Freshwater Future Grant Programs

Freshwater Future Grant Programs

Freshwater Future’s programs provide financial support to activities that actively promote aquatic habitat protection through community advocacy efforts working locally to protect drinking water, shorelines, inland lakes, rivers, and wetlands in the Great Lakes Basin.

Explore our current grant programs to learn which funding opportunity best supports your work:

2021 Grant Opportunities RFP is now available. Click here to download.

Already have a grant from Freshwater Future? Find the right reporting form here.

Project Grants Program

Project Grants Program provides financial support for activities led by community groups working to promote river, lake, shoreline, wetland, groundwater, and drinking water protection in the Great Lakes Basin through grassroots advocacy efforts. Awards range from $500 to $5,000 for grassroots project expenses and activities that promote water protection.

  • Q&A Webinar  – Project Grants 2021 Fall Cycle – Please join Freshwater Future for an informative Q&A online session to learn more about the 2021 Project Grants Program Wednesday, August 18, 2021 – noon (EST). To register online, please click HERE. To register by email or phone, please contact (231)348-8200.

Special Opportunity Grant Program

Special Opportunity Grants are for grassroots projects that impact a Great Lakes Watershed. These grants can be used to fund up to $500 USD of a project. Special Opportunity Grant (SOG) requests are processed differently than traditional grants to help ensure a quick turnaround, therefore we maintain a reserve to support urgent projects or those that present a special, time-limited opportunity.

Great Lakes Network Project Grant Program

Great Lakes Network Grants are grants of up to $5,000 to support work that is required to achieve an important Great Lakes policy goal. Examples include hiring a consultant to draft a response to a government policy proposal, supporting an awareness campaign in the lead up to an important decision, or hiring an expert to clarify technical information. Applicants must be a member of the Great Lakes Network.

Grant-Subsidized Coaching and Consulting

Before you apply…

Your organization is eligible for a grant if:

  • You are a Current Member Organization of Freshwater Future
    • Member Organizations are eligible to submit one application in each grant cycle, and are eligible to receive one grant from each grant program per calendar year.
  • You have no outstanding grant reports with Freshwater Future
  • Your project is a grassroots initiative
  • You are a US nonprofit that is a 501 (c)(3), a Canadian charity, or can provide a fiscal sponsor that is either a US nonprofit 501 (c)(3) or is a Canadian Charity
  • Your project impacts the Great Lakes watershed

You can also use this form to help determine your organization’s eligibility.

Requirements for all grant participants

United States applicants that do not have 501(c)(3) tax status or Ontario applications that are not registered charities governed by the Charities Accounting Act must have a sponsoring 501(c)(3) organization or registered charity. Learn more about sponsorship.

Still not sure if you qualify? Give us a call 231-348-8200 or email

Communications Grantees 2021

Resource Page (password needed to access)

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.