Get Outdoors Fund

Established in 2020, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation’s Get Outdoors (GO) Fund provides grants for projects that increase access to safe open space in Virginia’s communities, especially those that are underserved. Some examples of project types include planning, capacity building, programming, and infrastructure, although priority will be given to shovel-ready projects with tangible, measurable results. The intent of the program is to serve as a flexible, adaptable tool to be used to address communities’ needs.

Calendar

Two grant rounds are held annually, with requests for proposals announced in January and June or July each year, and grant awards made in June and October or November. Grant agreements have a two-year lifespan.

The GO Fund requires the submission of a short pre-application. Pre-applications most aligned with program parameters will be invited to submit a final application. Invitations to apply for the GO Fund will be sent within one week of receipt of a successful pre-application. The responses provided in the pre-application will be incorporated in and elaborated on in the final application.

Applicant Eligibility

GO Fund grants may be awarded to state, local, regional, or tribal government entities, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations registered as tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Service code, https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organization-types. Federal governmental entities, for-profit entities, and individuals are not eligible at this time.

Applicants who have received past GO Fund grants of more than $5,000 must complete the approved project before submitting additional proposals. Other VOF grant awards do not impact GO Fund eligibility.

Funds Available

The amount of funding available for each grant round is determined annually and announced in June or July. Funding requests are capped at $25,000. Projects with budgets that greatly exceed $25,000 are not usually appropriate for the program unless the GO Fund award is meeting the final need to bring the project to fruition, or the proposal is focused on a specific stand-alone component of a larger project. Inversely, projects with a scope of work that could be completely funded and implemented through a GO Fund grant exclusively are competitive.

Funding will be disbursed on a reimbursement basis as progress is made. A one-time advance not exceeding $1,000 may be considered on a case-by-case basis and for good cause shown. No funds will be paid directly to a vendor. Partial funding is possible.

Project Eligibility

The Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) may provide funding for studies, planning, concept development, capacity building, programming, and infrastructure to enable safe use of or access to public open space, as well as for land acquisition. Priority will be given to shovel-ready projects with tangible, measurable results. Projects that seek to acquire or convey an interest in real estate (such as land acquisition, easement protection, lease agreement, or a right of way) should consider applying for a grant from VOF’s Preservation Trust Fund program, which can be accessed at http://www.vof.org/protect/grants/ptf/.

Application Process

Applications are accepted through the VOF online grant portal, which can be accessed at https://www.vof.org/protect/grants/go/. VOF requires a pre-application to be submitted for review before a final application for funding may be submitted. Interested applicants should check the website for updates. Please email grants@vof.org with any questions about the application process or project eligibility.

Current Opportunity

VOF is seeking proposals for projects that increase access to safe open space in Virginia’s communities, especially those that are underserved. The second grant round of fiscal year 2024 opens on January 17, 2024.

The GO Fund requires the submission of a short pre-application. Pre-applications most aligned with program parameters will be invited to submit a final application. Pre-applications are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 12, 2024.

Invitations to submit a final application will be sent within one week of receipt of a successful pre-application. The final application deadline is 5:00 p.m. on March 8, 2024. No unsolicited final applications will be accepted. Grant awards will be announced at the June 13, 2024 meeting of the Virginia Outdoors Foundation’s board of trustees.

Applicant Eligibility

GO Fund grants may be awarded to state, local, regional, or tribal government entities, educational institutions, or non-profit organizations registered as tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Service code, https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/exempt-organization-types. Federal governmental entities, for-profit entities, and individuals are not eligible at this time.

Applicants who have received past GO Fund grants of more than $5,000 must complete the approved project before submitting additional proposals. Other VOF grant awards do not impact GO Fund eligibility.

Funding Available

There is $175,000 available for the spring FY24 grant round with funding requests up to $25,000 per project considered. Partial funding is possible.

Project Eligibility

VOF may provide funding for studies, planning, concept development, capacity building, programming, and infrastructure to enable safe use of or access to public open space, as well as for land acquisition. Priority will be given to shovel-ready projects with tangible, measurable results. Projects that seek to acquire or convey an interest in real estate (such as land acquisition, easement protection, lease agreement, or a right of way) should consider applying for a grant from VOF’s Preservation Trust Fund program.

Application Process

Applications are accepted through the VOF online grant portal, which can be accessed at https://vaoutdoors.webgrantscloud.com/index.do. VOF requires a pre-application to be submitted for review before a final application for funding may be submitted. Interested applicants should check the website for updates. Please email grants@vof.org with any questions about the application process or project eligibility.

Documents

Grant Spotlight