Request for Proposals

The Pisces Foundation believes in the power of partnership and collaboration. The greatest opportunity to accelerate progress toward a healthy planet lies in purposeful connection, shared priorities, and scaled, collective action.

Through an open Request for Proposals, we can find new partners who are doing the work now that will shape our collective experience tomorrow.

Additional support is needed to strengthen environmental and outdoor learning across the United States. Movement infrastructure, the relationships and shared tools that empower people and organizations to work together, can provide that support. Pisces newest funding opportunity is designed to build movement infrastructure for environmental and outdoor learning.

Project Examples
Effective Advocacy
Conduct issue framing and generate support for climate education and justice policy solutions at the state level
Equity & Cultural Relevancy
Launch a regional network centered in and focused on building racial equity
Funding
Build place-based funder network to support environmental and outdoor learning
Knowledge Base
Activate research-to-practice strategies that have movement-level impact
Shared Narrative
Train a regional community in the Rethink Outside shared narrative
Standards of Practice
Develop environmental justice educational standards for a state

Timeline

  • Concept note deadline: Friday, October 29, 2021, 5 pm EDT / 2 pm PDT
  • Concept note review period: November 2021 – January 2022
  • Selected organizations invited to submit a full proposal: February 2022
  • Awards announced: May 2022

Learn more at a webinar.

After attending a concept note webinar and checking the project eligibility requirements, you can complete a brief, online concept note at the link below. The first section of the online concept note will ask for organization and individual contact information, while the second section seeks proposed project information.

Request for Proposals

Review this document first to learn more about the current Request for Proposals, including eligibility information, project examples, and the review process.

FAQs and Definitions

Read these frequently asked questions and common terms and definitions to help you develop your concept note.

Concept Note Template

This mirrors the online concept note and is available to help you prepare your concept note before submitting online.

Indirect Cost Policy

Review Pisces Foundation's current Indirect Cost Policy as you prepare your project budget.

Tipping

If you have further questions on tipping, we advise that you speak with your tax or legal advisors to address circumstances unique to your organization.

Fiscal Sponsorship

If you have further questions on fiscal sponsorships, we advise that you speak with your tax or legal advisors to address circumstances unique to your organization.

Past Requests for Proposals

Learn more about the Pisces Foundation’s previous Request for Proposals below.

Water 2018 Request for One Water (aka Smart Water or Integrated Water Management) Projects

Overview

In January 2018, Pisces issued a public Request for Proposals inviting locally-based organizations advancing One Water approaches in mid- to large-size cities across the country to apply for funding. The objective of this set of urban water place-based grants is to advance a range of approaches to support institutionalization of One Water management in urban watersheds. With a strong equity lens, collectively the grants advance One Water by pulling policy and regulatory levers, breaking down inter-agency silos and local regulatory barriers, integrating water into land-use planning tools, developing programs to create skilled-worker jobs and more effectively functioning green stormwater infrastructure installations, and expanding tools for community engagement in the design of One Water management. The JPB Foundation provided a 1:1 match, enabling investments of close to $1 million per year over three years in total.

Process

The 2018 Pisces Urban Water RFP, the first RFP of the Foundation, yielded 135 applications from the field. Grants were awarded to eight grantees with a broad range of strategies for implementing One Water in their watersheds so as to collectively secure both environmental and community benefits. During the RFP, the Water Program team sought to be open and transparent in our process with participants, to find new grantees in new geographies beyond our usual networks, and to support new strategies and approaches where possible.

Awardees

  • Alliance for the Great Lakes
    Purpose: To advance a fully funded city-wide stormwater strategy and green infrastructure maintenance program for the City of Chicago.
  • Blue Water Baltimore
    Purpose: To embed One Water solutions into Baltimore City’s water management policies and permits to overcome pollution challenges and reduce sewer overflows, with an emphasis on providing benefits for underserved communities through increased funding for green infrastructure.
  • High Line Conservancy
    Purpose: To transform the High Line Canal into a stormwater management system that demonstrates the multiple benefits of One Water through increased collaboration across sectors, access to an enhanced natural environment, and revitalization of underserved communities.
  • Ironbound Community Corporation
    Purpose: To ensure that the implementation of the City of Newark’s Long-Term Control Plan for Combined Sewer Overflow is done equitably and delivers benefits to community residents while influencing complementary policies at the city, state, and regional levels.
  • National Wildlife Federation Austin
    Purpose: To ensure the implementation of the first major initiatives of Austin’s “Water Forward” plan, the expansion of One Water approaches to the Hill Country, and the resolution of potential barriers to adopting One Water approaches.
  • People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH) Buffalo
    Purpose: To improve water quality in Buffalo by certifying local experts in the design and maintenance of green infrastructure and securing management contracts that create local jobs, and by advocating for One Water institutionalization at the city, county, and state levels.
  • Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy
    Purpose: To support the participation of frontline communities in designing One Water solutions to reduce sewer overflows and advance equitable green infrastructure investments at watershed scale.
  • Washington Environmental Council
    Purpose: To develop and replicate new frameworks to help Kitsap County systematically incorporate the value of water in decision-making around development and resource management.
Environmental Education 2019 Request for Field-Building Projects

Overview

In 2019, the Environmental Education Program’s first-ever open call for projects sought solutions that strengthened and built the field of environmental education. These grants provided backbone support and leadership to the field across the United States, focusing on geographic areas Pisces did not have investments in. The initiatives worked to support and facilitate collective impact activities such as establishing shared measurement practices; building public support; and strengthening diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural relevancy. And, importantly, each of these efforts embodied the notion that access to the benefits of time spent in nature is a human right, with the ultimate impact of building stronger, healthier communities and a more diverse, equitable society.

Process

Launched in July 2019, Pisces received a tremendous response to this RFP, with over 220 submissions from 48 states and territories. During September 2019, Pisces reviewed the submissions for eligibility and alignment. Then, an external review panel provided recommendations on the top projects to invite for full proposals in fall 2019. Projects were awarded in December 2019.

Awardees

  • Appalachian Headwaters
    Purpose: To jumpstart the development of high-quality, culturally relevant environmental literacy in West Virginia through the launch of a network for developing and sharing Appalachia-specific environmental education resources.
  • Arkansas Environmental Education Association
    Purpose: To strengthen the field of environmental education in Arkansas through a community-centered strategic planning process.
  • EcoRise
    Purpose: To jumpstart a data-informed, partnership-driven, environmental know-how impact strategy across Texas by using geographic information system (GIS) mapping and data visualization tools.
  • Environmental Education Association of Illinois
    Purpose: To collaboratively update Illinois’ environmental literacy plan in order to increase environmental literacy throughout the state in a collective, inclusive, and equitable way.
  • Environmental Education of New Mexico
    Purpose: To create a multi-year collective strategy for systemic change in New Mexico through an intensive fellowship program that will build community-centered capacity for collaboration, partnership, and advocacy.
  • Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education / Plains Environmental Education Partnership
    Purpose: To build capacity in the region by convening five environmental education backbone organizations and strengthen leadership capacity both within and among the organizations.
  • Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo
    Purpose: To grow and strengthen social and cultural infrastructure supporting traditional ecological knowledge and the capacity of subsistence practitioners and educators in Hawaiʻi.
  • Maine Math and Science Alliance / Teach ME Outside
    Purpose: To activate an existing and growing diverse statewide consortium to advance a vision of sustainable funding for environmental education in Maine.
  • Montana Environmental Education Association
    Purpose: To assess opportunities to build capacity internally and externally across Montana in order to equitably engage and elevate all voices in support of Montana’s diverse population.
  • Utah Society for Environmental Education
    Purpose: To begin creating equitable and inclusive systems-level change for environmental education in Utah to help ensure economic, social, and environmental sustainability for the state.
  • WE ACT for Environmental Justice
    Purpose: To engage an intersectoral task force to advocate for a culturally relevant New York State education standard that incorporates environmental justice and health.