William P. Wharton Trust Grant

William P. Wharton Trust

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Grant amount: Up to US $15,000

Next deadline: Oct 31, 2019 2:00pm PDT (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Feb 28, 2020 2:00pm PST (Pre proposal), Apr 3, 2020 2:00pm PDT (Full proposal), Sep 13, 2020 2:00pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Applicant type: Indigenous Group Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Research, General Operating Expense, Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island Show all

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



The William P. Wharton Trust was established to support projects that directly promote the conservation, study, and appreciation of nature. The Trust is administered by the Trustees at the law firm of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. Specific objectives of the Trust (in order of priority) include:

  • Conservation of renewable resources (water, soil, wild animal life, forest resources, etc.), primarily in Massachusetts and New England, including funding acquisitions of land for conservation purposes.
  • Management techniques designed to improve environmental quality and species diversity.
  • Bird and forestry research and management, especially at the applied level rather than the theoretical or molecular level.
  • Creation of materials or projects designed to foster an appreciation of and a concern for wildlife and natural systems.

The Trust receives a large number of applications each year and funds those projects that support the goals and objectives of its patron, William P. Wharton, and those that will make a significant difference with lasting tangible results.

With respect to land conservation grants, the Trustees and Advisors will consider projects that promote public use and enjoyment of protected properties, but they prioritize projects that promote natural resource protection over those that promote public recreation when evaluating land conservation grant proposals.

The trustees and advisors are interested in awarding grants that act as levers to attract matching funds that otherwise would not be forthcoming, as well as encourage cooperation among conservation-minded organizations, both public and private, in meeting common goals.

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


  • The Trust only makes grants to organizations as described in paragraph (1) or (2) of Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (i.e., a publicly supported charity or a governmental unit). 
  • Grant monies must be used directly on the project described in the application.
    • In the case of a grant awarded for direct land conservation, monies must be applied to the actual purchase price of the land or conservation easement/restriction and/or to relevant direct costs only, which may include appraisals, legal fees, closing costs, boundary surveys, environmental assessments, and/or ecological assessments.


  • The Trust does not make grants to individuals or organizations classified as a private foundation.
  • Grant monies may not be:
    • Directed to pooled funds of any sort or held for investment (except for temporary placement pending expenditure), whether intended or described to support stewardship, land management, legal contingencies, endowment or any other organizational purpose, even if restricted to the described project.
    • Used for the construction, restoration, improvement, cleanup or demolition of buildings, trails, signage, kiosks, gates, fences, bridges, boat ramps, parking lots or any other man-made structure.
    • For overhead charges, fundraising, marketing, outreach, communications, maintenance, contingency, or so-called 'soft costs', even if directly related to the specified project.
    • "Re-granted" or transferred to other entities except in the ordinary course of business, i.e. paying for services or products as described in the application.
  • The Trust generally does not support seminars or educational meetings or programs for youth below the college level.
    • Exceptions may be considered if the purpose of the meeting or program is focused on specific and worthy environmental objectives that will, in the Trustees and Advisors' judgment, be capable of implementation by participants in the foreseeable future.
  • While the trust’s grants are normally not intended to provide general operating support (see definition below), the Trustees and Advisors will consider such grants to smaller organizations with innovative ideas and projects that would not be implemented absent outside financial support.
    • General operating support, also known as unrestricted or core operating support, fund a grantee's mission rather than specific projects or programs. It includes administrative expenses such as salaries, utilities, development, engagement, and marketing.
    • When operating support is requested, it must be clearly described as such in the preliminary grant application.
    • In addition, the trust does not approve applications which include "administrative cost" or "overhead" applied as a percentage or add-on by a parent organization or host institution such as a university, research facility, or other large non-profit organization.