlands.

Cal Wildlands supports conservationists advocating for the permanent protection, including restoration and stewardship, of intact wildlands on both public and private lands to help preserve California’s wilderness and native biological diversity. Cal Wildlands defines “wildlands” as natural habitats, privately or publicly owned, that are (or have the potential to be) permanently preserved through legislation or deed restrictions, and are on a scale necessary to support significant native plant and animal life. Though many of our grantees’ projects are in rural areas, we may also support projects near urban or suburban settings, provided they feature connectivity to larger protected areas and/or are located along critical wildlife corridors.

Efforts to advance wildlands and open space protection through county general plans and other local planning mechanisms may be eligible for funding. Cal Wildlands also supports policy advocacy, litigation and regulatory watchdogging at the local, state and federal levels if the project objective is to protect wildlands.

What and Who We Support

Because of the complex network of agencies, stakeholders, processes and programs involved in land and habitat issues, wildland protection efforts are challenging. The Cal Wildlands provides a broad range of support to promote the ability of activists and organizations to protect wildernesses throughout the state. Specifically, the Fund focuses on the following:

  • Small nonprofit organizations (with annual expenses and income of $100,000 or less)
  • Individual activists (with a sponsoring organization) who show a demonstrated ability and commitment to conserve California’s natural landscapes, ecosystems, plants and wildlife.*
  • Geographic areas and advocacy efforts that have not received significant foundation support.

The strategies we support include, but are not limited to the following:

Grassroots organizing, citizen participation in public meetings and hearings, public education, legislative advocacy, media campaigns, lawsuits, listing petitions, conferences and meetings, skills and leadership trainings, restoration, scientific research, coalition building and developing partnerships with government agencies, private entities, nonprofit organizations and communities.

The activities we support include, but are not limited to the following:

Mailings, paid advertising, advocacy-related travel, research, hiring technical, legal or scientific experts, consultants, equipment purchase or rental, training, retreats, monitoring, mapping, advocacy-related personal expenses, i.e. childcare.

Priorities For Funding

  • Requests for discrete, project-specific support, where both the site and strategy are concrete and specific, e.g., saving the River Styx from hydroelectric development by getting stakeholders and community members to a hearing in Sacramento.
  • Geographic or issue area that has not received significant financial support in the past, including rural communities and other regions without easy access to financial and political support.
  • Community-based advocacy and organizing efforts in which the campaign/project is steered by affected community members and interest groups.
  • Effort is predominantly driven and staffed by volunteers.
  • Project will establish or combat a critical precedent that will influence other wildland protection efforts.
  • Innovative strategies.
  • Project outreach and organizing target non-traditional stakeholders and interest groups.

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


  • To be eligible to apply to the California Wildlands Grassroots Fund, you must be able to answer YES to the following eligibility requirements/questions:
    • Are you and your organization devoted to protecting and preserving wildlands and open space in California?
    • Are you and your organization based in a California community?
    • Are your organization’s annual expenses $100,000 or less? Is your annual income $100,000 or less?
      • *If you believe your organization meets the intent of this requirement even though your previous year’s income or expenses exceeded $100,000, please explain why last year’s budget numbers were unusual.
      • Possible explanations include the following: your organization’s income and expenses include those of a fiscally-sponsored project or projects; your organization received funding for a land purchase; or your organization received a multi-year grant or contribution that arrived in one lump sum.
      • Exceptions to the $100,000 cap will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • Does your organization have a 501(c)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service, or is it a sponsored project of a 501(c)(3) organization?
    • If you are an individual, are you affiliated with a 501(c)(3) organization?
    • Is your funding request $5,000 or less?
    • If you have received a grant from Cal Wildlands in the past, has it been 12 months since you last applied?
    • If you have received a grant from Cal Wildlands in the past, have you reported on your previous grant?


  • We do not fund beach clean-ups.
  • We do not fund  film or video production or completion, although we will fund outreach or communications strategies that use films or videos as advocacy and organizing tools.
  • Cal Wildlands cannot make grants directly to individuals.

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary