Green Grants

Green grants are those grants available to organizations engaged in those industries or fields of study that emphasize clean energy or sustainable technologies that reduce the impact of man’s harmful influence on our planet.

Green grants available through the Federal government are awarded to industries, nonprofits, career training for “green” jobs, governments, schools, or any other business or group that wishes to pursue the goal of creating or using green energy or technology.  The recent problems with the solar panel manufacturer Solyndra may result in tighter controls and sustainability reviews.  It is unlikely that funding for these projects will be eliminated however, as green grants reflect the government’s commitment to reducing injurious effects on the environment, and a policy of energy conservation.

Many government agencies offer funding under green grant guidelines.  The Department of Labor (DOL) alone has made available hundreds of millions of dollars for green jobs training through state jobs training programs.  The DOL has a web page that announces funding programs (http://www.dol.gov/dol/green) which are targeted to jobs training.  Other government agencies such as the Department of Energy, also offer green grant funding.

Foundations also award green grants.  Foundations such as The Energy Foundation (www.ef.org), the Alternative Energy Foundation (http://www.alternativeenergyfoundation.org/) and hundreds of other foundations, large and small, make this topic a high-profile mission for their organizations.

Green grants typically require a very high level of expertise from the individual or company requesting funding.  Some of the contributions to the program descriptions can include engineering drawings and budgets, cost profiles and projections, marketability, and competitor analysis.  They are highly structured, and may require significant in-depth milestone reporting to the grantor. Before funding is finalized, there may be one or more on-site inspections by the granting agency or foundation. The grantee may also be required to present the application personally at the funder’s place of choice.  Sometimes the cost of this transportation and lodging can be included in the grant as a line item, but some grantors simply consider it part of the grantee’s normal operating expense, and it is not reimbursed.

Green grant applications are always very detailed, and there is usually no tolerance for even the slightest deviation from the requirements.  This is one area where hiring a professional grant writer with extensive experience with this type of grant is almost a necessity.  Even using a graph that does not meet the exact size requirements can spell disaster for your application, so proofreading is essential.