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.

2022 Urban Water RFP

The Pisces Foundation’s Urban Water RFP is open now until September 30, 2022.

The Pisces Foundation prioritizes a “One Water” future because we believe that integrated and equitable water management is essential to delivering clean water, sufficient supply, flood protection, and greener shared spaces for urban communities throughout the US. From water reuse and efficiency to green stormwater infrastructure, and community-driven water planning, One Water strategies seek to simultaneously achieve multiple goals and maximize benefits to communities and nature.

To help achieve that future, our 2022 Urban Water Request for Proposals seeks to support a specific set of work to drive durable change – namely, organizations in US cities that are working toward a timely and specific One Water policy or program and are on the cusp of securing substantive change through integrated policy or regulation, innovative funding or financing, and/or inclusive governance and planning.

Timeline

  • Concept note deadline: Friday, September 30, 2022, 8 pm EDT / 5 pm PDT
  • Concept note review period: October 2022
  • Selected organizations invited to submit a full proposal: November 2022
  • Awards announced: January 2023

Step One
We encourage you to attend one of two informational webinars, in which the Pisces team will share additional information about the funding opportunity. Each webinar will facilitate the same content and will be recorded, and the webinar recordings will be shared here. Attendance at a webinar is not required for submitting a concept note application. We are also hosting drop-in hours on 9/15 for additional questions. We recommend you attend or watch a recording of the webinar prior to joining drop-in hours.

Step Two
Check if you meet the project eligibility requirements by reviewing our RFP Overview document.

Step Three
Complete the online concept note by clicking "Apply Now" below. The first section of the online concept note will ask for organization and individual contact information, and the second section seeks proposed project information.

If you have any additional questions, please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or contact the Water Program Team at waterRFP@piscesfoundation.org.

RFP Overview

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.

Informational Webinar Slide Deck

PDF copy of webinar slides and link to PDF.

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.
Environmental Education 2021 Request for Environmental and Outdoor Learning Movement Infrastructure Projects

Overview

In September 2021, the Environmental Education Program announced its second open request for projects. This RFP was designed to build movement infrastructure for environmental and outdoor learning across states and regions, that is the relationships and shared tools that empower people and organizations to work together. These grants help answer a call from educators, practitioners, researchers, funders, and more for additional support to connect, strengthen, and amplify environmental and outdoor learning across the United States. Pisces awarded grants to non-profit organizations and their collaborators building a movement for equitable and culturally relevant environmental and outdoor learning. These backbone organizations are building shared tools and relationships for effective advocacy, equity & culturally relevancy, funding, the knowledge base, the Rethink Outside shared narrative, and standards of practice.

Process

Pisces accepted concept notes during September and October 2021. Pisces staff and the external Advisory Council reviewed 178 submissions from 59 states and territories for eligibility, alignment, and fit with the RFP goals. The top projects were invited for full proposals in February 2022. Pisces awarded grants in May, to begin in June 2022.

Awardees

  • Center for Diversity & the Environment
    Purpose: To grow a diverse and inclusive regional network and community of leaders who have the knowledge, support, and agency to bring about a more equitable and culturally expansive environmental education movement.
  • Center for Native American Youth
    Purpose: Through the Cante Tinza Fellowship, to address the representation gap and inequities facing Indigenous People and youth in the fight for climate justice and education.
  • Kupu
    Purpose: To inspire and prepare students to meet the future demands of natural resource professions in Hawai‘i by building a collaboration between educators and industry professionals, resulting in a connected system of frameworks, tools, resources, and programs.
  • La Semilla Food Center
    Purpose: Through a relational, culturally-rooted story mapping process in the Paso del Norte region, to develop shared narrative and community sourced digital knowledge products that enhance outdoor education for youth across the Chihuahuan Desert bioregion.
  • NAAEE Affiliate Network
    Purpose: To develop a fund to support individual NAAEE Affiliates and the Affiliate Network as a whole.